Breaking Echoes

New Local Band Halts the Cycle

Story by Michael Seguin
Photography by Ashley Cline, Incline Photography

Chris Mailloux—better known as “Chase”— has been running his own studio since he was 15.

“I had always wanted my own studio,” Chase states. “But, when I was 15, studio time was very expensive. So, I heard that one of my friends was closing down his studio because he was moving to Toronto. I asked him if I could rent it. And he agreed.”

A couple weeks later, Chase’s friend dropped off all the equipment on his front porch.
“He said he was in a hurry,” Chase recalls. “That he didn’t have time to explain to me how everything worked. And then, he took off. He basically just said, ‘Here you go! You’ll figure it out!’”

And over the course of several years, Chase did just that.

“I had to figure out how to route everything,” Chase explains. “The dials. The knobs. You name it. I guess the biggest hurdle was finding the necessary space for all this equipment. Fortunately, my parents were generous enough to volunteer their garage. But, it was a long process. Even over a year ago I was still doing renovations. Making sure everything was soundproofed. Getting everything up to par.”

However, for Chase, the experience was never an onerous one.

“I love the learning,” Chase states. “It’s one of the things I’m good at. Beyond recording I am also a web programmer and I run a concrete company. Learning is what I’m good at!”
After he opened his own studio out of his parent’s garage, Chase started performing. His early shows took place downtown, at now-lost venues such as Bentleys.

“My first show, I was terrified,” Chase recalls. “I was like a statue on stage. I didn’t move at all. I just stood there—completely still! Fortunately, I was the youngest person in the scene at the time. So, everyone pretty quickly decided to take me under their wings. They always showed me a lot of love and appreciation when I was around. They always try to give me advice and help me along. I owe a lot of the things I know about the music business to the other people in the Windsor music scene.”

One such member of the local music community was the renowned DJ Needle from CJAM Radio.

“He wanted to manage me right away,” Chase states. “He ran the local hip-hop
station. He was a prominent member of the Windsor scene. He was always trying to help people get where they are. Even held seminars where he gave the lowdown on the ins and outs of music business. Even still does stuff like that to this day!”

However, despite his early successes, Chase admits that he lacked some of the drive necessary to launch his music career. So, for a period of time, that aspect of his life was allowed to dwindle.

But, as many of us can attest, destiny has a way of asserting itself.

“One night, I was drinking with some friends,” Chase explains. “We got pretty messed up. And one of my best friends, Craig Hotham—who we all call Money—kept saying, ‘Come on! Let’s go in the studio! Let’s go in the studio! I’ve never heard you sing! You’ve never heard me play guitar! I promise I’m good! I promise I’m good!’ He’d been bugging me for a long time.

But, that night, in my inebriated state, he must’ve convinced me.”

And it is a good thing he did. That night, as Chase picked up the microphone, and Money picked up the guitar, sparks started to fly. Shortly thereafter, Chase and Money put together their own self-produced album.

Breaking Echoes band members (l-r): Craig Hotham, Chris Mailloux-Beal, Gabe Prestia, Keith Lloyd and Derrick Green.

“We called ourselves ‘Chase and Money,’” Chase states. “But, after a while, we decided that if we were going to perform full shows, we had to round out our sound.”

As the months wore on, the two added three new members to their band, including:
Keith Lloyd, the bassist. After beginning his career as a guitarist, he switched instruments.
“He really has that ear for composing,” Chase explains. “He has a very unique, fun baseline. He’s never boring or repetitive. And a baseline can really make a song!”
Derrick Green, the drummer. Originally from the Toronto area, he initially came to the band’s attention when he responded to their Kijiji ad earlier last year.

“He came by to audition really looked the part,” Chase states. “He was really nice. He’s worked with a couple big names before. But his real test was in the studio. He passed with flying colours!”

And Gabe Prestia, the lead guitarist. The newest member of the band and musical

“He came out and tried out for the band,” Chase explains. “He can shred a guitar
like no one I’ve ever seen. He’s completely self-taught.”

After a while, Chase decided that the group needed a new name. And, after 200 candidates and 3 to 4 months of arguing, the band finally decided on a new name: Breaking Echoes.

“A lot of us come from a background of substance abuse,” Chase admits. “And
relationships that were less than ideal in our personal lives. So, the idea behind Breaking Echoes is that we don’t want history to repeat itself. We don’t want to make the same mistakes. We want to break that echo.”

Since the band has formed, they have released several new singles and numerous music videos.

One such single is “Crazy Switch,” which was released on February 1st.

“This one has been a surprising success,” Chase states. “We had been approached by a television company that was looking to get an intro song done. So, we decided to go with a classic rock kind of feel.”

The song, as it turns out, turned out to be much more complicated than the Breaking Echoes crew initially envisioned. Although they missed the deadline for the TV show, they continued to work on it until they weren’t just happy with the results—they were thrilled with them.

“Crazy Switch,” perhaps more than any other song in their repertoire, demonstrates the band’s unique, spellbinding sound.

“It’s hard to describe our sound,” Chase admits. “It’s really a challenge to put us in any main genre. I mean, we call ourselves ‘rock,’ but our songs have elements of country, heavy metal, classic rock—even a little bit of hip-hop sometimes. There’s a lot of mix-and-match going on. I guess were kind of a rock web. We just go into the studio, find something that sounds good and run with it.”

And although COVID-19 has halted some of the band’s momentum, Breaking Echoes continues to diligently leave their fingerprints on the local and national music scene.

“We’re still rehearsing and were still practicing,” Chase explains. “We’re getting ready. When the pandemic lifts, and it’s time to go, we want to start by playing some local shows and leaning upwards from there. We’d also love to land a supports spot for a bigger artist and tour around with them.”

Breaking Echoes can be experienced on their Spotify channel and on their YouTube page.

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