By Karlie Mickanuik
Ayla Brook & The Sound Men is an Edmonton based roots rock band that has been making music together for over a decade.
Ayla Brook is the frontman of the band playing guitar and is the lead vocalist. Brent Oliver is the bass guitarist and manager but prefers the term band dad. Sean Brewer is on guitar, Johnny Blerot plays the keys with Chris “Skippy” Sturwold laying down the drums.
“Everybody sings pretty much. Sometimes the drummer gets a microphone,” said Ayla.
“Not very often,” Oliver added.
Before the root rock band came together, Ayla Brook had already recorded a solo record and was in need of a band to do live shows with. So he set out to form The Sound Men.
“So I put out a solo record without The Sound Men name on it, it was just Ayla Brook. It was a pretty stripped down record but for a live situation, I wanted to have a bit more of a full sound,” said Brook.
Brook went on to explain how natural it was to gather his musically talented friends to become Ayla Brook and The Sound Men.
“We had all played together and knew each other well, it was a pretty organic situation. It’s become a bit of a family really,” said Brook.
Ayla Brook and The Sound Men have been playing together for nearly 12 years and say that being a band for over a decade is the biggest reason they play so well together.
“We’re at a point now where we know each other’s playing well, we’re able to find spaces in the songs fairly quickly and it’s a bit of a symbiotic, almost psychic relationship in the band,” said Brooks.
“Translation: we can get away with doing shows without that many rehearsals,” said Oliver.
Ayla Brook explains that his love for music stems from him being an introvert and the stage becoming his safe space where he can express himself.
“It’s about community, it’s an ability to have a thing where you’re able to express something personable but at the same time do it in a public place in a way that’s able to make everybody sort of a bridge to those public and personal places. So for me, it’s about connecting with people,” said Brook.
Oliver says he loves playing with his bandmates and the sense of camaraderie he and his bandmates have.
“I mean, I’m an older guy with three kids. I like getting on stage and kicking out the jams when my back is not all messed up. I love actually creating something,” said Oliver.
Since The Sound Men’s start, they produced an album together titled (I Don’t Wanna Hear Your) Breakup Songs which came out in 2016 and just recently dropped their latest album Desolation Sounds which is available now. Brook describes the songs on the latest album as mature and says each song is very unique to themselves yet still fits into the album.