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PODCAST: Neil Osborne of 54-40 discusses band’s enduring success

TODAY IN B.C.: ‘West Coast Band’ represents a literal storytelling approach
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Host Peter McCully chats with Neil Osborne of the Canadian rock band 54-40. Osborne shares insights and stories from his lengthy music career.

Osborne discusses the band’s enduring success, their approach to songwriting and the importance of live performances. The episode delves into their latest album, West Coast Band, and offers a glimpse into the creative process behind their music.

Osborne’s journey in the music industry began with a chance encounter with bandmate Brad Merritt in high school in Tsawwassen. The two bonded over their shared love for music, which eventually led to the formation of 54-40 in 1977. Their enduring partnership is a testament to their deep connection and shared interests.

“We thought we were on a mission, we were on a mission,” said Osborne. “Then we, all of a sudden, weirdly, we had a career, record companies and that whole game.”

The episode explores the evolution of the band’s songwriting process. From early jam sessions to more recent experiments with thematic storytelling, 54-40’s creative approach has evolved over the years. The band’s co-founder shares how their latest album was inspired by reminiscing about their experiences as a band during COVID and turning those stories into songs.

The latest album was mixed by Adam Kasper, known for his work with iconic bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. The album represents a literal storytelling approach, showcasing the band’s experiences and stories in a straightforward manner.

The episode includes a discussion of the song ‘Working on It’, which humorously captures the band’s dedication and hard work. It’s also testament to their commitment to delivering great performances to their audience.

“We know it’s a collective experience, especially with people that have seen us and followed us and stuck with us over the years,” said Osborne. “So that’s the constant. And that’s still the driving force behind why we’re still here.”

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Peter McCully

About the Author: Peter McCully

Peter has been a broadcaster and publisher on both of Canada’s coasts and has owned a small newspaper and run an advertising agency along the way.
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