Signing Story: The Strumbellas


After a slew of bold emails—including the wacky pledge to eat a whole bottle of horseradish—Simon Ward finally enticed (current manager) Joanne Setterington to attend a local Strumbellas show in Canada. Now, the band is preparing to launch its worldwide debut album on Glassnote Records.

“At some point I was like, ‘Can we all just quit our jobs and go full force?’ That was always our number one goal—the music we wrote, the producers we picked, the tours we took—we were hoping [to] catch peoples’ ears. We were never the kind of band that said, ‘Oh, we’re just kind of writing things to play and have fun.’”

Naturally, then, Ward didn’t hesitate when offered the chance to push Strumbellas’ unique sound beyond Toronto’s loyal (yet limited) fandom. A personal meeting with label founder Daniel Glass eventually sealed the deal for all six members:

“As soon as we sat down, I immediately felt really good about it,” Ward explains. “They’re really supportive and cool with the art we make, but they’re also going to help us grow and become that ‘big’ band. That’s the key—we were sold.”

Ward’s positive and outgoing disposition encourages the band to progress forward while making all the right moves:

“Relationships mean everything,” he muses. “I’m trying to make friends with everybody, it doesn’t matter who. I’m not scared to hire more people in the industry because I just want to make positive connections. You don’t want to make a bad impression on anybody.”

The horseradish-chugging frontman’s final words of advice? “Put it all out there [and] don’t be shy—get peoples’ attention.” The Strumbellas’s debut album, entitled Hope, drops in April.

Photo by Heather Pollock

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