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Hit me with your best SHOT 

Chris McCluskey plays a song for you.

What fans of local synth rockers HOTSHOTROBOT will never hear is the initial direction of the band’s first EP, Everyone Die. The project, initially titled Eat My Heart, was born of a different genre altogether.

Everyone Die was decided upon when all of our songs were power-metal originally,” says vocalist and keyboardist Jen Clarke. “But then we had a stylistic change of heart so we wrote all new songs. About boys.”

The group—also including bassist Andrew Gormley and guitarist Brad Luknowsky—experienced a line-up change when drummer Sean MacGillivray left to focus on other projects.

“MacGillivray is involved in several projects, and although was a good robot team member,we never relied on him as our only drummer,” Clarke says. “Jon Epworth, who filled in a number of timeswhile Sean was on tour with other bands, recommended Lance Purcell,” formerly of The Plan. “He’s incredibly talented and we’re very happy to have him.”

With a full roster intact, HOTSHOTROBOT will begin promotion of its record on November 24 at Stage Nine in celebration of its release.

Clarke says her inspiration as the sole lyrical voice in the band is something that will be unique to Everyone Die.

“This record was an end of an era for us in many ways, in that it focused on the prominent theme of my early songwriting: botched relationships and riot grrl inspired, boy-related anger in general,” says Clarke. “In other words, Eat My Heart, man…it’s over! We’ve now shifted away from this focus to matters that promote the band’s ideas as a group, rather than my diary-ish secrets!”

They see the sky as the limit for their debut EP.

“We’re hoping to go on tour after applying for some grants. We’re considering a few different areas including Japan and Europe,” says Clarke. “We have a long mailout list of glossies and campus stations across North America and, of course, a few dream labels that we hope may consider us. We are an enthusiastic, tireless robot—we’re not afraid to aim high!”

Danny the man

It’s never an easy task writing about a talented songwriter you’ve never met, without any juicy scraps of news to report since their last local appearance. That said, Danny Michel has been on the road since last June promoting his fifth album Valhalla from Fernie to, well, Halifax—and has certainly logged enough mileage since July 29 to merit special consideration in your concert-going itinerary this weekend.

“It seems like I have been out a lot, yeah,” says Michel from his hotel room after the long jaunt from the Halifax airport. “When I did the west coast I did like, 22 nights in a row.”

The folk/pop artist, who finished second in Best New Artist balloting to Michael Bublé at the 2004 Junos, made the east coast a priority for promotion of his latest release.

Michel will be bringing his material to The Seahorse on November 24 as a solo effort, but promises to bring what he describes as an “all-star line-up” as soon as it’s logically feasible.

“I’ll be doing some producing on some other records,” says Michel. “And probably sitting down and thinking about a new record soon. That takes a long time, because I have to write the tunes and all that. So hopefully I’ll have something out for fall (2007).”

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