Based in Nanaimo, BC, Top Men rose out of a passion for electronic music, exciting performance, and idle hands during a University faculty strike in 2011.
As Paul and Chris, were getting to know each other it came up that they were both secretly fans of electronica/techno music. After some discussion Paul said, “You know, we could play this music.” To which Chris quickly responded, “Okay. We’ll be called Top Men.”
It was initially assumed that audiences didn’t have an interest in electronic music so the group – now including Brendan and Liam – decided that lavish stage setups and theatrics would give people something to engage with. This concept immediately went off the rails, leading to shows concerning cyborg surgery, time travel, romantic dinosaurs, digital revolutions and many more. Most recently they have put on a string of film tribute shows paying homage to classic science-fiction movies “La Voyage Dans la Lune”, “Metropolis” and mostly recently James Cameron’s “Aliens”. Not only did these shows feature original music written exclusively for these performances, they also involved working with some of Nanaimo’s finest artists and performers, with upwards up 20+ people involved in their execution.
Through their unique blend of live electronic music and conceptually driven performance the Top Men have a garnered a dedicated following and plan to spread their influence o’er the land.
// Bass, Synth by
Builder of things, owner of the garage.
Born and raised in rural Vancouver Island Brendan is possessed of a remarkable work ethic and great skill Often single-handedly building much of the bands crazier contraptions and contrivances, Brendan is also a talented multi-instrumentalist having studied piano, drums, bass, as well as synthesizers. Outside of Top Men he also drums for The Bananafish Dance Orchestra, MC Unite, Roberts Hall, The Kerplunks and a host of others further displaying his tireless efforts towards creating great music and art.
Influenced by: The Who, Queen, John Butler Trio, Cat Empire, Lettuce, Trans Am, Clues, Fond of Tigers, Pavement, The Fucking Champs, Tortoise, The Roots.
// Synths by
Creative direction, art design.
Chris has been a fixture of the Nanaimo music scene for nearly a decade, leading his long standing, ever evolving folk/experimental project “Ah, Venice”. Chris is also a co-founder of the local legends “The Wedding Band” (a 60’s garage soul group capable of a ludicrous dance party) and has also released several full length Christmas albums of mostly original content. Chris taught himself to play piano at age 17 by listening to Ben Folds Five, and later taught himself guitar while working the graveyard shift at a porno store. A thoroughly talented artist of various facets Chris also designs the vast majority of the bands various artistic endeavours, ie: set design, posters, images and logo/merch. He also thought of the band name.
Influenced by: Spoon, Daft Punk, The Big Chill soundtrack, Owen Pallett, Radiohead, J.S. Bach, Fatboy Slim.
// Drums by
Time Keeper, fill collins, that's a drum joke.
Hailing from the Okanagan Valley, Paul is a dedicated drummer with a diverse musical history. Having first been introduced to the world of drumming through the competitive Pipes and Drums band circuit, he eventually turned to the drum kit after having developed a love for punk music, and eventually metal. Since then he has played in a number of bands covering a range of styles from surf-rock to funk/neo-soul and indie-rock. He is now thoroughly pleased to share the stage with the finest group of gentlemen he has ever known.
Influenced by: Pink Floyd, Old Man Gloom, At the Drive In/early Mars Volta, Trans Am, Daft Punk, Refused, Tortoise, Sigur Ros
// Synths by
The best musician in the band.
Born in Calgary, Liam moved to the island as a youth. Though Liam first began playing piano at age 7, he didn’t truly take to the instrument until learning the Lord of the Rings film score. With a strong background in classical music he has also had a long love of progressive-rock and metal as evidenced by his time with Nanaimo legends “The Body Politic”. While Liam has studied Jazz at university he has shifted his interest to pursuing education in modern composition through UVIC. Liam is both a gentlemen and a scholar.
Influenced by: Ladytron, Opeth, J.S. Bach, Parliament/Funkadelic, Autechre, Gyorgy Ligeti, Miles Davis, Daft Punk, Pierre Boulez, Juan Atkins.
Top Men deploy maximum energy into inventing and creating props for their shows. From dinosaurs, robots, and spaceships, to kilos of confetti and acres of balloons, the papier mache and cardboard sets will amaze your eyes and stimulate your brain. You have to attend a show to fully experience Top Men doing what they were truly meant to do.
“They're retro in a really fresh kind of way, they're totally diverse and yet their sound feels really focused and cohesive.”