Interview and photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – The 90s was a revolutionary era for music, especially for grunge and alternative genres, that produced some of the most iconic and timeless hits of that period. Now, a local band is bringing back the raw energy and soulful sound of grunge and alternative rock music.
Justin Cote is a seasoned musician who has been playing, performing, writing, and producing music for many years. He picked up his first guitar at 12 and has been passionate about music ever since. Justin’s biggest influences come from the 90s grunge alternative rock era, where he drew inspiration from bands such as Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine. Despite his appreciation for all genres of music, he maintains a strong affinity for the 90s era.
Justin, who formerly played in Fathom Ties, is a member of the band Escape the Population, also known as EscThePop, who play a blend of classic and alternative rock, performing a variety of original compositions and covers.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – What made you want to become a musician?
“When I was in my early teen years, watching some of my favourite bands on MTV play live or even catching one of their music videos was a huge inspiration in wanting to become a musician and write, perform, and produce music. I wanted to hit the stage, play in front of thousands of people, live rockstar life, and tour the world.”
2 – Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?
“The one musician who inspires me the most is Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine. He creates such powerful, rocking riffs and comes up with these interesting, crazy sounds and noises from his guitars and pedals. A lot of musical influence comes from him, and Rage Against the Machine is still my all-time favourite band.”
3 – Tell us about your bandmates and what it’s like working with them.
“Currently, I play in EscThePop, and we are a 4-piece band from Cornwall. We formed the band right a few months before covid hit us in 2020 and worked through the pandemic to prepare our stage performance in 2022 when the world opened back up. Working with my bandmates is great; we collaborate on ideas when writing, have fun jamming, and hang out often to do other things like golf and BBQs. The good thing is that we all get along and have fun doing what we do.”
4 – Tell us about an upcoming album you started writing/recording.
“Right now, we are in the process of writing/recording/producing some new music to get ready to release an EP at some point in the future. We are active on Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms and share our musical journey with everyone – it’s the way to promote your product nowadays.”
5- Tell us about an upcoming concert or tour.
“Since some of us are family men and we all have those good old adult responsibilities, a tour would be awesome but unrealistic. However, we are booking shows, and our focus for 2023 is to play as many shows as possible – so far, we have some dates booked in April, May, and June and will continue to book more shows.”
EscThePop have several concerts coming up. First they are set to perform at the Daffodil Pub on Saturday, April 1st, starting at 9 pm. The best part? There is no cover charge, making it a great opportunity to enjoy some fantastic live music without breaking the bank.
Also, “Rock Til U Drop Cornwall” is coming to The Port Theatre on Friday, May 12th, featuring an incredible lineup that includes EscThePop, Don’t Tell Sarah, and Castles. Early bird tickets are available for $20.00 until Saturday, April 15th, after which the price goes up to $25.00 for advance tickets and at the door.
Finally, on Saturday, May 27th, The Atlantic Pub is hosting an exciting night of live music featuring Don’t Tell Sarah, EscThePop, and Prospect Nelson. The cover charge is only $10, giving you access to a night of unforgettable performances from some of the best local talent around. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to experience some amazing live music.