Squamish Valley Music Festival Band of the Day II: The Ballantynes

Like Christmas when it gets to be the end of November, and Easter when the trees start to sprout leaves after a long winter, it’s starting to feel like it’s almost here. Just so there’s no confusion, we’re not talking the night when the fat bearded guy stuffs himself down the chimney or when a white rabbit breaks into the house to strew chocolate offspring and rainbow coloured eggs everywhere.

No, we’re talking about the Squamish Valley Music Festival, taking place August 8-10 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields. In anticipation of the big day, we’re spending the next few weeks rounding up local artists who’ll be playing this year’s event, and getting them to answer some important questions.

Like who they’ll be cueing up on the iPod for the Sea to Sky drive to the site, what they’ll be making sure to pack to make it through their set, the all-time dream festival lineup, and who they plan to stalk backstage. And that’s just the start of our probing. Read on, but not before you pick up your Squamish Valley Music Festival ticket. The last thing you want to miss is today’s featured local artist....

Jarrod O’Dell (keyboards-guitar-vocals) and Vanessa Dandurand (vocals) find themselves sweating buckets every time the Ballantynes plug in and then proceeds to demolish everything in their path. It's a toss-up as to what we like more about them: the way that they see nothing strange about fusing Stax soul with vintage mod rock and 100 Club-punk, or the way they make sure that every second item on their rider somehow involves liquor. 

Sea To Sky Playlist

Assembled by Jarrod and Vanessa. To be played only upon reaching speeds of 80KM an hour or higher.

The Stooges "Search and Destroy"
Jarrod: It doesn’t matter where you’re going, "Search and Destroy" while you’re bombing down the highway always feels good.

Carbonas "Journey to the End"
Vanessa: Because who knows, it might be? The Carbonas self-titled on Goner Records is one of my all-time favourites.

Flamin’ Groovies "Shake Some Action"
Vanessa: I think Trevor is our best driver, and I know Flamin’ Groovies are one of his favourite bands. I’d send out this dedication from the back seat to him.

King Tuff "Wild Desire"
Jarrod: This is forever in my mind associated with the first time we all left town together. And pretty much every time since.

The Jay Vons "Night Was Stealing From the Sun"
Vanessa: The Jay Vons are our pals and LA-TI-DA labelmates from New York and we met them at Sled Island last year! They’re gonna fly out in September and play Rifflandia with us! Festival friends make for great festival playlists!

The Fresh & Onlys "20 Days and 20 Nights"
Vanessa: I get anxiety sometimes and the F&O’s are my go to cure for nervous energy en route to anywhere. Something about that band unties knots in my stomach.

Sonny and the Sunsets "Too Young To Burn"
Vanessa: This song feels like summer to me. It’s really warm but sort of wistful. And anything with hand clapping is something that everyone can be a part of if you’re singing it in a group, camping or in a park or around a fire or something.

Max Romeo "Wet Dream"
Jarrod: Summer = Reggae = Sexy Results.

Marvin Gaye "Gotta Give it Up"
Jarrod: Sunglasses on, windows down, and now everyone is van dancing.

Robyn "Dancing On My Own"
Jarrod: Almost went with "Call Your Girlfriend", but the transition was too good to pass up.
Vanessa: For real though, Robyn is just too good.

Outdoor essentials:

Vanessa: Shades times seven. And that’s just for Jarrod, because he breaks them. I lost a great pair of leopard shades to his black jack victory dance in Reno. RIP Kitty Vision.

Jarrod: Definitely cash. Festival ATMs charge you, like, $5 a transaction because they know you can’t live without hot dogs and lemonade. And they’re right. Wet naps because everything is gross, and sunscreen because all of us are pale.

We'd Love to Hang With:

Jarrod: We heard Dave Grohl is playing with QOTSA, and I don’t know if that’s been confirmed but there’s a Nirvana documentary we’d all like to misquote at him while drunkenly talking over each other. We’re the worst idiots.

First Festival Experience:

Vanessa: My first festival was Edgefest 2000 at Thunderbird Stadium. My dad is still totally my hero for taking me. I would sooner chew my own arm out of a bear trap than wrangle three 13-year-old girls in 35 degree heat to the music event of their choice. I was there for Jimmy Eat World, New Found Glory, and Good Charlotte. Blink 182 played in front of a 12-foot tall flaming obscenity. I was smitten with the whole thing.

Jarrod: My best first festival story might be the first festival I ever missed. I was supposed to go to Warped Tour 1999, which I think was the first time Warped came to Vancouver, and the year Eminem got pelted on stage with lemons from the lemonade stand. I wish I could say that I saw it first hand, but let’s just say I ended up grounded for the entire summer. I told you you couldn’t live without lemonade.

As stellar As This Year’s Squamish Bill is, What’s Your Fantasy Fest Line-up?

Since we weren’t given any rules, and in no particular order:

  • The Specials
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
  • The Undertones
  • The Shangri-las
  • The Aggrolites
  • The Clash
  • The Pipettes
  • Ride
  • The Gun Club
  • The Exploding Hearts
  • A Stax Revue

What's Your Official Rider Request?

  • Two bottles of whiskey
  • Two peperoni pizzas
  • One pack of Camel Crushes
  • One pack of Camel Blues
  • Two cans of Diet Coke
  • One bottle of tequila
  • Four Red Bulls
  • One pack of B&H Menthols
  • Three snacks of your choice where the mascot is wearing sunglasses
  • One bottle of vodka
  • Two to six juice boxes
  • One meat plate
  • 14 Tecates (24 oz. or larger), 
  • Three Four Lokos (watermelon)
  • A bag of Cheez-Its.

For the record we have received all of these things, although never at the same time.

Trivia time: What’s Squamish’s official slogan?

Vanessa: Get Wild in the Wild.

The Festival takes place at Hendrickson Fields & Logger Sports Ground. Quick—what’s your favourite logger sport?

Jarrod: Moose Rodeo.
Vanessa: Wolf Howling.

The Ballantynes play the Squamish Valley Music Festival’s Market Stage at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday (August 10).

Special coverage

What should Squamish’s new official slogan be?

"At least it’s not Chilliwack!" 18%
25 votes
"Come climb a big rock." 6%
9 votes
"Come for the Dairy Queen, stay for the something something." 8%
11 votes
"Get Wild in the Wild." 12%
17 votes
“Not in your Bandsintown app, but we’re workin’ on it!” 1%
1 vote
"Right Before Whistla." 4%
6 votes
"Straight Outta Squampton." 27%
38 votes
"We are a Town Between Vancouver and Whistler." 24%
34 votes
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