Lucky Monkey business: Kelowna band balances work, rock n' roll dreams - InfoNews

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Lucky Monkey business: Kelowna band balances work, rock n' roll dreams

Lucky Monkey, who are celebrating a new EP this week, get goofy in this photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Lucky Monkey
March 29, 2019 - 5:00 PM

KELOWNA - You never know how a rock band is going to come together. Sometimes it can be pure chance. Cassidy Hritzuk's discovery came on the golf course.

Hritzuk is the head coach for the golf team at UBC Okanagan. He was driving in a cart on the course with his friend Josh Evans and Hritzuk, as he often does, was singing. Evans commented that Hritzuk should be in a band. As it happened, Hritzuk was already in one.

Hritzuk started jamming with guitarist Ryan Zeleznik in 2017, sticking with acoustic work. They decided to get heavier and go electric, but first they needed a drummer.

As he talked with Evans on the golf course, Hritzuk found out Evans was a drummer. He invited him to join the group.

"I said, 'I've known you for two years and you didn't tell me you played drums?'" Hritzuk said.

Dylan Losell, a bass player, was the final piece of the puzzle, completing the ensemble and giving it a name: Lucky Monkey.

The Kelowna-based band has hustled hard for the last two years, working full-time jobs while they record and perform their music around town. Their hard work is paying off this week as they release a new EP and a set of music videos.

Lucky Monkey dropped Nothing to Lose on March 29, a five-song EP showcasing some of the band's best work. It's the band's second EP since their formation. Hritzuk said they've been saving these songs for over a year, waiting for the right time to release them, whittling down a catalogue of 32 tunes into a five-piece collection.

"It's nice to pull the trigger," he said.

Hritzuk said the band pulls influences from a variety of artists, but at their core, they are a straight-up rock group. Their songs usually evolve out of jam sessions.

"It's very quick and organic," Hritzuk said.

The band likes to keep things loose, particularly when it comes to their music videos. They've released two videos to coincide with the EP, shooting many scenes throughout Kelowna. In one video, they battle other bands to the death for a shot at playing a venue. Hritzuk said the videos provide a chance to get goofy.

"We're trying to do everything as local as possible," Hritzuk said. "We try not to be too serious."

Lucky Monkey is in the thick of the Kelowna music scene. Hritzuk says its an exciting time for local music, although he thinks a new performance venue in the area would help elevate the scene.

Hritzuk would love to put together a full-length album in the future, but for now he's pleased to play with his friends and live out their rock n' roll dreams in Kelowna. For them, there's a pure joy in performance.

"Hopefully that never changes," he said.

Check out Lucky Monkey's website to listen to their new EP. See them live at Doc Willougby's Pub at 10 p.m. today, March 29. Tickets are $10.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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