40 Gun Flagship belts it out for the big times
Singing to records of the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and Led Zeppelin was one of Bobbie Kidd's favourite hobbies as a little girl.
Robyn Raymond, also known as "Bobbie Kidd," is the lead vocalist in the Calgary rock band, 40 Gun Flagship.
Starting out in the music industry
Born in Tofield, Alta., Kidd learned at a young age that she had a passion for singing. For instance, she used to sing stories instead of saying them.
At age 11, Kidd decided to take voice lessons four times a week and join a choir.
"My mom just wanted me to be the next Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac," Kidd said.
Marty Lange, Kidd's mother, feels music was a great activity for her daughter to be involved in because it kept her out of trouble.
Lange believes 40 Gun Flagship has given Kidd a great opportunity.
"They have a great band," Lange said. "They all get along really well, and they support and help each other."
During Kidd's teenage years, she followed a Canadian band called Common Ruin in hopes of joining them on stage. Kidd would continually pester the band into singing a song with them, she said.
One day, this dream came true, and Kidd was able to sing a song with Common Ruin.
This was her introduction to rock and roll, she said.
Her passion for singing continued.
In 2008, Kidd was asked by her friends to audition for 40 Gun Flagship, a new band where she received the job of lead singer.
"I don't know if it's a passion, more like a calling where it feels like it's what I need to do," Kidd said.
However, at the time, Kidd was working for the Union in Calgary, which is a large promoting company in Canada.
To avoid conflict of interest between the Union and 40 Gun Flagship, she changed her name to "Bobbie Kidd" for the band. Otherwise, there would be an assumption that she is "too connected," she explained.
"I want the band to be recognized for building ourselves up legitimately," Kidd said.
Rocking and rolling
40 Gun Flagship consists of four members: Ryan Tremblay, Bobbie Kidd, Cam Dougall, and Andy Shaw.
The band plays rock music, with a combination of punk, metal, and alternative rock. The genre of the music varies per song.
Ryan Tremblay, a close friend of Kidd, joined 40 Gun Flagship as the drummer. He described Kidd as a band-mate who is extremely passionate, caring, and friendly.
"She has a drive, as she is the one pushing things forward, trying to get shows, getting involved in social media, and promoting the band," Tremblay said. "She never ceases to impress me."
Kidd said being a part of 40 Gun Flagship has taken her out of her comfort zone and given her more self-confidence.
She said while people can sometimes fake it on stage with an instrument, they can't fake it with their voice; they have to give it their all when performing.
"Now that's how I live, all the buttons all the way pushed all the time," Kidd said.
She said 40 Gun Flagship has to continually market themselves and make people excited about their band, which takes a lot of time.
"Being in a band is like being married to four people and their significant others all at the same time," Kidd said.
The fight for fame
The band won a total of $30,000 through the AMP Radio Rockstar contest, which is held annually to promote Canadian artists.
Since then, 40 Gun Flagship has released two albums and is working towards their third album. Recently, 40 Gun Flagship signed a licensing agreement for the song "Forever" to be put out on a label in January 2013.
Kidd said they regularly play shows, sometimes with five or six bands, at venues across the city.
Still, she said it has been difficult for a band like 40 Gun Flagship to become more well-known.
"Calgary is a monster," she said. "There are so amazing and talented people in this city that we are a victim of our own success."
Kidd said the band has generally had larger audiences in Eastern Canada. Although, fans now want 40 Gun Flagship to play shows in the United States, she said.
"Going to the States is an immigration nightmare, where you have to have all your stuff booked and have received your work Visas," Kidd said.
Nevertheless, Kidd said she plans to remain with 40 Gun Flagship because it is part of her life and who she is now.
- By HALEIGH PACKER