Cinematic pop/metal/alternative band Asterous has given full rein to Rummy Kandola and Don Beaudoin’s musical and lyrical creativity, they say. (Contributed photo)

Cinematic pop/metal/alternative band Asterous has given full rein to Rummy Kandola and Don Beaudoin’s musical and lyrical creativity, they say. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey-based duo achieves big international sound

EP is first release for Asterous

As music goes, the self-titled debut EP just released by local band Asterous – which the two members describe as ‘cinematic pop/metal/alternative’ – is definitely widescreen.

It’s a big, textured European-style sound, built on haunting multi-layered vocals, and powerhouse guitar, bass and synth work.

Five original songs — Murder The Machine, The Fall, Heroes, At The Edge and Afterthought — showcase the band’s versatility in shifting gears from electronica to hard-rocking metal, to soft keyboard-backed meditations, to classic rock anthem territory, sometimes encompassing all four modes in the same piece.

The European sonic imprint isn’t surprising, given the fact that the EP was mixed and mastered in Finland by noted producer Nino Laurenne.

But what is, perhaps, unexpected is that Asterous is a home-grown project; the brainchild of two South Surrey musicians — lead vocalist, keyboard and synth player Rummy Kandola and vocalist, guitarist and bassist Don Beaudoin.

The international flavour of their ambitious project also extends to album art images manipulated by a German designer, and a cartoon art-style video for one track, created by a young U.S. animator.

For the two musicians it’s one positive outcome of the COVID-19 crisis, they said. And the presence of such international collaborators — and the ease with which Kandola and Beaudoin were able to connect, and work with them online – also typifies the way music is being put together in this era.

“It’s sort of a pandemic project,” Kandola said.

“We’ve been playing music together for 10 years,” she added.

“Mostly cover tunes for restaurant, casino and wedding reception gigs,” Beaudoin noted.

“But in terms of being a proper band and having our own songs, we found that, during the pandemic, we had more time to focus and buckle down on what we needed to do,” Kandola said.

The project also gave them the impetus to learn the recording technology available, she added.

“A big investment in the production was getting the software and cobbling together our own home studio.”

“A lot of it has been a process of self-discovery,” said Beaudoin, a seasoned professional player who has worked with many kinds of bands over the years, playing everything from rock to the blues and jazz, and even some classical.

A guitar player since he was 13, the Amherstburg, Ont. native was already demonstrating rock guitar licks to his contemporaries as a professional music teacher while still in high school.

Kandola, Surrey born and raised, admits she is the less-experienced musician, having taken some piano lessons as a child, and then continuing to develop her keyboard skills and singing informally over the years.

“I first met Don through taking guitar lessons,” she noted.

However different their routes have been into music, they are firmly on the same page with their vision for Asterous — including their desire for a thoroughly-produced sound and a willingness to hold out for the right collaborators, instead of settling for compromises.

They approached Laurenne because they saw he had worked with European artists whose sound they admired, and were pleasantly surprised when he agreed to sign on for the project. He immediately understood what they were looking for, they said.

“North American music tends to go for a simpler, more organic sound,” Kandola observed.

“We also wanted to bring an interesting visual aspect to our performance,” Beaudoin said — noting the dark and dramatic imagery they have chosen for Asterous hews toward a movie super-hero aesthetic.

At present, that is being helped by the animated comic-like video for Heroes created for them by 18-year-old animator Daesha Young, whose work they discovered through Instagram.

“He knocked it out of the park, for what he was working with,” Kandola said.

Beaudoin said he was also surprised by Young’s grasp of what they were after, noting that a sequel video by Young is already in the works.

“We wanted to have as much control over the animation as possible, so we were actually story-boarding it — even though we can’t really draw. But when he sent us a rough draft in pencil he already had drawn things we were thinking of, in as many as three or four cases.”

The descriptor “cinematic” does seem appropriate for their music, with each track suggesting movie or game soundtrack potential.

“That’s what we’re aiming for — everyone says they see their own pictures when they listen to our music,” said Kandola.

“And we’re definitely trying to connect with people in that industry.”

Asterous is available on all major streaming platforms (including Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube).

For more information and updates on new releases, visit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Arts and Entertainment

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP say Gemina Mitchell (inset) was last seen on May 9, 2021. (File photo/Contributed photo)
Missing Surrey woman last seen May 9

Police are asking for help locating Gemina Mitchell

File photo
Surrey Board of Trade vows ‘a lot of noise’ will be made about tax increases

Huberman calls for comprehensive tax review at all levels of government

A butterfly takes a rest on some flowers in a hanging basket in one of three entries in the 2021 Sunshine Hills Community Group Virtual Garden Show by “flowers flowers flowers” category winner Tammy S. (Tammy S./Facebook photo)
18 winners named in North Delta virtual garden show

2021 Sunshine Hills Community Group Virtual Garden Show ran May 28 to June 4

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of June 7

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Most Read