The tale of jam band 171 is a new twist on a deeply rooted foundation of talent. Started as a studio project in a suburban garage in December of 2015, the eclectic group of players had no idea the level of funk they were about to unleash. In the summer of 2015, founding member multi instrumentalist/ record producer/ singer songwriter, Derek Lathrop, was winding up the construction of his house, complete with a home studio christened “The Garage on Troy” and looking for a new musical enterprise. Derek has a deep rooted history in the Canadian music scene with his solo project ADAMS RIB, which has had several chart topping singles, along with the many artists he has produced and engineered records for over the years. Having worked with some of the GTA’s finest musicians, Lathrop knew that with the right blend he could form a band that could propel music to next level. The first recruit was Scarborough native and proud Newfoundlander , Mike Thorne, drum virtuoso, musical collaborator and long-time friend of Lathrop. Thorne’s claim to fame as the new drummer with Canadian Prog Rock legend SAGA, and numerous other rock bands made certain that 171 would be grounded with heavy beats. A native of France, Bassist Dave Buland was next to enlist in the project. Buland spent a number of years touring Europe with Ska Band STEVE AUSTIN. When he landed in Canada in 2000 Dave hooked up with Lathrop’s solo project ADAMS RIB. Buland’s multi-stylistic approach, adept in rock, jazz, funk and reggae ensured active base lines and tasteful groove. Joining 171 after working with Toronto’s experimental band FAT AS FUCK, keyboardist Steve Lavery, adds a flourish to the project with both his ability to swing the ivories under lightening hands, and in his colourful onstage antics and showmanship. The youngest member of the band, in age but not chops, is sax man Derek Serbin. Lathrop responded to Serbin’s Craigslist post looking for a high caliber jam band in the Toronto area. The two met up to jam some tunes, Serbin affirmed himself a skilled saxophone player with a cool, refreshing sound, and a music match was forged. Founder of 171, seasoned musician and ADAM’S RIB front man, Lathrop epitomizes a musical playbook that is as varied as the band that he had assembled. Born in Chile, Lathrop has deep roots in the Latin Music scene. Years of touring the Caribbean with his Indie Band ADAMS RIB merged Lathrop’s Latin background with a new found appreciation of Reggae. Couple that with a youth’s obsession with Rock and Roll and top it off with the desire to funk-i-fy the shit out of everything and you’ve got Derek Lathrop in a nutshell. With the 171 line up finalized the group was ready to begin writing and recording sessions.
The initial sessions at The Garage on Troy were intended as writing sessions to marry a variety of ideas, experience and musical backgrounds. On Sunday afternoons the five met to jam on serendipitous ideas, forming the basis from which they would fine tune the best ideas to create complete songs. With creative juices flowing and the boys cut 30 rough song ideas in the first three Sundays live off the floor. They sat down as a collective and picked the best ideas to finalize what would become the first official recording. Listening to the organic vibes that had emerged from only three short sessions, the guys knew that this was more than just a studio project. They had become a proper band that needed to play live. When something jives this well it has to get out there! With a now completed record, 171, the address of the house studio in which it was created, has plans to take it on the road with both local venues and tour dates in the works. The band had their debut show at Door 55, a hip Speakeasy bar in Port Credit in May of 2016 and has been wowing audiences ever since. Watch for upcoming shows, live dates will be posted to the website.