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Deep Trouble hits the road as Shuswap band goes on tour

‘We all love music, it’s what we live for’
Canada is going to be in Deep Trouble as the local band prepares to hit the road in July, with the guys – Cole Dunham, left, Ryden Starkell, Doug Deep and Jake Shepherd – having regular jam sessions in preparation. (Deep Trouble photo)

A collaboration between four local musicians and a tech guy got them into Deep Trouble.

Local band Deep Trouble started about a year ago, during the wildfires when veteran musician Doug ‘Deep’ Milledge, who has 2o years of experience in L.A.’s soundtrack scene, met Sicamous’ Ryden Starkell who graduated from Eagle River Secondary in 2017. They collaborated on a few fire inspired tracks recorded in Milledge’s Sorrento carport, complete with the sound of water bomber helicopters in the background.

From there, Ryden recruited some school friends to come jam with them in January, and the group instantly knew they were on to something and stared work on recording four album’s worth of original songs that Milledge had written over the years.

Deep Trouble now features Milledge on “slick guitar” and lead vocals, Cole Dunham on “killer guitar,” Jake Shepherd playing bass, Ryden on drums and tech/media guy Brad Norrish who said “I play the camera.” The final member of the group is the half cattle dog, half dachshund Bonnie who protects Milledge’s Sorrento recording studio and now “loves the camera, loves the attention,” after featuring in at least one video.

The band’s mutual love of music has bridged age gaps and combined various genres to create a unique style of rock fusion. The band feels they’re better for those different influences.

“We definitely don’t have a specific genre per se,” Starkell said. “We’re very free and willing to just experiment.”

For example, Milledge said they might start with a disco beat, then put a country riff on top. So while not trying specifically to sound country or goth rock, listeners might hear a both influences in one song. He added the band is creating a new genre they’ve dubbed “pisco,” a blend of punk and disco.

“We have a style. We do, it’s just very amorphous as to what that style is,” Dunham added. “It’s Deep Trouble.”

Asked where the name came from, Milledge said it’s partially been following him for a quite a some time.

“I’ve kind of had this moniker of ‘Deep’ for a long time, I’ve always written songs that people are always bugging me that they’re so deep,” he explained. “But these guys are really the Trouble part; they represent the chaos that goes with a good song.”

This summer, all of Canada will be in Deep Trouble as the band embarks on a cross-country tour. They’re currently outfitting their motorhome/bus with all the comforts of home, and working on getting the four albums at least partially finished.

“By July 1 we’ll have two albums released and we’ll be ready for the road,” said Milledge.

Of getting to this point in their careers, the Sicamous boys credit Jonathan Pickup, the recently retired music teacher from Eagle River Secondary.

“He was a very heavy inspiration for all of us; he made the music department what it was,” said Dunham.

“He was legendary,” added Norrish.

Helping keep that legend alive, the band will continue to record and play local gigs, including Chances Casino and the Salmon Arm Demolition Derby, before hitting the road and living the dream.

“It ultimately just comes down to passion,” Dunham summarized. “We all love music, it’s what we live for.

The band’s music is available on all major streaming sites, including YouTube, Spotify and TikTok, as well as their website at

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About the Author: Heather Black

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