Intense Reality

L-R: Colton Shaw, Michael Burkinshaw, Taylor Elliott, Coleson Lamb

Bio: Intense Reality was formed by Michael Burkinshaw and Taylor Elliott in 2009, when the two were 14 years old. Joined by other friends from high school, the band performed in Stettler, Red Deer, and Calgary as much as possible from 2011-2014, releasing their first album in 2014.
After taking a break for a year to focus on college and university, the band saved up to professionally record their second album, Altered States, at Transcendent Sounds in Calgary. Supported by the lead single “Break Of Dawn”, the album was released on November 25, 2016.

The band promoted Altered States with some shows in Calgary in late 2017 and early 2018, until founding member Aaron Boyd left the band in early 2019.
Michael & Taylor then recorded their 3rd album, Are We Still The Same? as a duo in summer 2019 at SoundLab Studios (now called Origin Road). They were joined by new drummer Colton Shaw in Red Deer later that year. Are We Still The Same? was released on January 3, 2020, featuring the songs “Lifeline”, “Ringtone”, and “Hold On”. The band spent 2020 & 2021 writing their fourth album, and were joined by new bassist Coleson Lamb for some live performances in the summer of 2021. The band’s upcoming studio effort will be released in 2022!

Tell us about your involvement with music? (E.g. What instrument(s) do you play, genre, etc)

Michael Burkinshaw – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Taylor Elliott – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Colton Shaw – Drums
Coleson Lamb – Bass
Intense Reality is primarily a punk rock band, but we incorporate elements of hard rock and pop punk into our sound as well. Each of our albums showcase a variety of different musical styles, while still playing to our strengths!
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?Michael & Taylor grew up in Stettler, Colton grew up in Leslieville, and Coleson grew up in Penhold. All 4 of us currently live in Red Deer!
Who’s your favourite band/artist?
Michael – Green Day
Taylor – Van Halen
Colton – Nickelback
Coleson – Steve Vai
What song best sums you up?
We feel Break Of Dawn sums up our sound the best!
What would your dream vacation be?
Michael – England, to go to the Slam Dunk Music Festival!
Taylor – Underwater, in a glass submarine
Colton – Mexico
Coleson – A week in an all-inclusive resort in Mexico
If you won the lottery and could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?
Michael – Cooking
Taylor – Cooking & doing dishes!
Colton – Maybe they could help me with business?
Coleson – Cooking
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Michael – Mac & Cheese!
Taylor – Chicken, baked potato slices & green beans
Colton – Pulled pork BBQ sandwiches
Coleson – Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Do you like or dislike surprises?
All four of us dislike surprises!
Star Wars or Star Trek?
All four of us said Star Wars! Though Taylor wanted to add that Star Trek is important too.
DC or Marvel?
Michael – Marvel
Taylor – DC
Colton – Marvel
Coleson – DC
List two pet peeves.
Michael – Judgemental people
Taylor – Being interrupted
Colton – Narcissism
Coleson – Messy people
How can we connect with you and your music (website, social media…)?

If you’d like to be featured in the Origin Road Artist Spotlight, please contact Christine at for more information. We’d love to get to know you and introduce you to the Origin Road community. You deserve to be in the spotlight!