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Fighting for Ithaca was a pop-punk band hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia. The roots of origin for the band can be traced back to mid 2007, when lead vocalist and frontman Curtis Steeksma posted an ad on Craigslist, hiring rhythm guitarist Ryan Pulfer and bassist Tommy Phoenix to the band.


Curtis Steeksma, Ryan Pulfer, Tommy Phoenix. These three individuals, upon playing together instantly recognized their passion and talent for song writing, and thus began working on songs, the first of which became an unreleased song known as "Chivalry's Dead", from the band's debut EP "Tell The Story", in a band that would soon enough become known as Fighting for Ithaca.

Soon after, the group would be joined by Damien Hendley and Patty, and production increased on an EP, which solidified the bands early rock sound, which can only be described as post-hardcore "screamo" with a blend of catchy pop, which overtime would develop and change into the band's current sound.

File:Tell the Story EP.jpg

Fighting or Ithaca's original line-up on the cover art for the "Tell The Story" EP.

The bands name, which was derived from the Greek epic "Homer's Odyssey", is a general metaphor for "Fighting for where you want to be", in this case, the individuals passion for music and being in a band, in the hopes of making fans, changing lives, and hoping along the way to meet rockstar fame.

After years of playing, and recording their EP in studio, Fighting for Ithaca would overcome many obstacles, including member changes, which included switching out Ryan and Damien with new members Kiegan and Jonny Steeksma (the brother of lead vocalist Curtis Steeksma). Then, in 2009, Fighting for Ithaca would finally begin development on their first full album, entitled "Thanks for Waiting", changing their music from their previous rock-ish screamo to a more punk-pop sound. It was also during this time, that Fighting for Ithaca was upon the lucky winners of Ernie Ball's Battle of the Band's and was given the ability to play at the Van's Warped Tour in Vancouver alongside bands such as A Day to Remember, 3OH!3, and Silverstein.

The band would then release the music video for their new song, Cause and Effect which with the powerful chemistry between the band members, and strong musicianship became their first hit song, and the pioneering ship that would usher Fighting for Ithaca into a new era.

Then, on March 6th, 2010, "Thanks for Waiting" was released to the public via iTunes and CDbaby, this album would shoot Fighting for Ithaca into success without even being signed to a major label, with fans joining by the thousands within months, Fighting for Ithaca now had a new force that would keep them going, something other than the sheer desire to make music -- the Ithacans.

Sadly, it was during this time, that Keigan would no longer be part of the band, but in a shimmer of hope, the band was joined with new drummer Phil Maloney who would spark a new light in the band and instantly strike a chord with fans with his creative humour and warm-heartedness.


Fighting for Ithaca during a promotional shoot for "Thanks for Waiting".

"Thanks For Waiting" featured the last of Fighting for Ithaca's harder music for the while, ending their "screamo" phase with opening track "Draw the Line", the album also contained a single track from the EP entitled "Chemistry", of which would gain such positive reaction from fans, that it would garner more softer and emotional tracks from Fighting for Ithaca in the future, the release also included an older rock track entitled "Cityscape", and finally, the album closed with the rock ballad of "Trial By Fire" a rewrite of an older song off the EP entitled "State of Emergency".

It was in September of 2010, that Trial By Fire would be listened to by aspiring writer Todd Dawson-Cooper, who would then scrap his current idea of a original crossover with 'Reawakening' in favor of 'Apocalypse' of which the storyline serves as a metaphor for the lyrics of the song.

From left to right: Tommy Phoenix, Adamm Strange, Todd Dawson-Cooper and Phil Maloney.

Then, in 2011, Fighting for Ithaca began a campaign to get signed to a local major Canadian record label: 604 Records. Whose signed bands included the likes of new emo-pop hit Marianas Trench, the successful post-grunge band Theory of a Deadman, up and coming pop artist Carly Rae Jepsen, and similar band Faber Drive. The campaign was to get fans to message 604's headquarters asking them to sign Fighting for Ithaca, however despite the efforts of hundreds, this got the band little of a response. That was until by mere coincidence, drummer Phil Maloney would into one of the two founders of 604: Jonathan Simkin (the other being Chad Kroeger of Nickelback fame), of which Phil handed Simkin a copy of "Thanks for Waiting", however as the band had discovered, Simkin was already familiar with the band and had played some of their music for those gathered in a 604 staff meeting, receiving a favourable response.

However, the following year just as the band was met with the long awaited response of being signed to 604, it was announced that Patty would be leaving the band to pursue his own personal dreams and "fight for where he wants to be", although the fans and the band itself were heartbroken with this news, it was with open arms that they accepted their new guitarist Adamm Strange to the band and began to prepare touring and promoting their first official full length album "To The Rescue!".

That same summer, the band would then release the music video for their new hit single off the upcoming album entitled "Last Chance", the song was an overnight success and garnered radio play across the country due to fans calling in and requesting the song. Later that year, it was announced that Fighting for Ithaca would be touring the country with Faber Drive and "The Next Star" contestant Victoria Duffield.


Fighting for Ithaca with new member Adamm Strange.

Fighting for Ithaca released the new album "To The Rescue!" on October 22nd, 2012 to critical acclaim. To The Rescue was different from it's predecessor "Thanks for Waiting" it that it was no longer a punk-pop/rock crusade and rather a more radio friendly pop album in the style of Hedley, including "Out of Time" which featured guest vocals from Dave Faber. The band then proceeded to head out on the aforementioned tour coast to coast across Canada.

Between 2013 and early 2014, Fighting for Ithaca would release two singles; "Do What You Wanna" which featured local rapper Anami Vice, and "Better Off!" a new and original breath from the band which featured more heavier pop than previously shown and the return of some punk elements that were skipped in "To The Rescue", complete with a "breakdown" halfway through the song.

In 2014, it was announced that Fighting For Ithaca would be doing a tour with fellow band The Faceplants entitled the Super Tour, however this was shortly following the departure of Adamm Strange which led to the band being stuck without another guitarist, the new guitarist Justin was finally announced to be joining the band in mid-June.

In July, it was with sad news that Phil Maloney, the bands drummer would be leaving the band to spend more time focusing on his family. Following Phil's departure from the band, Sheldon Stenning of the defunct band Sharks! On Fire! had joined as their new drummer, the group continued to play local shows until early 2015, when it was announced that Fighting For Ithaca had broken up, releasing two new studio tracks as a way of closing the book.

In the aftermath, it was announced that Sheldon and Tommy had begun a new project together entitled Air Combat (named after a popular Sharks! On Fire! single), which had taken an approach at combining the synth-heavy emo-pop of Sharks! On Fire with a post-hardcore/pop-punk sound resonant of Fighting For Ithaca's earlier works.


Final Line-up[]

  • Curtis Steeksma - Vocals (2007-2015)
  • Tommy Phoenix - Bass (2007-2015)
  • Sheldon Stenning - Drums (2014-2015)
  • Justin Mattock - Guitar (2014-2015)

Past Members[]

  • Phil Maloney- Drums (2010-2014)
  • Jon Steeksma - Guitar (2009-2014)
  • Adamm Mounstevens - Guitar (2011-2014)
  • Patty LeBreton - Guitar (2007-2011)




  • Thanks for Waiting (2010)
  • To The Rescue! (2012)

Extended Plays[]

  • Tell The Story (2008)


  • Partying with Santa (2011)
  • Last Chance (2012)
  • Do What You Wanna (feat. Anami Vice) (2013)
  • Better Off! (2014)

Music Videos[]

  • Cause and Effect (2010)
  • Partying with Santa (2011)
  • Last Chance (2012)

Appears On[]


  • 604 Records: The Second Noel

Further Reading[]