TY: Thank you very much. We're super excited. It's our second album and we're starting to get a little traction on the radio with the top twenty on the alternative rock charts. That feels good.
tV: What was the inspiration for this album?
TY: I think lyrically it's not that much different from our debut album: songs about what we'd gone through as a band or individually. Our singer Jeff Kalesnikoff is the primary lyricist and song writer. He could answer this a little bit better than I could but essentially they're songs about heartbreak, loss, and all those evil vibes we've got going on. I think this album is different from the last album in that we wrote it together more as a band.
There were originally three people in the band and then I joined and a couple months later we went to the studio and recorded the debut album. A lot of those songs were written before I as in the band and came out as more of an individual effort on the part of Jeff's song writing as opposed to a collaboration of all the band members.
With this album we consciously made an effort to get everybody involved with the song writing and leverage individual skills in the band and try and come up with something a little more cohesive that felt like us. For example, I play guitar and piano and on this record I play piano on almost every song, whether that's an organ sound or a piano sound. I think that lends itself to why the album turned out a little more poppy, a little less punk. The keys kind of soften up the mood.
tV: So Collections refers to a collection of personal stories.
TY: Yes, that could be one interpretation: a Collections of memories. The idea was nostalgia and awesome times we've had on the road and in life, or awesome experiences other people have had in life. Stories about remembering those times.
tV: What do you think of the public's reception to it?
TY: It's all been incredibly positive. It's great to get such a good response. Obviously there's going to be a few negative responses here and there but when you go in to write an album you can't be worried about what people are going to think. It's great to get a great response but if the response is terrible we wouldn't pack up our guitars and go home. We would keep doing it no matter what because it's what we love to do.
tV: How do you feel about being compared to Sloan?
TY: That's actually quite amazing. On this album we feel that maybe it's somewhat warranted with the fact that we're more of a poppy band than we were on the last record. We got called the West Coast Answer to Sloan on the last record and we thought the reviewer had maybe lost their mind or hadn't listened to the record at all (laughs) but this time around...
It's awesome to be compared to one of the raddest bands to come out of Canada in the last twenty years. It definitely doesn't hurt. I actually sent an email to Sloan's management after we got a couple of those reviews saying, “hey, this is what people are saying. Maybe we should be on the road together.” So we'll see what happens there (laughs).
tV: So you haven't heard back yet?
TY: No, I haven't heard back yet. I'm not holding my breath, but there's still time (laughs).
tV: Is there a song on the album that has a particular resonance for you?
TY: I think the first single, Reaction, really resonated with us and the fans. We did a music video for the song. On the last record we got some video grant money so we made a couple of videos that were relatively high budget with the band looking like rock stars. On this record there wasn't funding. We also just wanted to do something more creative. What we ended up doing was creating a video that we uploaded to YouTube.
For Reaction we did a video that was similar to what Bob Dylan did for the song Subterranean Homesick Blues in 1969 where he's just standing there with a bunch of lyric cards as the song plays. It's just a single shot of him in black and white. He keeps dropping the cards down as the song progresses.
We did something similar except we decided to leverage all the friends we'd made over the past couple of years touring across Canada; friends in bands, radio stations, television stations. We went around to all these different people and got them to choose whatever lyrics they wanted, write them on the card, and add their own decorations. That was essentially the video.
I was the director and filmed them wherever they wanted to stand, and cut that into a video and it's done incredibly well. We released it approximately two months ago and it's already got 10,000 views. It was interesting to see, as full grown adults, the hand on the Sharpie and the opportunity to do the kind of art you would have done in grade two. It scared and intimidated some people. There were definitely some great moments and it was a lot of fun.
We got some of our good friends in there like Current Swell, Scott from The Dudes, and Shaun Verreault from Wide Mouth Mason. I was traveling in the summer and was in Toronto, New York, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. So we had people from all across the country.
tV: Where can we see you in concert in the next little while?
TY: Our next concert in Vancouver is on November 12 at the Media Club. We're playing with an Edmonton band called Ten Second Epic. They're a huge Much Music band and their videos do extremely well. We're stoked to be doing an entire tour with them across Canada for all of November.
We're also going to be playing a live acoustic set for free in the HMV on Robson Street, November 12 at 2pm. That'll be good because we haven't had a chance to play an all ages show in Vancouver since the record came out and a lot of our younger fans were messaging us saying they couldn't get in to the clubs.
It's going to be acoustic but at least maybe some of the younger fans can come hang out with us. We'll be signing CDs if they want or t-shirts, whatever they want.
tV: That's great that you're doing that for the fans.
TY: It's fun for us. We actually had a fan's mom in Victoria email me yesterday saying it was her daughter's birthday the day after our show and asked if there were any way we would possibly sign a CD and a shirt. Of course we would. If someone likes the band enough that they want my signature ruining their t-shirt, of course we're going to do it. It's a wonderful feeling to have people enjoy what you do and want to support you.