Interview – Magneta Lane

With garage rock flowing through their veins, Toronto’s Magneta Lane recently caused a riot with their CD Release Party at a local hotspot. We got the chance to catch up with singer/guitarist Lexi Valentine and chat about the group’s latest release, Stevie Nicks and topping the CBC Radio 3 charts.

© Jeff Parsons

It’s a new year and Toronto’s music scene is already buzzing as there seems to be a lot more shows than usual. Do you think it’s because winter’s taking it easy on us or everyone made a resolution to rock out harder in 2010?

I have no idea. I guess it seems like we haven’t had a major wave of anything in the last five years. The people that are still on top are those who were on top then and now no one even knows if the newer acts will stick around. Maybe now everyone is fighting for the next spot of who is going to rise and change rock music again.
You just released your third studio record back in September. How pleased are you with the album after it’s been out for a few months?

Very pleased. Just glad that its finally out. The label, the fans, everyone has been super supportive and we feel good that after taking forever, everyone likes the changes and the songs. Its funny though, it feels like we’ve been playing the same songs for two years cause we’ve had them to ourselves for so long but its fun to see people singing along at the shows. It feels new again.
It was stated before, you guys revolved the record around a few personal themes. What inspired you to write about topics such as honesty, strength and heart?

Figuring out what we wanted as people. Sometimes you get lost in the mix of this undefined line of everything, be it your music, your relationships, your general direction. This was my way of figuring it out and knowing what I wanted. I wanted to find a balance between life, love and music and its hard to do that. Once you figure out what you want, the doors open and the choices become abundant and you start feeling like your true self. Not only on stage, but at home when you’re just you.

Was it hard to open up through songwriting?

Yes and no. Yes because there are so many people that will assume things and you have to deal with that, like “does that mean you were heartbroken?” or “does this mean your anti-this and that?”. That can get a little obnoxious because most of the time it doesn’t mean any of those things.

Not because I wanted people to know that even though I can be a little cheeky and brutally honest through my songwriting, I’m also human and I f*ck up and can’t take my own advice sometimes too. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know everything. But I do know who I am and that’s all I know.
What artists influenced you while tapping into such personal themes?

In the last few years, I’ve became a huge Stevie Nicks fan. The way she writes and how she’s honest and fragile in her songwriting yet has such a powerful presence has been very inspiring. There’s also a part of us that is a bit cynical and bored so we like playful influences. We get inspired by themes, cultures and colours and places rather than artists themselves.
Why did you choose to go with the title Gambling With God?

It means gambling with a higher power. Put stuff on the line and see what comes back in return. There can’t be any wins in life without some losses. We were at a point where we had to let go of a lot of things in order to move forward. We were making a lot of life changing decisions. So we picked a title and that was that.

Since you’ve been kicked out of venues for being too loud, do you think you’ll take an even heavier approach to your next record?

I don’t know. That’s funny! You’re funny. Haven’t thought that far ahead, but you’ll find out soon enough!
What do you have planned for the rest of 2010?

We are touring Ontario in March and pretty much doing all over from then on. We are planning on getting a new video done for the next single and also hitting radio too.
Raw and edgy, are you surprised “Lady Bones” grabbed the top spot on CBC Radio 3 not too long ago?

Yes! It was our first number one and we were very surprised. We’ll never forget that one.
It’s great to see a three-piece band with all-female members as it seems to be a rarity these days. Do you think the world needs more bands like yourself that have the swagger and talent of past artists like The Runaways?

Thank you, that’s really sweet of you and it’s funny because The Runaways were never an influence for us even though what they did was great. I don’t think there needs to be more of us. We like to think we’re the only ones cause we’re greedy like that!

[What do you think of this interview and Magneta Lane?]


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