Its always good to be back and the at the moment, the Newmarket indie rockers know that feeling too well. While in the midst of touring, vocalist/bassist Dave Monks opened up about the group’s latest album Champ, penning lyrics and how it feels to be playing gigs once again.
How does it feel to be back in the music world with a new record armed at your side?
It feels amazing. We were off the radar a bit as we had to be to make a new record, but it feels good to be back.
Has your lifestyle changed compared to when you were playing gigs like Edgefest in 2006?
Wow, 2006 was a long time ago. It has changed but its not like its glamorous or anything like that now. Its just a lot more comfortable and things aren’t crazy. Traveling is different as its not like we have to play one show and then hit the road straight to London to play another. Its more relaxed and the time we spend touring is just a big part of our lives now.
Speaking of shows, you’ll be playing Molson Amphitheatre tomorrow night. How excited are you to share the same stage with the likes of The Flaming Lips and Spoon?
We are excited for sure. Its definitely a pleasure to play with groups like that, especially Spoon. We’re fans of them, but not because of The O.C. or anything (laughs).
Following that date and a few festivals, it seems like you’ll be on the road until Christmas.
Yeah, but we don’t kill ourselves over touring. The time we have between shows is enough for us to relax, sleep and hang out as a band. We have a bus now so being on the road is a lot easier and everything seems fresh as we’ve been away for a while.
Do you guys plan to play Toronto again this year?
I don’t think we’ll have time with all the dates going on the next few months. We will probably come back in the Spring.
In regards to your latest album, how much confidence has Champ given you to handle the increase in attention from the media?
Its given us a lot. We’re proud of the record because when we were making it, we knew it was just right. We weren’t worried about what others were going to think. Like it takes certain steps to be a professional and we learned a lot while recording this album.
What would you say Champ is about?
Its about a lot of different things. Mainly, its about life stuff because the songs channel more personal experiences than our old releases.
How did you write most of the new tracks?
None of the songs were really written the same. Like I actually wrote “Breakneck Speed” on the piano and when we played it as a band it just came out like that. “Wait Up (Boots Of Danger)” was actually made up of a lot of different parts as well. The songwriting seemed a lot easier this time because if we working on a song and it was taking a long time, we would scrap it and move on to the next one. Writing Elephant Shell was hard and this time we just thought about it less and let the music come out on its own.
Listeners are saying the new tracks seem a bit more melancholic than your old material. What would you say is the main influence for that vibe that’s being given off?
I actually think they’re a lot happier. Some of the songs are a bit down but most of it isn’t really melancholic. Its not like “Favourite Colour” came out on a happy day and another song came out on a bad day. The feelings just came out that way because music works that way.
Why do you think people feel comfortable expressing their emotions through lyrics?
That’s kind of a loaded question. Some do feel comfortable and then a lot of people don’t feel comfortable at all. When you’re writing music you’re not really aware of emotion. We didn’t decide we have to write a sad song and then write another song a certain way. We wrote music we thought sounded cool and most of it came from us showing each other ideas and jamming. When you’re jamming you’re not really thinking about emotions you want to display.
So you just went with the flow while writing this time around?
Yeah, we had a lot of fun putting together Champ. Mainly because we didn’t try to control emotions and force songs to be a certain way. We just created the songs we did and that’s why music is great a thing.
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