How did the band originally start out and come together?
Morgan and I have known each other for awhile. We used to play together in a band called Social Code, in Canada. We actually did our last tour with that band in Indonesia. We were shutting it down, we had been together for about ten or twelve years. This Indonesian tour was kind of our last tour. The other guys were going on to do other things, and Morgan and I still wanted to work together. So we jumped in the back of his car, and moved to Los Angeles for a couple of years. Our management is down there, we just kind of started working, writing, and producing, and out of that came this new band. It kind of happened organically, but it started a whole new thing.
I’d say that’s a very straightforward process.
Yeah! It wasn’t too complicated. It was literally just us sitting down, and we were renting this room in this house with all these chicks. It was this weird kind of college house. We were sitting in that room one night, and were just asking ourselves “What kind of band do we want to be? Do we even want to be in a band again?” We were kind of just thinking about getting into songwriting. We scratched it all out of a piece of paper. What kind of music we wanted to do, what the direction was. It was more of like, what we wanted, and not really what we thought was going to be popular. It was kind of like, “what music do we like? What kind of music are we listening to, and want to make?” We thought that doing something kind of unique with more of an experimental approach was pretty cool. All of sudden, we started releasing things, and playing shows, and people were digging it. It was good!
This is definitely one of the most interesting combinations of sounds I’ve heard in a long time. How did the initial idea come together for combining this style of house beats meets rock music?
Social Code was a rock band; it was a straight up rock band. It’s what we had done for years. We were a band that opened for pop-punk bands like Sum 41, The Used, or we played with Deftones. We played with hard rock bands, and poppier bands, so we lived in that world for awhile. Because it was Morgan and I living in Los Angeles, we literally just had like a laptop. We were just playing around with beats and playing around with that concept. We always look at music from where we’re rooted, so for us it’s that rock world, that acoustic guitar and vocal world. And our philosophy is if a song can’t sound good with an acoustic guitar and a vocal, it’s not really worth doing, you know? Because we didn’t have a bass player and drummer, we just kind of injected the electronic element into it, and after the first few songs we kind of looked at each other and said, “this is pretty rad! I really like this.” It then unlocked the door into this experimentation.
The EP you recently released is Fukushimarama! Where does the name come from?
It’s basically more of a statement on where pop culture is. Everybody’s addicted to a celebrity or that kind of fast food lifestyle in which we live. And obviously, there was the big Fukushima radiation incident in Japan, so we felt that there’s some really heavy issues going on in the world right now, but the masses are really kind of blind to it. They’re partying (laughs). Obviously it will work itself out, but there’s a lot of shit going on in the world.
I thought it would be a really interesting thing to have like a rave party at the Fukushima Power Plant and have everybody show up. (laughs) If we got David Guetta and all these people to show up, it would be this amazing party, but everybody would die of radiation poisoning. Obviously not what we want.
What was the process like for this EP coming together?
It was different in the sense that we produced it with a buddy of ours named Ari Rhodes. He works with a production team called Hands Up. They’re based out of our old town in Edmonton, Canada. Ari has been in the electronic world forever, and he knows his shit, for sure. He just wanted to be a part of it. We didn’t work in the same room, ever! Like we’d work on songs, and then we’d just Dropbox it to him, and then he’d work on something, and then send it back, and we’d just keep bouncing the songs back and forth like that until they’re done. It was really interesting because we got that third perspective on the record. It was super distant, because he was just on the outside. He was almost just listening at first, rather than in the trenches with us building the song. It was pretty sweet, I liked it! I kept thinking, “when are we getting together with Ari?” (laughs). After awhile, I realized that it was really working, It was a good approach, and I think we’d do it again!
One of the standout songs to me was “God I Hate Clubs”. Was there one particular experience for you that inspired the song, or was it just kind of the idea of that culture?
I know it’s partially just me growing up, or maybe… I don’t know. I know a number of years ago, I moved down to a busier area of town, like our hometown is kind of like the club district. We used to always go to clubs, get drunk, and go home in a cab, right? That area was just party time. But when you live down there, say it’s a Friday night and you don’t have to be drinking, and you walk to go meet someone at a bar or something. You’re there at like 11:30, and you see everybody around you completely annihilated, and you’re sober, and just like “Man, we’re animals when we drink. We turn into these primate level human beings that are just about fucking and drugs and stuff.” It’s sort of a commentary on stuff like that. But we’ve all been there. Shit, I’ve been that monkey many times, in that club., annihilated drunk. (laughs)
What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
That there’s still creative music with substance in the world.
What does music mean to you?
Freedom. (laughs) How’s that for a broad general statement? No, but it’s everything. It’s freeing. There’s no rules, and when someone puts a rule on something, it unlocks the door for someone to come in and break that rule. It’s just complete creativity and artistic expression. It’s better than anything, for me.
What are the future plans for the band? I understand that you have a tour coming up?
Yeah! We’re doing a date in Ontario, and then through all of April and May, we’re doing a tour in the US. Our plan is to tour, and then we’re going to take the summer and do some festivals, and start writing for another EP. And then in the fall, we’re planning on doing an entire tour all over again. A whole US/Canadian tour. Anybody who misses us on this one can catch us in the Fall!
This has been another shameless promotion.