july

SERF-ING WITH JONS
June 6, 2016 11:57 am

When there’s a will, there’s a way. Jons is celebrating the May 29th release of their debut album Serfs of Today. It was recorded on iPhone, and led to the band’s signing with Solitaire Recordings. The album was so good, that Solitaire decided to release it as-is.

The Victoria (Canada, not Australia) band is also about to embark on 29-date tour, including a show supporting fellow Canadian Alex Calder. And, believe it or not, Jons is already working on a follow-up album.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS spoke with frontman Patrick Rendell on how all of this craziness came to be.

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Congratulations on your new album and your signing to Solitaire. What would you like people to know about your band?

We’ve all been living on Vancouver Island for 5 or 6 years. The band started out with Logan, David, and me making music casually and then the band was fully formed when Logan and Keenan met painting houses.

I’ve heard your album Serfs of Today was recorded on iPhone and cassette. Is that true?

Yeah, that is partly true. There was a period where we didn’t really have the means to record drums (and didn’t really know how to either) and so David would play drums on an app on his iPhone directly into the tape machine. For “Orcachief” I played floor tom and snare while David played ride symbol on his iPhone to get the effect of a full kit.

You’re getting ready for a 29-date tour around Canada. Is this your first tour of that size?

It’s been a lot of work setting up the tour and it makes it harder that we haven’t actually done this before. The longest tour we’ve done so far is to Calgary and back so this is a completely different ballgame.

What are your favorite items to pick up at Tim Horton’s to keep you going?

One good way to prepare is to abstain from Hortons’ until you leave so you have a fresh palette. Keenan’s favourite donut is the Old Fashioned.

You will also be performing a show with Alex Calder on your tour. How did you get involved with him?

Bands in Canada are very interconnected and chances are you always know someone who knows someone. In this case our friends Freak Heat Waves were already playing the show and we were going to be in Montreal at the same time. Logan’s brother also plays in Alex’s band so it just worked out.

You seem like a band that would know a lot about psychedelic music. Are there any albums you’d recommend to someone looking to expand their record collection?

Some albums we’d recommend checking out are A Lovely Sight by Pisces, God Bless Tiny Tim by Tiny Tim, Playback by The Appletree Theatre, July’s self titled album and Release of an Oath by Electric Prunes. Also [Pink Floyd album] The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Friends by The Beach Boys are staples.

Are you working on a followup for Serfs of Today?

We’ve actually been working on our followup to Serfs of Today for coming up on two years now. Dave picked up a Tascam 388 and has become really good with it so it’s a noticeable step up in fidelity. Having Keenan play on the record has been a big deal too. He didn’t play on Serfs of Today and he’s an incredible musician. His playing on the tracks has had a huge effect on our recordings. We’ve been working on it for a very long time and we’ve each grown quite a bit individually as musicians in the process.

Will you be be doing any recording with iPhones, as in Serfs of Today?

No iPhones were used in the making of the record.

I think you’re the first band I’ve interviewed from Victoria. What’s the music scene like there?

It’s really great. It’s a small city but for the size there’s tons of really great bands. Sometimes people pass it by on tour because they don’t want to make the trip to the island but there’s some very cool stuff going on here. I’d highly recommend coming here and checking it out if you get the chance.

Which venues in Victoria are your favorite for seeing live music?

Some of the classic spots to see bands play are Logan’s and the Copper Owl. There’s also a bunch of nightclubs and a thriving scene of DIY spots that are really great to play at.

Are there any local bands you feel deserve more attention?

Some bands you should check out are Privacy, Pinner, Smoke Eaters, Psychosomatic Itch and Fountain. There’s also a small local tape label called Gary Cassettes and everything they’ve put out has been really sweet.

What will you be up to after your tour?

After tour we’re gonna focus on new music. After working on the same songs for so long we’re really stoked to get started on something new.

Will you be performing at any music festivals?

We’re playing at Sled Island in Calgary but thats our only festival this summer.

Learn to Fly with Cesena, Italy
July 30, 2015 11:45 pm

Today has been a big day because the people of Cesena, Italy made an epic video for the Foo Fighters1,000 very passionate Foo Fighter fans got together and performed ‘Learn To Fly’ in hopes of getting Dave Grohl’s attention and getting the band to perform in Italy. A total of 250 singers, 350 guitarists, 150 basists and 250 drummers. Insane! You have to check out all these Italians rocking their hearts out!

 

Artist of the Month: Years & Years
July 1, 2015 1:43 pm

Years and Years will be your ultimate band crush of 2015. This British trio composed of Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworth, and Emre Turkmen have been rapidly climbing the music charts with their indie-pop sound ever since their song “Real” emerged. It’s quite hard to put a genre on them since they have hints of electronic, pop, soul, and R&B that somehow captures a wide range of young peoples attention. They’ve been given the 2015 Woodie Award for Artist to Watch and have also won BBC Sound of 2015 Award. Within the past year their careers have skyrocketed and have been on tour non-stop.

I first stumbled upon their music last fall when I was browsing through a Spotify playlist and got instantly hooked with “Real.” The more I binged on them, the more I fell in love. When I found out that their U.S. debut show was in January, I immediately jumped on it since I was dying to go to as many shows as possible during the winter season instead of being cooped up in my cozy comforter. I didn’t expect them to wow me since they were a fresh band who only had a few songs released here and there. I also didn’t know how well they would transcribe their electronic sounds in a live setting.

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Their set blew my mind. You could tell that they were genuinely nervous to play in front of an American crowd for the first time. Olly says in one Nylon interview “It’s crazy coming to a place you’ve never been to and people know your songs. I’ll never get over that.”

Years and Years performing live on stage at the 2014 Great Escape in Brighton, UK

Years and Years performing live on stage at the 2014 Great Escape in Brighton, UK

Surprisingly Olly is also a talented actor who starred in God Help The Girl, but “it’s always been the dream” (Noisey) for him to become a singer. You’d think that with such talent he’d be confident enough to flaunt his vocal chords, but he always seems to be pretty shy on stage! Their recordings are great as it is, but seeing their raw talent on stage is a whole other magical experience.

Years and Years’ music have been described as ‘dance music with heart’ which the band members seem to agree. “I’m not interested in writing songs about nothing. I’m writing personal songs, which is like therapy in a way. Those are the kind of songs I really loved when I was growing up — singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley and Bob Dylan — and I’ve always written that way. But I love dance music and I love electronic music; it really affects you physically, so I’ve found a way to marry the two. Dance music is really emotional, but it often gets used in a very banal, middle-of-the-road kind of way, and that’s a shame. I would not be making music if I couldn’t make it personal to me.” (HungerTV)

I was reluctant for their set at Rough Trade to end, since I wasn’t sure when the next time I’d be able to experience them would be. But soon enough, they came back to the U.S. in March and I had a chance to see them in Boston again. They’ve also release some new music and videos, as well as announce their debut album (finally!) which comes out on July 10th in the U.S.! “Thematically, a lot of the songs I’ve written—at least 6 or 8—are breakup songs. It’s going to be a whiny breakup album. I’m most creative when I’m feeling a bit shit and lonely. I use music as therapy. A lot of the songs come from painful rejection [laughs].” (Noisey)

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