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CTZNSHP talk new album and tour in 2013

Posted by Greg / February 25, 2013

20130225-CTZNSHP.jpgMontreal three-piece haze rock outfit CTZNSHP recently finished recording their debut full-length LP, Doom Love, and are getting ready for big shows at North by Northeast and in the States. Their album has been a long time coming, always a project in the background while they won over the Montreal scene with their live performances. Recently I spoke with lead singer and bassist Jesse LeGallais about the writing process, recording the album, touring, and all the great Montreal albums coming out this year.

Where did you record Doom Love? With whom?

We recorded all the guitars, bass, drums with Martin Horn both at his studio (Digital Bird) and at The Pines. Martin is wonderful to work with and an incredible engineer. Then we took the tracks to Spider Cat House, which is a small home studio run by Natasha Desmarais and Alec "Orson Presence" Dippie from the legendary British post punk group The Monochrome Set. They have been working with and supporting Valleys, Skip Jensen, ourselves, and many more for years! Alec always mixes and co-produces our stuff. He is pretty much the 4th member of our band.

Since you released your demos online a couple years ago, has anything
changed about your songwriting?

The songwriting hasn't changed too much. We don't really have a set formula on how we go about it. Sometimes I'll bring in songs, sometimes Scott will play something off the cuff that Florent and I love right away and other times we just set up a 4-track and play for a couple hours then take it home and listen. That is my favourite way to work, I think. We go home, have a few drinks, and listen to our practice. Most of it's not great, but every once in a while we all get really psyched on an idea that none of us even remember playing. That can be really exciting because it feels effortless and natural, two things we are striving for in our music.

Have you found that the three of you play differently than you did earlier on?

We played everything a lot faster at the start, more ragged, less together. I think our live performances will always have a bit of the "train going off the rails" feel to them; it's a part of what I think makes this band exciting to see live. We really put everything we got into every show. On the other hand, we have gotten a lot better at playing together. We have always been big fans of bands like Phoenix, Pulp, The Chromatics and those influences have always been there in our music. The better we get the more they can come out. I think at the start the spector of "cool" was always looming, at least for me. It feels more and more like rock bands and drummers are antiquated ideas and for a while I was afraid to be in the type of band that I had always wanted to be in (if that makes any sense). Now we don't care anymore. We are going to make fuzzy, epic, sad, hypnotic and loud rock music because that's what we love and that's what we do best.

Do you have any release plans for the album? Any idea when I can get a
physical copy?

I can burn you a C.D if you like? We are shopping the record around, waiting to see what happens. We set our goals high. I have been told that I am an idealist and a dreamer (I don't think it was meant as a compliment). Anyway, There seems to be interest from some people who we would be really excited to work with. It's kind of nerve racking right now but we will see what happens.

What's next? Are you touring?

NXNE has invited us to be a spotlight Artist and booked us for several shows at the festival this year which is awesome. Looks like we are aiming to head down to L.A. this spring, then New York. Also we are looking at the best way to hit mainland Europe this summer/fall as people over there have been responding really positively to the record.

Are you still writing? Or have your writing efforts gone mainly into the album?

We have starting writing new material again and also exploring a few older songs that didn't fit on our first record but were really good. After Tuesday's show we are gonna spend the rest of March writing as much as possible. All three of us really like moving forward and working on new things. We tend to start to hate our own songs if we get stuck on them for too long!

What are you listening to these days? Anything you want to recommend to readers?

hmm... I can't stop listening to that Rhye song "The Fall". A lot of The Chromatics. The new MBV is really really good. Pure X is perfect for slow long winter nights. I am always listening to The Silver Jews. The new Valleys record which is about to be released is heartbreaking and amazing!!!

It is insane how many good records are coming out of Montreal right now: The Luyas, SUUNS, UN, No Joy, Valleys. It's really kind of special.

Preview tracks from the album:

CTZNSHP open for Beach Fossils and Alex Calder on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Il Motore

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