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Music

Current Swell - Interview

Posted by Jer / January 27, 2012

Current SwellWest-coasters Current Swell are not new to Montreal and this time they bring with them British-born Parisian Charlie Winston. Special contributor Shannon Heather caught up with Current Swell's Scott Stanton and David Lang on the road to talk about their new album, the tour and their growth as a band. She also tips us off to how you can win tickets to their show tonight at Theatre Corona.

MP: Long Time Ago is a strong shift from, say, Trust Us Now. In what ways have you grown musically from your old stuff to your new stuff, and what part of it is due to working with Todd Simko (producer of Xavier Rudd's Food In The Belly)?

CS: It has been over five years since we have started making music and I think the change comes from evolving and growing as an artist. I'm glad we are changing and growing trying new things along the way. I find it hard to stay interested in a group or artist when they keep doing the same thing. We worked with Todd on our last record, Protect Your Own, and we felt a strong sense of unity. We were always on the same page so we invited him back to help out on Long Time Ago.

One of your early songs, "Short Stories," details how you prefer to tell stories rather than write about real-life events, emotions, or people. Are there any exceptions to this premise in your song history (aside from the obvious exception of "Brad's Song")?

This was one of our first songs... In fact the first song on our first record. We used to be different people and had different priorities. So I Say was an album based on what was happening in our lives. "Short Stories" was a brief song about how we didn't want to write about love and depression like most cliche songs heard in popular music. We wanted to write a story of our own and tag it with a chorus saying we won't take the cliche way out. We have definitely contradicted ourselves since 2005's So I Say.... We have found our own stories to write about; lost great friends and found great love. Its something we laugh about now.

"Brad's Song" is not your typical homage. Did you worry that those close to him might be offended by such an honest portrayal of both his ups and downs?

It's a song that we have sang with his family and they all understand what it's about. I have heard other people interpret it as derogative towards Brad but it's a simple observation of one aspect of his personality for the chorus. He was a well spoken man who influenced many parts of our lives, especially when he was in a wheelchair for a few years and we spent many long hours talking about life. It's hard to explain but it's meant to be a compliment towards him as a influential person who we all respected. We will miss him very much now that he's gone so "Brad's Song" lets us remember him and tell people about him every day.

What's the next music video?

Our next music video is "Too Cold" which is our first single off our new album. We are very excited because it is going to be released next week so check our our website.

MP: What's it like touring with Charlie Winston? Do any tales from the road come to mind?

So far it has been an absolute blast. All the guys in the band and crew are extremely talented and friendly. We are constantly learning from them and that's one of the thing that we really wanted to take away from this tour. There have been some late nights and I'm sure deep talks and great stories that we have shared with Charlie and the guys but my memory is much too foggy, haha. I have really enjoyed talking about the music we both share an interest for.

What's a tour ritual you take part in?

a. Good coffee
b. Finding the hidden gem place to eat
c. Good local beer, if any
d. Learning and checking out the city as much as we can

Coming from the West, what stands out to you about touring in Eastern Canada?

French-speaking is a big difference because not many people know French out West, and we have little or no French in our lives. We love that about Quebec. The architecture is pretty cool in places like Quebec City and Montreal and there is a real nice energy about the people around Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec. We are on the same wavelength most times so it seems like home almost. The driving is much easier, as when we leave the Vancouver area to tour we always hit the Rocky Mountains and they are a challenge to drive through - especially in the winter.

Based on previous trips to Montreal and how this tour has been going, what can the audience expect this weekend at Corona?

We have been doing a shorter set for this tour as we're openers. People can expect a nice selection of our favourite songs that we love to play in theatre settings. Most people on this tour are saying to us that we have left a great first impression on them and that they were not quite expecting it. We take it as a compliment, although our fans that know us are just glad to see us in such nice venues like the Corona. We feel so lucky to play in beautiful rooms like that.

What has been the biggest change for you since winning The PEAK Performance Project?

Besides some extra attention there hasn't been any huge changes. We have been touring a lot and will continue to do that. We have always done what we have wanted to do as artists and we feel that is important. The future will be interesting. Lots of travel and lots of new places to see!

!!!Win a pair of tickets to see Current Swell and Charlie Winston at The Corona Theatre on Friday Jan 27th. To enter simply go to www.currentswell.com/montrealcorona and follow the instructions.!!!

Current Swell w Charlie Winston
Sat. Jan. 27 and Jan. 28
@ Theatre Corona

Photo of Scott Stanton and Ghosty Boy during their last Montreal show at Le Divan Orange in November, 2011 by Shannon Heather.

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