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The Cheap Speakers to bring explosive rock n' roll to Montreal tomorrow night

Posted by Greg / September 20, 2013

20130920-CheapSpeakers.jpgOne night about a year and a half ago, the bar and concert venue Jacky & Judy (NEVER FORGET) held a party a few nights before their official grand opening. The whole evening had a bit of a "kids taking over the house" vibe, with workers, performers, and attendees alike running around and exploring all the weird little spaces in the recently-rennovated and rebranded venue. As DJ for the night, I was excited to fill the place with sound for one of the first times, and imagine the packed parties that would come in the future. All of this hit its peak when The Cheap Speakers played a set of blistering, explosive rock n' roll, with the fury of The Who and the sludge of The Velvet Underground. We all left feeling like we'd experienced something really special - like we were in on a secret that was going to blow away the town.

Everyone can experience some of that magic when The Cheap Speakers play at Bistro de Paris this Saturday, September 21st. I recently caught up with the band and and asked about everything from guitar amps to The Who to Toronto's indie scene. Watch the video for "She Has A System" and read my interview with the band below.

You recorded Switches & Levers after playing live for a long time. How did live performance instruct the album's songs?

In terms of production, it kept our focus on making a record that still sounds like something a band could play live, no matter how many layers or overdubs.

You list a wide (but oddly coherent) group of influences. Who would you say is the greatest influence on your songwriting right now? Has this changed over time?

Brennan usually comes from a Pete Townshend and early Beatles sort of place, but mid-seventies Bowie has been creeping in. He admits to being stuck in the past, but hey, the classics are the classics.

What are the band's favourite guitar amps? Do they actually have cheap speakers in them?

We're all huge fans of Traynor gear. Tim adores and uses vintage Garnet gear, straight outta Winnipeg, but just put new Jensens in his cabinet. Brennan's go-to Hartke bass rig actually has titanium in it, so not cheap at all.

What's your favourite venue in Montreal? How about in Toronto?

Jackie and Judy was an amazing space, hopefully it comes back. Grumpy's is super friendly. In Toronto, not much beats the Horseshoe Tavern, but Rancho Relaxo remains near and dear to us. Too many bands seem to forget cutting their teeth on that stage.

What are the biggest differences between the cities' two scenes?

It's hard to compare. But venues during Pop Montreal seem further-flung than those on Toronto's Queen and College strips during NXNE or CMW.

Can you recommend any Toronto bands that readers should check out?

Papermaps are incredible and have a new LP coming soon. Our pals PUP are blowing up right now, so much energy. Nat's been into Dream Jefferson lately, in terms of local hip-hop. Chang-a-Lang was always great, but sadly play their last show with us in Toronto Oct. 19th. Dilly Dally, Seraphic Lights, and Champion Lover also come to mind.

What's coming up next for the band?

A big van, some Halifax donair, and a bunch of shows with east coast friends. Then we'll be looking to record some new stuff and songs that weren't quite right for Switches & Levers.

Bistro de Paris is located at 4536 St. Denis
The show also features The Bawdy Electric and a special surprise guest

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