Glasswerk recently mentioned a great band to be hitting UK shores The Coast and we have been very lucky to catch up with them recently:
Thank you The Coast for speaking to Glasswerk:
So, who's in the band?
Ben Spurr (that’s me) is the singer and guitarist, Ian Fosbery is also guitar. Luke Melchiorre plays bass and his brother Jordan plays drums.
Tell us a bit about how you formed/first started out….a mutual friendship or responding to ads?
Luke and I met when we were five, and Luke met his brother when he was younger. Ian was Jordan’s best friend. We started playing together in high school.
How has the place where you’re from shaped your inspiration for crafting your songs?
I don’t know, it’s hard to say. There’s lots of great bands in Toronto and I think that’s pushed us to be better. There’s a very positive attitude about music too and I think that’s pushed us to be a bit more accessible, to write songs that aren’t too weighty or morose.
Some have compared you to a new sort of Arcade Fire…..any likeness do you think? Are you fans of Arcade Fire?
Of course we are huge fans of Arcade Fire. I don’t really see the comparison myself, I mean they have like 10 people on stage at any given time. I think it has to do with the fact that we’re both from Canada, but maybe there has been some influence there. Of course we’ll take it, it’s a very flattering comparison.
Who are the bands you listened to growing up that have inspired you or your writing?
We were big fans of Paul Simon when we were younger. Anyone who hasn’t heard his album Rhythm of the Saints should check it out. We also got into New Order when we were 15 or so and that was a big deal. There’s still a part of me that would love to write a song like Temptation. You know, cyclical. Luke got very much
Is the band's name with reference to any particular place, is there any meaning behind it?
It is the name of a Paul Simon song off the aforementioned Rhythm of the Saints album.
Recording wise what was your first kind of demo (before killing off our friends)? What was it called and how did you start to get attention…through local gigs or demos?
We recorded an EP a little informally a few years ago, but I think it was mainly something we sold at shows (it was called Take a Walk Outside). We just played as much as we could around Toronto and I think that’s how people noticed us.
Your first EP that started getting people to hear about you in the UK was 'Killing Off Our Friends' how did you come up with the ideas for it, any personal ties with it?
Well the song Killing Off Our Friends came from a couple of places. We were on tour out in Western Canada and we had a day to kill so we went to Value Village, which is this vintage clothing store chain that is all over the country. I found this book called “How they Died” which was just this encyclopedia basically of how famous people all through the ages had died. I think I was feeling morbid at the time and this book was so absurd I thought it was really funny. So some of the lyrics about being exiled or dying in the middle of the night are just taken from that book. The title though, came from this friend of ours named Lindsay who lives outside Toronto, and she’ll call us up every once and a while and say strange or funny or amazing things into the phone, and we just kind of listen. They are usually one way conversations but to me it’s kind of like having a direct line to another dimension or something, she’s a very strange girl. Anyway she was talking to Luke one day and said something about killing off our friends, and he started singing that line over the chorus music one day.
Now your debut album 'Expatriate' is due out February 9th in the UK on Canadian label Aporia Records….tell us theme behind the album are they all new tracks, tracks you've built up?
Some of the tracks on the EP came from the album. The album has already come out here in Canada. We wrote it while we were spending a lot of time touring, so a lot of the songs are sort of about living far from home, hence the title.
Listening to some of the tracks of the album it’s sure you’re primed to take off….. the diverse mix of melodic Arcade Fire and Smiths meanings is there for all to see, are there any particular artists that you drew inspiration for this record?? 'Play me The Apostle' is just superb, almost like Ocean Colour Scene in their slow songs. Was there an aim to make the music so fantastically drifty and sun kissed?
I think we were trying to make an album that was not overly weighty. If you listen to some of the lyrics there are lots of kind of dark themes I think, but even a song like Killing Off Our Friends, which is about separation and dying, sounds very happy and is really fun to play. I think that’s a way to exercise those bad feelings.
Play Me the Apostle is actually my awkward attempt to write a kind of country ballad, but I don’t think it really came out that way. To me it’s still kind of a sad song but we added some keyboards and sounds to lift it up a bit.
As you head out on tour have there been any favourite places you've played? any favourite venues?
We played in Chicago the day before Obama got elected, and that was great. There’s a venue there called Schuba’s that is somewhat legendary and we’ve been fortunate to play it a couple of times. We played this really bizarre place in Copenhagen, there’s this sector of the city that’s decided it wants nothing to do with the rest of Europe, it’s called Christiana. The government doesn’t run it, the police aren’t allowed in, and it’s just full of hippies and families and drugs. We were told though that if anyone’s caught with hard drugs, they’re thrown out. Everyone has to pitch in and work for the community too, or they get kicked out. It was really a strange place, we felt we’d fallen off the map.
Best band you've played with so far? Who would you like to play with?
We’ve played with some great bands, like the Born Ruffians and Tokyo Police Club. I would love to play with Wolf Parade, or the Walkmen, both of whom I’ve been listening to a lot lately.
Finally would like to say thank you for taking the time to speak to glasswerk we can’t wait to come catch you live!
check out link for tour dates!!!