There is a certain thrill finding a prog
band in your own backyard. I got that thrill
when I heard the music of We Are The City.
The music found on their first disc In a Quiet World is,
I think, pretty special.
Here's a few thoughts from the band.
JL: What is it about the water in
Andrew Huculiak: Some would say that it’s
the scales from the mystical beast Ogopogo. We would say
JL: I’m quite familiar with Bend Sinister who I believe
were originally from
AH: We haven’t really
thought about living anywhere. We technically live in
JL: I know that your bio is on the website…but perhaps you can give us the 50-cent tour in your own words?
Cayne McKenzie: “We Are The City has piano and guitar and drums. And best friends. We love – uh – we love playing music and doing experiments with music. We love people and really respect the earth.” There you go.
JL: The first track I heard from you was “There are Very Tiny Beasts in the Ground” and I thought hold on…that sounds really cool and quite proggy. Give us an idea of your musical inspiration.
AH: We like a lot of music. Our musical inspiration is always changing, along with the style of songs we write. I’m sure we grab some ideas from the bands that we listen to, but we really try to come up with something truly unique and our own, which is why it sometimes takes a long time to write new material.
JL: I notice that you mention Mew in your bio…I have their last two albums, but not many people know about them. How did they figure into your world of music?
AH: I know, hey?! I first heard them when I was in
grade nine and fell in love with it immediately and they’ve always been one of my favourite bands. I thought they were, like, a really
well-known band but I’ve just recently come to terms with the fact that not a lot of people have heard of them. I saw them in
JL: Was there a significant “prog” moment in your early days when you said to yourselves let’s make music like that?
AH: Not at all. We never actually made any attempt in the early days to make a certain type of music. It’s always been just whatever comes out, which is really exciting for us.
JL: It should be said that none of your compositions are overly long and yet you manage to pack a lot of musicality into them. Is there a typical creation process for your music?
AH: We don’t usually think in terms of “verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus” but more in terms of “what would be cool here?” so our songs turn out more like a bunch of parts put together. Few parts repeat. We just want to keep it interesting, you know?
JL: How is it you make such interesting musical creations? What comes first the music or the words?
AH: It’s always different. Sometimes they come together in a package, sometimes the music is first and we have to work words into it somehow, and sometimes we really try to work words into it but it doesn’t work so we just give up and leave it out. Most times it’s quite hard to write music, because we three write mostly together, and that takes a long time but it turns out to be more rewarding in the end because all three of us individually have an emotional stake in the song.
JL: I notice you’ve got a pretty healthy touring schedule. Is the band a full-time money paying gig?
AH: Not yet. We’re just super in love with playing and with meeting new people and making friends. That’s good enough for us.
JL: As a trio how well are you able to translate your music in the live environment? Because it’s a pretty big sound at times.
AH: Because we don’t have a bass player (and there are only three of us), we work really hard to fill in any gaps that might be there when we’re on stage. It’s in the back of our minds.
JL: What kind of reaction are you getting when you perform live?
AH: Things have been good, it’s really nice to hear people say encouraging things.
JL: I would imagine a lot of your work is currently about promoting the band and the new CD…what’s in the band’s future? Where would you like to see this go?
AH: The plan is just to keep going. Loads of touring, new album eventually…we just really love what we’re doing. And that’s the truth.
JL: Lastly then…if you were stuck on a dessert island tell me what five CD’s you’d like to have with you and why those particular ones?
AH: So the three of us are stranded on an island and we have internet access for a few minutes to ONLY order five albums. These are the albums we’d get (in no particular order):
1. Radiohead - “OK Computer”
2. Coldplay - “A Rush Of Blood To The Head”
3. mewithoutYou - “Brother, Sister”
4. Aidan Knight - “Versicolour”
5. Norah Jones - “Come Away With Me”