Recent posts: NewMusic Ten Interview
Andrew Penner and Michael “Rosie” Rosenthal of Sunparlour Players took some time out to answer questions about touring, their new album, The Living Proof, and more. Adelaide Hall will play host to Sunparlour Players on May 24th for their Toronto album release. This show will be the first time The Living Proof will be performed live in Toronto, you don’t want to miss it.
How is your Canadian tour going so far?
Andew: It’s going great! We just finished the Western leg of the tour, it’s been amazing.
Where is your favourite place to play?
Andrew: I don’t know, what do you think Rosie?
Rosie: That’s a tough one; we have around 40 or something.
Andrew: We have a lot of special pockets. If we single one out we’ll get beat up.
What is the best part about being on tour?
Andrew: It’s always the people. The travelling is great, it doesn’t really get old but, the things you remember are the people. We’ve been lucky that we have a lot of connections in each town across Canada. I wouldn’t say it is like a homecoming but it’s a fun time to touch base with people all over the country that we have a history with now.
Do you have a favourite city you always like to play?
Rosie: hmm, that’s tough. I’m not singling anyone out but Andrew can take that one!
Andrew: Not really, for me, my favourite part is the opposite of what you’re asking. It is the variety that has become my favourite part. We don’t play rock clubs every night, we don’t play a certain kind of thing every night, we switch it up. It is definitely my favourite thing that it is a variety each time.
Speaking of variety…do you stick to a standard set list?
Rosie: We switch it up a bit. It depends on the venue we’re playing. We’ll switch up what we do depending on the crowd.
Can we expect surprises for your Toronto show on May 24?
Andrew: Lots of them! They’re called surprises though; people will have to come see. There’s going to be lots of fun stuff. We haven’t played any of these songs live in Toronto before, so I think that’s a check in the surprise column.
Any plans set for after the Canadian tour?
Andrew: Right now we are aiming for Europe.
Rosie: We’re going to be at festivals in the summer time and things like that.
What is your creative process like?
Andrew: The short answer is: when we get together in the room and come up with the sound. The sound is what happens when the two of us get together. The way it often starts, not every time, I’ll come up with the lyrics and melodies and general ideas and then Rosie and I will get together and we’ll form what is the song and what is the sound of the band. It’s different for every album and every song.
How did you choose the title for your album The Living Proof?
Andrew: It’s one of those old fashioned “take part of the lyrics from a song” thing. I was like “Hey Rosie, what do you think about this?” we thought it was pretty strange at first which usually means we like it to some degree.
If we don’t say yes or no it usually means we’re on to something. I just picked it out of the lyrics one day, fom the song called “By Your Side” on the record. All the songs and the subject matter all involve living something in the present tense, not about doing something in the past tense.
Rosie: It came to that place where we suddenly thought, I think this might be right, and it gets quickly to the point where it can’t be called anything else. You can’t change it; it feels right and its over. It is sudden.
I lend you the NewMusic Ten time machine so you can travel back in time to see any musician/band perform, who would you see?
Rosie: Spike Jones and his crazy, whaky, orchestra, whatever they’re called, when they had their heyday, which I think was around 1930. I have a video and it’s an unbelievable thing. He shoots pistols and stuff musically, it’s insane. Spike Jones and his orchestra, that’s where I’d go.
Andrew: I’d have to go with the first time that Motown toured Europe. It was called the Motor Town Review and they toured a couple different cities in Europe and nothing like that had ever been there before. I’d want to go to Berlin or something and watch these Motown people for the first time and see what that felt like, in an audience/performer kind of relationship. Also, it would be watching Marvin Gaye and little Stevie Wonder.
Rosie: It is Spike Jones and the City Slikers, I just remembered. That’s a good name.
Combining my love of music, night owl status, and embarrassing dance moves to write new and creative music news, reviews, interviews, and more!
I sat down with Clay Puddester (guitarist, composer, Renaissance man) of Young Doctors In Love to get the scoop on what the band has been up to and what they’re planning for the future. Clay is just one band member in this funky six piece. Alongside Clay, Pete Gorman plays the keys, Chris Hudson keeps the beat on drums, Jon Marck is on the bass, Amanda Li rocks the sassy back up vocals, and Katie Pearson brings it home as lead vocalist. You don’t want to miss their album release party May 30 at the Garrison, a NOW Magazine Critic’s Pick.
Clay: When I finished my masters at U of T I was at a point where I could either go into classical composition or kind of go back to where I was before I took my masters, I was more into rock. I think I’m focusing on pop now because one of the great things about music is that it makes connections; like connections to other people, connections to certain times in your life, connections to things within oneself; and I feel like I can do that more of that with pop than I could in classical music.
How did you come up with the name Young Doctors In Love?
Clay: We were just brainstorming band names and we liked it because it was fun, and it had “love” in the title. I feel like it combines the scientific and emotional, and that’s what we’re trying to do. Not that music is scientific, but there is a technical aspect to it.
Do you still compose classical music?
Clay: I haven’t really. I’m writing the songs for the next album now, and in one of the songs I want to include a fugue. It’s like a round, but the lines don’t repeat as much.
Who are your main influences?
Clay: For this album I wanted it to be like something between The Beach Boys and The Clash. High-energy music with harmonies and interesting chords. There’s a lot of garage rock in there as well, like all the “hey hey hey’s” in 10:35 (LINK) that’s coming from songs like “Double Shot of my Baby’s Love,” and “Farmer John,” it’s like they recorded the song in the studio with a bunch of people making noise and shouting in the background.
What is your creative process like?
Clay: I write them all, and arrange them all. I have a couple different ways of writing, the most basic way is to sit down with my guitar and start humming along. I use dummy lyrics starting out. Sometimes I can write the music and the lyrics all at once, that’s the best because most of the work is already done immediately. The main thing is the vocal and melody line. I record my mumblings and leave it for a few days and then I’ll go back and listen to them. When I decide it’s going to be a band song I put it into Sibelius, a music notation program, that’s when I write out all the parts, then I try to finish the lyrics. I always try to write the chorus first because it is the most important thing. If you have a good chorus the song is going to be good, a great chorus and okay verse is still a great song.
What are your rehearsals like?
Clay: We have two different kinds of rehearsals. One is the whole band in the rehearsal space and the other is one on one at my house, those are usually just Katie and Amanda and I. That’s when we work on the vocals, it takes them longer to learn the song with the lyrics than it does for the rest of the band. When we learn a new song Katie and Amanda have basically already learned the song at my house so we get together with the full band, who have the sheet music, and we can play through a song the first time.
What is the recording process like?
Clay: When we recorded the album we recorded so much stuff, lots of overdubs and layering of different harmony parts and multiple keyboard parts. It wasn’t all done live.
How long did it take to record the album?
Clay: We started recording it in August 2011. It took a long time to record. We ran into a few problems. “Our drummer Chris had to leave the country for a few months, I broke my collarbone. We redid some things because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. 10:35, now sounds like a party and loud and boisterous, but it didn’t sound like that at first. I had this idea in my head of what it’s supposed to sound like and it wasn’t there so we had to re-record and add some things to give it the energy it has now.“
Do you have any tour plans?
Clay: We’re working on an East Coast tour for the summer, and we want to play around Ontario a bit more as well.
If Young Doctors in Love could perform with any musician, who would you pick?
Clay: Buddy Holly at the Duluth National Guard Armory in Duluth, Minnesota January 31, 1959. Because I’m a huge Buddy Holly fan and we’d also get to play for an 18 year old Bob Dylan who was in the audience that night.
If you could borrow the NewMusic Ten time machine and could see anyone perform, who would it be?
Clay: That’s a tough one. It would be between Mozart, Beethoven and Liszt. Apparently Mozart and Beethoven were amazing improvisers, which I would like to hear. I read that Beethoven was the greatest improviser of all time, I don’t know how that’s possible to justify, but I would like to see that. Liszt supposedly was the greatest piano player of all time. Wagner said that he saw him perform and was blown away, if he was blown away that’s definitely something to hear.
People from Nova Scotia have this almost legendary reputation around the world for friendliness – I don’t know if I trust the ragtag bunch of misfits known as The Stogies though, and not just because of their filthy smoking habit.
They claim to be from Halifax, but by the raspy, dirty blues rock riffs heard on songs like “Skeleton Crew,” off their 5-track EP No Couth No Class No Nothin’, you would swear they hailed from somewhere a lot more seedier, like LA’s Sunset Strip.
They love coming to Toronto too, especially in the company of fellow Nova Scotians like Gloryhound and The Stanfields. The last time they were in the appropriately-nicknamed “Big Smoke” was last fall, where they finished second in the Indie Week band competition. More kudos (and weezy coughing) are definitely in The Stogies’ future!
The Stogies – No Couth No Class No NothinWhy should folks come out to see you at Canadian Music Fest?
Much like your grandmother, we’ll pinch your cheeks, tug your ears and plant stubbled kisses on your face…except with more guitar. In all seriousness? We’re a loud rock ’n’ roll band on stage (tough to ignore) and off stage, we’ll be driving around in the sketchiest of vans with smoke, afros and bad jokes billowing out of our tinted windows.
What’s your favourite venue in Toronto and why?
Our favourite Toronto venue is the Tattoo Rock Parlour. Not because it’s an awesome venue, but last time we finished soundcheck there, Blake tripped and fell on his ass in front of everyone as we were walking out the door. Ha!
Canadian Music Fest is all about music discovery – apart from yourself(ves), who’s the ONE ACT you would most recommend people check out at CMF?
Just one? OK, we have to admit we’re not the ONLY rock ’n’ roll band from Halifax in Toronto for CMF. Billie Dre & The Poor Boys are hitting the Tiki stage at the Rivoli March 23rd. You really wanna check these guys out. Corey and Dylan will likely rub garlic fingers (it’s an East Coast thing) all over their shirtless bodies while playing some mean ‘doom-surf-rock-n-roll’ as they might describe it.
Come the end of the year, what’s the coolest thing you hope to say you’ve done?
Come out with a new record, tour the universe? But we’d be happy with simply cleaning out the van.
If you could play any festival in the world the rest of this year, which would it be and why?
Glastonbury, do we even need to tell you why?
Who in music has impressed you so far in 2013, and who do you feel still has something up their sleeve?
The Stanfields, they always impress us, and we do believe they’ve got an acoustic record up their sleeves.
If you had an unlimited marketing budget, what would be your ideal “piece of swag?”
The Stogies Airplanes – except you could smoke on these airplanes; in fact, the drop-down oxygen masks would double as bongs.
Please give me at least one pro and con as it relates to music and social media.
Pro – You can discover a shitload of new bands that you’ll care about for maybe a week. It’s also a good way to spam your shows out to existing and possible new fans.
Con – It’s actually time consuming, and while you’re spending time “connecting,” you’re not spending time getting drunk and going to shows with your real friends/other people!
We all know there will eventually be a zombie apocalypse – if you only had enough battery life left on your music player to enjoy ONE album in full before your brains get eaten, what would it be?
Blake: Keith Richards – Talk is Cheap
Sean: The Clash – London Calling
Dave L: Aerosmith – Permanent Vacation
Dave D: Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
Jason: Lamb Chop’s Play-Along – The Song that Never Ends (7-inch)
Let’s say you had access to a WABAC machine like Sherman and Mr. Peabody did in the old Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons; who’s the one person, band or event you wish you could go back in time to experience?
Hendrix, Robert Johnson…or Abraham Lincoln…let’s go with Lincoln.
Finally, let’s end on a positive note by you telling me the BEST thing about being an indie artist, and why fans should be hopeful for the future.
It’s in your hands (the artists and the fans)! You have complete creative control and can do whatever you want with your music. You can see where artists and fans start to agree on the best platforms for delivering and consuming music. The sad thing is most bands just imitate what the labels do anyway. There are, however, a few creators out there.