On August 20, Still Life Still released their newest album called Mourning Trance. A month later, they gathered their closest friends and a couple hundred members of Toronto’s music scene (both diehard fans and professionals alike) together to celebrate the launch with a night full of fantastic indie music. It was in that noisy bar, on September 20, that Still Life Still met with AMBY to talk touring (and touring, and more touring) and what it’s like to perform with other bands.
AMBY: So, we’re here at your album launch party, which is very exciting. This is your second album, right?
AMBY: How many years has it been since you’ve released an album?
SLS: It was four years to the day. Four years shy five days.
AMBY: I think it’s interesting to note the crowd we can already see piling up here to celebrate. There’s a lot of familiar people. That’s something I find pretty common in the Toronto music scene, that certain events draw in the same people.
SLS: Definitely. We played a show once with this band called Kaiser Chiefs and it was the complete wrong billing, just massively generic. I’m not trying to talk shit about them, but their fans just didn’t like their weirdo-indie vibes. That and we opened for Stephen Malkmus once, it was a good show, but we didn’t know we were filling in for Fleet Foxes, and this was just before they got massive.
AMBY: So all the people were there to see Fleet Foxes?
SLS: Half the crowd, yeah. It was one of those shows, we found out right before that they’re this massive harmony band, and then here comes this grunge-y indie band that’s all guitars [laughs]. It’s nice when there can be a group like this, with bands that just sound so good together.
AMBY: Now that you’ve got the new album out, are you thinking about going back on tour?
SLS: We’re going to New York, playing CMJ, and Halifax Pop Explosion, and then we’re coming back through Quebec. Just a little tour, nothing really big planned yet. But a lot of things pop up last minute.
AMBY: Do you think that you want to tour more?
SLS: Yeah. Touring is fun. We’ve been on some big tours before. We went with the Wildbeasts all across the States and that was about three weeks. We’ve toured all across Canada with some different bands. I’d love to tour more, it’s just expensive. When you’re opening bands sometimes you aren’t given a huge guarantee. We went across Canada recently with this band called Boxer Rebellion for five shows, and we had to drive across Canada and back with nothing on the way back. They were really good shows, there were a lot of people there and it was lots of fun, but it’s not really sustainable.
AMBY: Touring is always a good way for people to get to know your music and for you to promote a new album, but do you think now that things have kind of changed a bit when it comes to that, because music is a bit more accessible online. Do you feel like you have to tour?
SLS: I think it’s really important. Everything has definitely changed, but there are these bands who are buzzbands just because they’re buzzbands, but they’re not necessarily touring. You just have to hit the right chords with people and get the right things online and get the right write-ups and get the right people talking about you and suddenly everyone’s talking about you, and that’s when we get the big tours and get to drive across the country five times over.
AMBY: It’s all about timing.
SLS: Timing… I don’t know what it’s about [laughs]. Still trying to figure that one out.
Emily Fox |