“The concept behind that was I really wanted to write one of those pocket symphony style songs to open the record. To me, when you’re opening an album you’re setting the stage. I took that basic outlook from the way Broadway musicals are written. The opening song is always setting the stage. It sets where the play is going to take place and sets up a lot. For me, with the opening of the record you’re giving a little bit of a preview of the sorts of sounds on the album and thematically what you’re going to do. Because ‘Astoria’ was so 80’s-influenced, I thought it would be cool to write one of those pocket-symphony songs and approach it the way I would have had I been a contemporary in the 80s. We only used the vintage instruments, the synthesizers and stuff, and we tried to do it so each section sounded like a different band I liked from the era.”
The shows with “Ever After” were super elaborate, but with “Astoria” they seemed to step up to another level. The result is some surging growth in their audience in the U.S. and outside of North America.
“We’ve been fortunate enough that with our career it’s been a slow build the whole time. It’s always gotten bigger and bigger. With this last cycle, we got to do a lot of new stuff. We did 130 shows in the United States, which is a lot for us. It was rewarding to go to these cities and have a lot of people there. We got to tour Europe too which was great.”
Touring in Europe and the U.S. is one thing, but the interesting thing is that more people are talking about the band in areas outside of Canada than ever before too.
“That hasn’t come from getting pushed by a big label. That’s come from hard work, us touring a lot, and word of mouth. It’s been very grass roots for us is the United States. We saw the same thing everywhere that’s not Canada. It’s interesting, even if the shows are small and it’s a club show somewhere else. We get to go to people who have found us organically. The people that do come are so stoked that you’re there.”
Before they wrap up the current album cycle, the band plans on releasing another video. It’s not necessarily for a single off the record but it’s one that they wanted to do. ‘It’s a choice that we’re doing for our sake’ is how Ramsay put it. Looking forward, after the video is done the next thing is to start work on the next record.
“I’m already working on the record,” said Ramsay. “Mostly, I’m really just focused on new material.”
We tried to get the theme for the record out of Ramsay – he didn’t give us that, but he did give us a hint.
“On this next one we’re doing, I can’t get too far into it, but it involves me going on a few different locations to do research. I have to try and engross myself in a few other musical cultures.” – aa