London's grander sex appeal
By Jonathan Hale
In the beginning, there was Trout. But, due to the excess running of this type of fish, it died. But only the name diminished. Its legacy, creations and sounds remained, attacking the world with a much newer, much grander approach. And it's better, slicker and, to some, sexier (but, let's not jump to such rash conclusions).
London's New Grand has been impressing fans for a few years with its quirky and humourous live performances, songs released on various seven-inches and compilations and of course, marketing a T-shirt that replicated the Atari sign (when the band was still a little fishy).
This past summer, the New Grand took all of its impressive gems and laid them down on its debut self-titled album, put out by the band's new label, Sonic Unyon. What left the band in disbelief was the attention this album received once released.
"Actually, it was surprising when I think about it now," explains guitarist/singer Tim Smith over lunch at The Spoke. "It went to number one on a few campus stations and in the states, it was a hundred on the national college charts. That's kind of neat, though I know it's not very high."
"To be showing up on any charts in the states is very cool," adds bassist/singer Mike Clive.
The stateside industry has not only shown interest in the album, but is also very excited about the possibilities such a talented pop band can offer the music world. The New Grand was recently one of only 10 bands from across Canada to be invited to Texas to be a part of the South by Southwest festival, which takes place next week.
"We're expecting to have a really good time," Clive says. "To be quite honest, I think we were all very surprised that we were one of the few Canadian bands chosen to go down. It's a bit of a feather in our cap."
Oddly enough, the band has chosen in lieu of financial constraints not to capitalize on the southern market by touring or promoting the debut record there. Instead, the act will return to the studio in June to release its sophomore album.
For the album, which Clive claims will contain louder guitars and a more openly soulful New Grand, the act has opted to not have Brendan McGuire as producer again. Instead, the foursome has turned to Bob Weston of Polvo, June of 44, Archers of Loaf and Superchunk fame.
"No discredit to Brendan," Smith explains. "I think he did a great job for us and I think he worked hard with us and I think we're better off for having worked with him by a longshot. Our sort of manager chap knew Bob Weston from a previous recording thing from Never Mind The Molluscs.
By September, the band should have an album of entirely new and heartfelt material, though Clive notes some of the silliness contained in the band's debut will not be completely lost in the new songs. But what is the real appealing thing about this local band?
"I'd like to think songwriting but I don't know," Smith says. "It might just be sexuality raw sex appeal."
C.A.A. NEVER SOUNDED SO GOOD. Malcolm Scott and Tim Smith (with the cap) will continue to jam at Call The Office tonight.