The Reason (10 octobre 2005)

Math et moi avons rencontré Adam White, le chanteur du groupe canadien THE REASON, dans la bruyante loge du Métropolis lorsqu’ils étaient de passage en première partie de STRUNG OUT samedi dernier. Si vous n’êtes pas déjà familiers avec cet excellent groupe, on vous conseille fortement d’être présent aux Foufounes Électriques jeudi le 13 octobre prochain car ils seront de nouveau en ville en compagnie de THIEVES.

[ADAM] So what’t this interview for?

[MATH] It’s a webzine called PunkMeUp.

[ADAM] Weren’t we on that before?

[CATH] Yeah you were – we did something with Sean [Palmer, bassiste] I think, last year.

[ADAM] Oh yeah. Is this quiet enough?

[CATH] No, it’s fine, it’ll do. [COMEBACK KID entament leur set et j’ai l’impression de faire un pic-nic directement en dessous du stage…]

[ADAM] I’ll talk as loud as I can…

[CATH] Just like that, you guys seem different than the last time I saw you – which was a long time ago, sometime late last year or early this year at Balafré, this tiny little venue – that was such an awesome show by the way!

[ADAM] Yeah, that was packed, it was good! Every time we’ve been to Montreal we were on these big tours like NO USE FOR A NAME, the Smallman Tour and stuff; We’re getting used to opening up and playing these bigger venues… What do you mean, we seem different?

[CATH] I don’t know! I guess maybe the venue makes you look different…These huge places – I’m not used to this…

[ADAM] Yeah! And I don’t know – all of us cut our hairs and grew beards and we’ve all tried to disguise ourselves for this tour.

[CATH] I kind of works because I would’ve never fucking recognized you!


[ADAM] I’ve never had a beard before! I was like, I’m just gonna grow a beard of shame and not really shower as much…


[ADAM] On tour, you really shouldn’t worry as much about stuff like that. I’m gonna go shower after this interview though ‘cause I haven’t in a few days and I wanna have fun tonight and I just feel so dirty!

[MATH] You don’t smell too bad…

[ADAM] Yeah, we have short hair and beards so we don’t have to shave and shower every day so it’s just way better. I don’t know. And we got keyboards now.

[CATH] Yeah, tell me what that’s about. I like it though!

[ADAM] On the new songs we’re writing, we have a lot of keyboard parts so I just grabbed all my stuff and brought it with us on this tour just to kind of get used to having it on stage, and I put keyboards in a few of the older songs. But most of our new stuff’s gonna have a tiny bit of keyboards here and there, sythethisers, piano. We toured with this band BRAZIL, they really inspired me because they got a really good keyboard player and he and I became tight. So I was like, at the end of this tour I’m gonna save up and buy a bunch of keyboards and shit and try to put it in the band. ‘Cause I’ve always been able to play a little bit of piano so I’m just gonna see if it works. Hopefully it does!

[CATH] I think it does! It really does. And how’s your new stuff, is it mellower?

[ADAM] It’s a little mellower. To be honest, I haven’t listened to a screamo band in probably two or three years. We weren’t consciously trying to fit into a genre or style before, but all the songs on Ravenna were written at different points and time – it was just a compilation of basically two years of songwriting in the band, so there was a period of time when we were really into that. Then there’s a period of time when we were really into other stuff, and then there’s a period of time when we were into straight hardcore, you know what I mean? That’s why the songs are so different on that CD. We’ve just been out on tour and playing the shit out of those songs and haven’t really had time to get into new bands at all and listen to new stuff; a lot of the stuff in the genre that we’re in is really tired and really saturated. I went through a phase this summer when all I would listen to was either THE POLICE, THE CLASH or REFUSED and nothing later than that. If you write songs based on your influences – I don’t really care for bands like FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND and all that shit, you know? It just sounds all the same to me, so… For the new stuff we’re writing, we’re not putting up any walls or nothing, we’re just playing what we enjoy, stuff we really enjoy as a band. It’s not like, “Alright, we’re gonna do the SLOAN and then we’re gonna go into the EVERY TIME I DIE part, and then…” [laughs] Which is what we used to be like! “After the EVERY TIME I DIE part, we’re gonna go into the MARS VOLTA part” and all this shit. Now we’re just writing shit – we recorder this four song demo and there’s stuff that’s like weird and reggae-influenced; not reggae as in traditionnal jamaican reggae, it’ll just be a reggae beat and we’ll be singing over it and it’ll sound all weird, almost like LED ZEPPELIN. But then the chorus kicks in and it’s this weird poppy thing and then there’s this other weird part in the middle that sounds like CHOKE. There’s really nothing we can say to classify it – we’re just playing what we enjoy how, and I can honestly say that the new stuff that we’re doing, it’s THE REASON. It sounds like us.

[MATH] You really found your own sound I guess.

[ADAM] That’s what we’re going for on our next CD.

[CATH] ‘Cause you’re relatively a young band still…

[ADAM] Yeah! Like, we’re all between the ages of twenty-two and twenty-five, we’ve only been a band for like three years and we only have one full-length out. The next full length’s gonna be really good, I’m really stoked about it. When we wrote the songs, we rented a cottage for a week and we went up and locked ourselves up there, up north in Ontario.

[CATH] Lost in the woods…

[ADAM] Yeah, it cost us a few bucks but we got five really good songs out of that so we’re gonna go back after this tour for another week and hopefully write the rest of the record and finish the stuff that’s kind of done but not really. To me, the stuff that we came up with up there was – I didn’t think that could ever do anything like that. It doesn’t sound like anything that I’ve heard before. We’re all really excited.

[CATH] And when can we expect that out?

[ADAM] Early spring – we’re gonna record in December or January and it should be ready for March -April hopefully. We’re gonna really go for it, we’re not gonna tour anymore after this until that record comes out.

[CATH] And that’ll be with Smallman still?

[ADAM] Yeah.

[CATH] Do you have anything going on in the States?

[ADAM] We’re talking to some US labels but right now - nothing that I can really say but there’s a really good chance that the record’s gonna be put out by a US label as well. It’ll be a different one than Smallman in the States.

[CATH] Cool. Smallman is a good family. You’re satisfied with these guys so far?

[ADAM] Oh yeah! They know how to find their bands. Every band on the label sounds different but we all have the same kind of personalities. I think that they almost went for that more than, you know… they’re not gonna deal with a band full of dicks. We went on tour with CHOKE, we went on tour with MONEEN, GHOSTS OF MODERN MAN and COMEBACK KID and everybody’s the same, we all got along so good. We were intimtidated to go along with COMEBACK KID ‘cause we’de never toured with them before and you know they’re a hardcore band, they’re way heavier than us and they have way different fans and stuff. But the first day of the tour it was like we’d been friends the whole time. And that’s the key with Smallman, they look deeper than music and that’s something that you gotta do because when you’re touring you’re only playing music thirty minutes a day – the rest of the time, all our personalities are together and that’s what makes a band keep going. And that’s how it is with Smallman; We could do the Smallman Tour with MONEEN, CHOKE, GHOSTS OF MODERN MAN, COMEBACK KID and us and it’d be like one big band ‘cause everybody’s got al the same goals and presonalities.

[CATH] And speaking of all these bands, you got most of em in your video for the song 150. What made you want to do that?

[ADAM] We were just all on tour together at the time, we were trying to get some money for our video and we weren’t getting it, and Mark Ricciardelli – he did all the ALEXISONFIRE videos – he was like “I’ll do it for as cheap as you want, I just wanna do a video for you guys” and we got it done for really cheap. We were like, “How should we do this?” And he was like, “Well I got this bowling alley, it’ll cost six hundred bucks for the day so we can go there and do whatever… What do you wanna do, you wanna have a whole bunch of people and have this big bowling thing?” So we’re like, “Let’s just get all the bands that we’re on tour with and have this stupid video with everybody acting goofy” ‘cause if you only have so much, you can’t just do a live video and we were running out of ideas so… and it turned out good – kind of like Big Lebowski meets … Some weird band competition. I like it, we’re all happy with it and I’m stoked that those guys wanted to get into it. And whenever I watch that it makes me think of the Smallman Tour and how much fun we had so it’s good.

[Interruption par Sean qui fait éclater Adam et Math de rire – pas besoin d’entrer dans les détails. Commentaires sur la bière, gracieuseté de Lord Duncan [Blair] comme l’appelle AdamSean essaie de nous refiler un sticker qu’il trouve par terre]

[ADAM] What the hell is that?

[SEAN] It’s C4 Apparel.

[ADAM] Oh, ok.

[CATH] Hey, your pins are cheap!

[ADAM] Our pins? Why, they broke?...

[CATH] Uh-huh.

[ADAM] Bring it back, he’ll give you a new one. Yeah, our buttons – we usually go with this guy and he’s been good for like six tours in a row and then this tour, I think he bought different stuff ‘cause like sixty percent of our buttons are breaking…

[CATH] I just barely twisted the thing and it snapped off…

[ADAM] Yeah, return it… he’ll give you two more! Test ‘em and make sure it doesn’t break!


[CATH] I’ll make sure not to be too rough with it…

[SEAN] Do we have clean towels??

[CATH] There’s a dirty one right here…

[ADAM] This is my sweaty one that I’m about to shower and wipe my crotch with. Check the other rooms! I’m gonna sit with them and then shower so if you want one get your own.

[SEAN] Hey, I’m Sean by the way.

[MATH] I’m Math.

[SEAN] What’s your name?

[CATH] Catherine.

[SEAN] What?


[SEAN] Cool. I wish I had better hearing ! I’m sorry…

[Sean nous quitte sur ce]

[ADAM] Palmer close the door!!!

[je pousse fermement la porte et Sean réapparaît dans l’embrasure de la porte à cet instant même – inévitablement, je l’écrase avec la-dite porte]

[CATH] Oh shit I’m sorry! What was I gonna say… Oh yeah, your video. MuchMusic seems to be kind of nice to you guys…

[ADAM] What do you mean?

[CATH] Well, what’s that thing with Going Coastal that your’re gonna be on?

[ADAM] Oh! When we get to Halifax – we were supposed to do it in Vancouver but the guy got sick so we couldn’t do it then so they arranged it for Halifax. So we’re gonna do Much East – or Going Coastal or whatever you call it – Tuesday we’re playing Halifax so it’s gonna be sweet. Us and STRUNG OUT are doing one so… It’s airing probably in a few weeks.

[CATH] Sucks I don’t have cable, doesn’t it…


[ADAM] Oh… Does Musique Plus show Going Coastal? Do they air that show?

[CATH] I don’t know! I think they have some other things but they don’t have that one.

[ADAM] We wanna go on 1-2-3 Punk also…

[CATH] Yeah, you totally should… So yeah, this tour is big tour for you guys.

[ADAM] Yes, it’s the biggest tour we’ve ever been on. Every single show has been sold out except for Vancouver and Thunder Bay. We’re playing for new audiences, which is always good ‘cause we’re still a new band, man. We can go out on tour on our own and bring out a hundred kids a night, but if you play for a thousand kids a night and nine hundrer of them have never heard of you before, then maybe the next time you go to that city there’ll be two hundred, you know? And that’s what we’re getting every night, a bunch of people coming up to merch and saying to me “I’ve never heard of you guys before,” you know, kids in STRUNG OUT shirts and stuff. And they’re like, “You guys are awesome!” And there’ll be people with BANE hoodies coming up to us and saying “You guys are sick!” I don’t know – I think this tour is really really good for us, yeah. It’s more of an exposure thing than trying to fucking go out there and make a lot of money. For this, it’s been all about the exposure, for sure.

[CATH] And you’re saying you’re getting a good response with the sold out shows everywhere – what’s your favourite city to play in?

[ADAM] Ummm…. One second. [écoute à quelle chansons COMEBACK KID sont rendus] Oh, ok, they still have about five minutes left. Um, I don’t know, I like Ontario because it’s comfortable. We play Ontario a lot, Toronto is good. I get nervous anytime there’s more than two or three hundred people at a show, I get nervous as hell and I always get nervous wherever we go… But our best response is probably… Saskatchewan we do alright, Halifax we do great, Montreal and Québec City – like, Québec has be really good to us. We’re actually coming back – are you gonna come to see us at Foufounes??

[Adam a annoncé le show aux Foufs à la fin de leur set]

[CATH] Fuckin right! But guy, I didn’t even know!! Why is the word NOT OUT THERE??

[ADAM] ‘Cause we’re not allowed to advertise it until today!

[CATH] Well, from today on trust me it WILL be advertised!


[ADAM] ‘Cause the people running the tour didn’t want it to affect… like, people not coming here ‘cause they can see us basically for free the week after.

[CATH] Yeah, ok, it kinda makes sense…

[ADAM] Yeah, it’s ladies night or whatever.

[CATH] It’s not free!

[ADAM] Ladies are free. Or it’s four bucks or something.

[CATH] Yeah.

[ADAM] And there’s a band from Windsor called THIEVES, they’re friends of ours and they’ve never been on tour before but they’re amazing. We’re kinda helping them out, they’re meeting us out East when we’re done the STRUNG OUT tour and we’re doing all the East coast and Québec with them trying to give them a head start, get them to meet people so they can go on tour again ‘cause theyère a really good band.

[CATH] That’s cool! Tell me about Wakestock and Edgefest and all these festivals you’ve played this summer.

[ADAM] All these weird…

[CATH] You enjoy these things?

[ADAM] I do! We’ve played like six outdoor shows this summer, it was crazy! We played EXO Fest, Wakefest, EXO Wakestock, EdgeFest, we played this thing in Burlington called Heat Wave – we played all these outdoor shows… They’re fun. EdgeFest was probably one of the most important shows we’ve ever played. We didn’t know what to expect going into it, and our stage was kinda tucked in the back, and as soon as we went on, we’d look into the crowd and you see a guy you know from London, and you see a guy you know from Ottawa, and the you see a kid from Montreal, and they’re all singing the words back at you. They’re standing side by side and they don’t know eachother, but you know them and you recognize them… You can’t beg for a feeling like that, man. We only played five songs at Edge Fest but as far as long-term goes for us, we met some important people that day and a lot of shit is gonna happen with our new record only because we did good at EdgeFest. The right people saw us and I’m really stoked that we did that one. That show on its own was worth about a hundred shows.

[CATH] And you did a benefit for the Y too…

[ADAM] Uh-huh! Well, the YMCA in Burlington sponsors us.

[CATH] No way!

[ADAM], Yeah, they give us free memberships that we can use anywhere in North America. So wherever we go in North America we can go to the Y grab a shower, go work out, go play basketball… We’ve got a good relationship with them ‘cause we’ve been doing shows there for years and years so we do a couple benefit shows for them every year to help them out, and they just give us free memberships.

[MATH] Sounds like a great deal!

[ADAM] When we’re on tour and you go three or four days without a shower, or when you drive to a town and you get there at nine in the morning with nothing to do until like four, you just go park at the Y and work out, check your email, shower… You know, anyone can do whatever they want for a couple hours – it’s really relaxing, really good. Keeps everybody in a good mood on tour. So we’re really supportive of the Y.

[CATH] That’s the first time I hear of something like that – it’s really neat.

[ADAM] Yeah, well other bands like THE FULLBLAST, SILVERSTEIN, they’re all sponsored. And at Christmas every year, we all do a benefit show together with all the bands that are sponsored. All the money raised goes to help out kids, help people get jobs and stuff like that so it’s all good.

[CATH] That’s awesome. And if you had to do any other benefit show, what would you do?

[ADAM] Anything that’s like realistic. I wouldn’t jump on anything that was an issue that was controversial unless we really felt strongly for it, you know? We’re not a political band by any means, but if it was something for like cancer or whatever, we’d do it as long as we’re not too busy. It looks good, and everybody has a heart in this band. We’re not trying to come across as some kind of rock star band, we’re all good dudes that know eachother and hang out and have fun together, and if we can end up helping out people then that’s even better.

[CATH] Do you have to go or…?

[ADAM] I think I got a few minutes… let’s see what song this is…

[MATH] You know their setlist by heart?

[ADAM] No well, you know that song Wake The Dead ? I sing that song with them.

[MATH] Oh ok, cool.

[ADAM] This isn’t Wake The Dead huh Cam?

[CAM] All I hear is wwwwwwwwwrrrraaaaaagggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

[ADAM] Yeah, that would suck if all stereos sounded like that… I’m glad that somebody envented the stereo, whenever that was invented.

[CATH] Yeah, props to that guy. Ok, so what’s up in your neck of the woods – you were talking about these bands like SILVERSTEIN and all that, there seems to have been this kind of big boom from Burlington in the past few years. What’s up with that?

[ADAM] I guess since GRADE was doing their shit, they kind of spawned all these bands… It seems like this huge boom but everybody’s just doing what they’ve always been doing…

[CATH] The scene there is probably really good…

[ADAM] The scene hasn’t changed at all, there’s just more interest from the outside. There were shows two years ago that were like BOYSNIGHTOUT, SILVERSTEIN, THE FULLBLAST, and THE REASON, and there’ll still be shows years from now with the same lineup. All these bands are doing bigger and better things and it’s only good ‘cause we always help out eachother. It’s good to see a band like BOYSNIGHTOUT come out with a sick record like Train Wreck) – you listen to that and you think like, “Wow, I used to live with those dudes!” And that just opens the doors ‘cause they’re from our hometown. And that’s why we try to help out and bring out bands with us on tour, like, “this band is sick and they’re not getting enough shows – let’s put them on our shows where there’s gonna be three hundred kids that can check em out”. It’s all a big family - there’s no band from 905 that we don’t get along with, we’re all int it for the same reason so it’s cool!

[CATH] Cool. So your new record is coming out…?

[ADAM] I don’t know, March or April?


[MATH] She wants a date!

[ADAM] I don’t know! It’s not even half written, but when it’ll be done it’ll be good! When we get home from touring we’ll get to focus on it, it’ll all come together… This is their last song – is everything cool? Like, you guys got enough stuff?

[CATH] Go ahead, it’s cool! Thanks man.

[MATH] Everything’s cool! We got twenty-two minutes… It’s more than enough. Thanks, we really appreciate it.

[ADAM] Alright cool. Thanks guys!

Merci à Adam d’avoir pris le temps de discuter avec nous, et à Amelia de Smallman Records pour avoir rendue cette entrevue possible.

- Cath

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