Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Jan 29th 2010 11:15AM by Innika La Fontaine
This almost-scientific appeal is also working for the Balconies, the indie pop-rock trio made up of lovers Liam Jaeger (drums) and Jacquie Neville (vocals/guitar), along with her younger brother Steven (vocals/bass).
"I was waiting around for Jacqui to finish school before moving to Toronto," Jaeger admits to Spinner, as if revealing a plot from a romance novel, about the band's recent move from Ottawa to Canada's biggest city. Jaeger hung around for a year teaching music, waiting patiently to whisk her away.
The Balconies' promo materials feed off the romance, too. Watch them live, their bio says, and you might catch Neville with "batting eyelashes and wide eyes smirking at boyfriend Jaeger." But though the band was born in 2007 from the love between Neville and Jaeger, it was their love of music -- and their dedication to music education -- that keeps the Balconies airborne.
"I spent six years studying the classical guitar, Jacqui spent four years of university studying the viola and Steven has been studying the double bass for a few years," Jaeger says.
Each member of the band has adopted a new instrument for this project, but their academic knowledge of song structure, riffs and composition that helps them to create their catchy, B-52s-esque pop.
"It's funny, because the training and study that we put into those instruments indirectly helps with our second instruments," Jaeger says. "But I wouldn't say that studying music makes you write better music, because there are tons of people who don't have any training who write incredible music."
When recording their self-titled album, the trio tried to capture a sound similar to that of what Jaeger calls the "Golden Age of Pop" circa 1965-1972. He cites the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and retro R&B and funk as influences which fueled their decision to record on analog equipment like reel-to-reel tape.
And it seems their anti-technology approach to music production is helping to make their music stand out from the cold sounding, synth-heavy pop music dominating the mainstream.
"You know you've done something good when you walk down the street and people say, 'Oh, you're in that band'," he says. Admittedly, Jaeger jokes, this hasn't actually happened to them. But although he says he still doesn't expect anybody to know who the band is, they do.
"I work in a coffee shop in downtown Toronto, and one time at work I heard people talking about my band. I don't think they realized I was the person in the band that they were talking about because when you see people out of context, you don't really recognize them. That was pretty cool."
The Balconies began by working their way up in the local Ottawa music scene but quickly grew beyond the borders of the nation's capital. After releasing their album to a sold-out crowd last fall,
Though recently rated by the National Post newspaper as an "act to watch in 2010" and enjoying support from music critics and bloggers across Canada, Jaeger suggests their rise to success has been pretty gradual -- it was eight months before they played their first show outside of Ottawa. But as interest in the band booms, there's one major consequence to playing more shows: less time to write new material.
The Balconies are slated to tour their record in Canada for much of 2010, saving the United States and Europe until after paid their dues in cities across their own country.
"We really understand the amount of work that still has to be done, even in Canada," Jaeger says. "Bands that do become organically successful like the Constantines or Arcade Fire, they didn't just come out of nowhere and make it huge on a big label, they've worked at it for years. You really have to do all of your touring, keep working, and keep working hard. It's all part of the game."