Frank Yang, Chromewaves It may not be the cultural mecca that is SXSW, but…
- Posted on Dec 13th 2010 10:30AM by Anne T Donahue
"I don't think [Montreal] ever changed for people who lived there," Suuns guitarist and bassist Joseph Yarmush tells Spinner. "I didn't even realize it [wasn't] cool anymore."
"I don't think anything has changed in Montreal at all," concurs frontman Ben Shemie. "So, whatever anybody says about whether it is cool or not cool, or cool again or not cool again, this happens outside of Montreal. And I don't think anyone in Montreal pays attention to that at all."
Formerly known as Zeroes, Suuns recently returned from an extensive North American tour supporting hometown pals Land of Talk and the Besnard Lakes. And while appearances at CMJ and M for Montreal furthered their reputation as experimental art rockers, the band has been quick to dismiss any connotations that propel that myth.
"I don't think we make experimental music," insists Shemie. "It's not like we don't know what we're doing and this is a big experiment, and we're here to see what happens, you know? It's not like a concept band. There are songs; we're playing songs. So I think 'experimental' is a word that gets thrown around a lot -- and I think it's lost its meaning along the way too."
"I think it's a reaction to the saturation of the music scene right now," keyboardist and bassist Max Henry explains. "People need a reason to like something because if you walk down the street, and everything that you've heard, you let into your heart, you wouldn't be able to function as a human being."
"So for the people in the indie scene, these kind of things that indicate that something is a little more esoteric, that's good for them," he continues. "People love that kind of thing, or a certain variety of person."
As the band's full-length debut, 'Zeroes QC,' continues to earn critical acclaim, the four-piece remain adamant that they're not on "some heroic quest to save [the] integrity of music," and that while recording the album, they let things unfold naturally.
"Words like 'art rock' are really loaded words that [make music] sound haughty to people who haven't heard it," insists O'Neill. "I think if you were to read that about our band, and then you heard our record, [you'd think], 'Oh, it's music.' There's actually nothing that weird about it."
Having taken three years to release 'Zereos QC,' Suuns used their time efficiently to hone their craft, working tirelessly to gain confidence in the recording studio and start performing like a well-oiled machine.
"You'll hear similarities between the [self-titled] EP and the album. But it also sounds less refined, or less in the direction that we're going in now," Yarmush explains. "It took that much time to be a band that was able to generate that sort of [sound]. Whereas before, it was a little bit like chickens with no heads."
"What's important is that when things line up in your favour, you have the stuff to back it up," Henry continues, "and we're lucky in our situation that it took three years because now we're better prepared as a live band. But we're also very lucky and grateful for everything that we've been experiencing so far. It's just the beginning -- hopefully we can hold up our end of the bargain, but we have confidence in what we've done so far."