Getty | Daniel Boud Two years after they announced their break up, Canadian…
- Posted on Jan 24th 2011 11:00AM by Jonathan Dekel
It's no surprise, then, when it came time for his band to follow-up their Polaris Prize-winning album, 'The Chemistry of Common Life,' Abraham followed in the footsteps of many grandiose rockers at the pinnacle of their craft, and set to work on the most grandiose of all rock albums, a rock opera.
"I think there's a long tradition of the rock opera in good music -- everyone from the Kinks to the Pretty Things to the Who -- they've all made their attempts, and this is ours," Abraham tells Spinner. "I love concept albums and I love musical theatre."
As proof of his puritanical approach to even the most un-punk of genres, Abraham is quick to point out this new project isn't about jumping on the musical theatre bandwagon.
"I don't like 'Glee,' obviously -- I find it's a cheesy take on the genre," he says. "But I loved going to those big shows when I was a kid like 'Phantom of the Opera' and 'Cats.'"
Set in an imaginary British town in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the album, titled 'David Comes to Life,' tells the story of the title character, a light bulb plant employee, who falls in love with a local political activist named Veronica. When she subsequently dies during an accident, David is put on trial.
"Then it's about the trial of David, and hearing the story from different perspectives," the singer says. "We definitely stole that from [landmark Japanese film] 'Rashomon.'"
As if that weren't complicated enough, the group is also simultaneously recording an accompanying album under a series of fictitious band names meant to evoke the musical landscape of the era.
"The music is supposed to be in different styles, but I'm a one-trick pony when it comes to singing, so you'll know it's us," he laughs.
If the whole thing seems rather adventurous (not to mention, convoluted) for a band already forging new ground in a stale genre, that's kind of the point.
"Nowadays, it's so much about writing songs and ringtones. But we've always been about making a cohesive package as an LP, and this is taking that to the next level. It's been a bit of a challenge but even if this record is terrible and we fail miserably, I'm glad we swung for the fences and didn't try to make the last record again."