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- Posted on May 12th 2011 12:00PM by Jessica Lewis
"I'm not worried because I don't really control these things," vocalist-guitarist Will Whitwham tells Spinner. "The only thing I can control is playing well, and if we don't play well then we're screwing up for everybody. That's the only thing we can really do."
That said, Whitwham suspects breaking into the US market will be more grueling than building a presence at home or in the UK.
"Europeans are more patient and the US is musical ADD," he says. "...It's hard not to feel that way when you're bombarded in the US."
Whitwham attributes Dorset's The End of the Road Festival and London's Camden Crawl in 2010 to much of his band's success overseas. Besides being one of the first Canadian bands announced at The End of the Road, they were in the company of Wilco and the Mountain Goats, among others.
"I think with the UK, all the right things fell into place," says Whitwham. "[The End of the Road] was the biggest concert we've ever done, there were probably about 800 people in this big teepee tent. It was the first time when it was really overwhelming at the end because at festivals people buy records. We had a lot of records but we couldn't even come up with the amount. I had to run back and grab 20 out of my suitcase. The Rough Trade tent was kind of surprised, they wanted 20 and I think they sold 65."
Now they've re-released both their 'Hymns of Love and Spirits' EP and debut album, Wilderness of Manitoba are hoping they can win over Americans with some new songs, too. Tracks like 'Chasing Horses,' 'Golden Thyme' and 'Escape,' which they've been fine-tuning in their home studio in the west end of Toronto.
"If we were told to record an album starting next week, I think we could pull one together," says Whitwham. "I think we have the material to do it now."
It's Whitwham's hope to start in on the next album before the year is out, and he's already eying various producers and studios. Making music in their basement studio has been a positive experience, but the band feel ready to flip the script.
"Songs need to live a bit in your ears before you take them to the studio so that you can play them with your eyes closed," says Whitwham. "I think we'll do a lot of [the record] at home, but we're going to want some fresh ears."