Caesar Sant is a four-year-old child prodigy with a gift for playing the violin.
- Posted on Jul 14th 2011 12:30PM by Richard Trapunski
"We're honoured to be nominated again," lead singer-songwriter Tim Baker tells Spinner. "That's a really excellent institution. And they've been great to us."
Maybe a little too great. Since the success of 'Seeds' and its predecessor, 2008's 'Into Your Lungs...', Hey Rosetta! have exploded into a full-time touring band, one that's playing increasingly large venues in places increasingly distant from their native St. John's, Newfoundland. But, according to Baker, they've been woefully unprepared for the intensified exposure.
"We had a lot to learn when we started," he says. "And we still do."
Though they've been around for half a decade, in many ways Hey Rosetta! are still musical rookies.
"We never really came up in 'the scene' in St John's," says Baker. "I was in school before this, doing a degree in writing and sociology. Music was always a thing, but never like this. I played classical piano and wrote songs in my spare time, but like going to shows and meeting other musicians around the scene, it's not something that I did or that most of our guys did."
Coming into this relatively green, most of the band's development has taken place on the road. That they've managed not only to make it work but to be continually recognized by institutions like Polaris is both a testament to their resourcefulness and plain dumb luck.
"We love touring, but we also get real tired of it. It's physically exhausting and kind of emotionally draining, and it's also hard to get in a creative mindset when you're around people all the time. Just imagine going to your friend's house for drinks and there's like 12 or 14 people there, then having to sit down to try to write something. That's what it's like all the time. You're never alone."
That explains the three year gap between Hey Rosetta!'s last two records, not a long time for an established musical behemoth, but an eternity to an indie band looking to capitalize off of their breakout. Luckily for them, however, it gave them the time to craft an intricate follow-up.
Similarly, their instrument-switching -- a trademark aspect of their live show -- is also born out of necessity.
"That gets a bit old, doesn't it?" asks a slightly annoyed Baker. "One of these days, I'd like to play two songs in a row on the same f---ing instrument."
"You want it to sound as good or better, richer and more interesting than the recorded version, but that requires making compromises," he adds. "We can only take so many people on tour, so we have to make due with what we have. In order to make it interesting, we try to run the gamut as much as we can, be dynamic and always be in flux."
As the spotlight continues to widen for Hey Rosetta!, Baker and his bandmates will have even more things to figure out but learning on the fly certainly seems to be working for them.