Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on May 28th 2012 3:30PM by Ian Gormely
"By the end of 2008 we had stopped practicing, stopped working on songs, stopped booking shows, pretty much stopped everything but trying to get the record pressed," the band's singer-guitarist Brian King tells Spinner. "And even then we weren't going to play any songs to support it.
That all changed after the album was embraced by both critics and fans, forcing the band to scrap breakup plans and hit the road.
"Touring was the last thing we really wanted to do and didn't," says King. "We said, 'Let's see if we can turns this into one tour.' And of course one tour turned into two, turned into three turned into going to Europe -- 18 months of straight touring."
Yet in the midst of playing all those shows, the subject of a follow-up was never discussed. It wasn't until the end of 2010, when King along with drummer David Prowse realized they'd maxed out on touring Post-Nothing and would need to come up with new material if they wanted to stay on the road.
"It wasn't til that time that we said, 'Well, are we going to call it like we always planned to, or do we like touring and playing shows enough that its worth trying to do another record to see if we can keep touring?' So that's what we decided to do."
All that touring changed the band's approach to writing says King. "When you're just a local band making music, the mindset of writing and performing songs is different then when you're a touring band that's well known enough to have an audience."
The eclectic styles of Post-Nothing's eight tracks created what he describes as "peaks and valleys in their sets.
"'Young Hearts Spark Fire' for example, that five minutes of the set was always just a peak," he says. "The energy in the room, the singalong factor, the physicality of the audience during that song was something we took notice of."
So the band decided to try and write an album, where the whole show is a peak.
They spent the first half of 2011 writing new songs, but having exhausted their inventory of unreleased material with a trio of seven-inches the previous year, the pair soon found themselves at a creative impasse.
"We're not particularly artistic or creative people and we're certainly not songwriters, so writing songs is a challenge for us," says King. "Coming off the road after two years, it's anticlimactic. It's really easy to come home to Vancouver and feel like it's over. We were back to the same routine in our old lives like it never happened. It was easy to get stuck."
To shake things up the pair packed up their gear and headed south to Nashville, TN where they rented a house. Grabbing a bunch of cheap soundproofing materials from the local Home Depot, they spent the next six weeks writing, playing and exploring the city.
"We didn't know anyone and we could just discover the city ourselves," he says.
Both barnstorming lead single "The House that Heaven Built," and album closer "Continuous Thunder" came out of the sessions. More importantly, the band was peaking creatively.
"We drove home from Nashville and the day after went right into the studio and recorded those songs," says King.
Although bigger studios, sounds and producers were options, King and Prowse opted to stick with long-time producer Jesse Gander at the Hive in Vancouver.
"We recorded at the same studio, with the same engineer, with the same gear using the same methodology [as Post-Nothing]," says King.
The only difference says King was that both band members had gotten better at their instruments and playing together.
"We had the luxury of being able to stick to the same thing we've always done while still feeling like a step forward."
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