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- Posted on Sep 12th 2012 11:05AM by Aaron Brophy
Stuart Wilson, Getty
When City and Colour perform at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre tonight with the Avett Brothers, Hey Rosetta! and Grey Kingdom it's going to pretty much symbolical finish the Little Hell chapter in C&C band leader Dallas Green's biography.
Little Hell, City and Colour's 2011 album, earned Green a Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year, a number one spot on the Canadian sales chart, and international breakout success in the United States and Britain. Now Green says he's starting to put together the pieces for his next album.
"I think I've got 15 new songs," Green told Spinner in a recent interview. "Nine of which are probably ready to go and the other six are sort of bits and pieces that I need to buckle down and put together. So I'm more than thinking on the new record, I've almost got one finished. Now I gotta go and record it."
Green and the rest of his City and Colour band toured far and wide for Little Hell across Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, amongst other places. That sort of grind can get to a person and Green says that "sometimes I get home and I just want to sit on my couch that I never get to sit on." It never takes long for the back-to-work panic to set in again, though.
"I was just saying the other day, I was complaining to my wife [Leah Miller, ETalk correspondent] about how I'm hellbent on writing and y'know I gotta get started, I gotta get going, I gotta get writing. And she's like, 'What are you talking about? Your record's only been out for a year and you've been on tour that whole year. Take a break. Don't worry about it. You've got time.' So I go through these patterns, like, I worry that I'm not going to like write anything and then I look at my [idea] book and I'm like, 'Oh I've got lots of stuff to put together, so...'"
Green, who also spent years in the temporarily reunited hardcore band Alexisonfire, used Little Hell to take City and Colour from being a mostly acoustic project on past albums Sometimes and Bring Me Your Love into one that can occasionally rock out electrically as well. Green will likely employ a similar plan of attack for this next album.
"Little Hell for me was a record where I said basically, if there's gonna be a song with a full band that I write, then it's gonna be a song with a full band," says Green. "And if it's just a song with me and my guitar, then I'm gonna put a song that's just me and my guitar on it. It's really gonna be whatever I feel fits the song best. It's not going to be an acoustic record and it's not gonna just be a rock record. It's gonna be what the song sort of dictates."
Don't expect "what the song dictates" to be some weird foray into free jazz or some other sort of freakout music, though. Unlike Green's boundary-hopping idols such as Neil Young, he knows his comfort zone.
"If I was a better guitar player I could get away with stuff like that," says Green. "But I think as much as I'm mouthing off about how you can never know what to expect from me, really, you're gonna know what to expect from me: It's gonna be some kinda sad sounding melancholy songs because that's the kind of songs I write.
"Maybe they'll be loud and maybe they won't. I'm not gonna put out a hip-hop record or start writing these three-and-a-half minute pop perfection songs celebrating Friday night. That's not gonna happen."