Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We Are The City At Fusion Festival

We Are The City - David, Andy & Cayne

Walking through the crowd on my way to the Chevron Stage at this year’s Surrey Fusion Festival I had a sense of excitement building in me with each step. I was scheduled to interview 2009 Peak Performance Project’s first place winners We Are the City before their mini concert at the festival and was feeling nervous about interviewing more than one person at a time. Up until now I had only done one on one interviews and the prospect of having to handle three personalities as well as my own ego was daunting, to say the least. But I need not have worried. Despite their younger age these three are pure talent and professionalism wrapped in wit and charm. The moment I walked backstage and ran into Andy I felt completely at ease. I was actually 5 minutes early so he went in search of Cayne and David and the guys jumped right up ready to go in no time. Our only problem was finding a quiet spot in the middle of four simultaneously performing stages, away from the glaring sun and not in the middle of everyone’s way. Once settled and introduced I started off with the “money” shot question.

JAX: So what was the first thing you did with the money, what did you buy first?

WATC: We waited a while and we didn’t want to spend frivolously. We wanted to keep ourselves modest. Well we went on tour for like a month and a half right after we so we didn’t really get a chance to spend it. Oh, gas. We bought gas.

JAX: No new van?

WATC: No. Kind of anti-climatic.

JAX: So the people in the PPP this year, what kind of advice can you give them?

WATC: To realize it’s a really great time and to just have fun. The entire time is fun and keep that more in your mind more than anything else. You got into this camp because of songs you wrote for fun and because of that you get to be with these amazing people in this great camp and have everyone poor out their knowledge because of these songs. Just be grateful to be there. We heard from Behind Sapphire, a band in this year’s PPP and we just told them to do like we did and don’t expect anything.

JAX: You guys have a tour coming up here with Said The Whale and Aidan Knight that appears to be mostly All- Ages. Is that important to you to be able to spread yourself out for fans of all ages?

WATC: Oh yeah, definitely. It’s nice to have higher energy shows and hang out with people who aren’t always drinking all the time in a club. It’s the same amount of importance. It’s just people, you know? We want all people who like it to be able to come out and see us. And it’s nice to have a fun stress free tour that’s alcohol free. Young kids still put everything into it,they aren't stressed out from life yet. At that age you care about less so you have their focus, they are in the moment.

Jax: They aren't worrying about paying their rent?

WATC: Ya. The don’t have so many bills, they just want to have a good time.

JAX: So you guys are playing Live at Squamish at the end of summer, who are you looking forward to seeing there yourselves?

WATC: It’s hard! There is Mother Mother, Matt Goode, Tokyo Police Club- DEVO.

JAX: Bad Religion is kicking it old school as well. So who are you listening to currently?

WATC: I’ve been really into jazz lately. When I have control of the stereo, I put on some good jazz. We also like Muu, Me Without You, Rubik from Finland is another one.

JAX: OK, so we have the tour coming up, Squamish and your show here in 30 minutes. Aside from that, is there anything else coming up we can look forward to? Any new music or videos?

WATC: Actually we are gearing up to write and record a new album. That’s really exciting for us. The first album has been out for awhile now so we’re all really feeling hungry to record right now. When we recorded our last album we had just turned 18 and now we’ve just turned 20 and so it’s kinda like the last few years we’ve been becoming “The men that we are soon to be! Not a boy,not yet a man.” There, Britney Spears.

JAX: Wow, that’s when you know the interview is over, a Britney Spears quote.

We laugh.

JAX: So you have so much going on everywhere, are you all still living in Kelowna? Is that realistic, can you have a big career and not live in Vancouver?

WATC: We spend way more time out here it’s true. What’s becoming clear to me is that you can’t have a big career and live anywhere. You kinda make the choice to live nowhere.

JAX: I posted your Astronomers video on my Facebook and got a comment about how it was very reminiscent of Radiohead. I went back and watched it again and I have to say, I can totally see the comparison. I wish you guys continued success and look forward to the show later on tonight.

WATC: Thank you, that’s really nice to hear and thanks for coming out to see us.

JAX: And if people want to learn more about you guys? Check out www.wearethecity.ca or listen to www.thepeak.fm

Later on when the show started it was smallish crowd to start. As each song ended I turned around and looked as the crowd got larger and the music started to really resonate with the audience. Who were these three young guys? From flushed tweens to smiling Grammas and hardened rockers, the festival goers were enjoying the talent of these three men from the Okanagan.

One fan liked the show so much he was first in line at the merch table to meet the band and buy 10 cds. When I asked him what he planned to do with all 10 he replied,
“Hand ‘em out to people I know in the music biz. These kids are going to be huge.”

I didn't have the heart to tell him about the PPP win and let him do his thing. Besides, who knows who this guy is connected to,right?

It was a great show, everyone had a good time and new fans were made. Me included.

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