Jul. 04, 2012 - Issue #872: The Beer Issue
Inspiration can strike in the must unexpected ways, as pop-rock trio the Perms found out during a stop in Bulgaria on its European tour.
Sofia, the country's capital, became the namesake of the band's latest album, Sofia Nights, which continues the group's stick-in-your-head melodies and shared interest in making music that matters.
"It was such an amazing time over there and it sort of really sparked each band member's interest in being in a band again and making music and playing live," vocalist/bassist Shane Smith says.
The band, which calls Winnipeg home, was particularly shocked to see members of the audience in Bulgaria singing along to its singles. Plans are already in the works for another visit to Bulgaria this fall when the Perms play a radio festival in Germany, where the band has a record deal with Revolver Records.
The band took a much more collaborative approach to Sofia Nights than past releases, with each band member contributing extensively to the writing process. Smith says the change in approach was done in an effort to keep everyone interested in the project, which meant spending hours in the jam room making sure everyone's opinion was heard.
"I think in some bands it's tough because sometimes there's sort of one head writer and the rest sort of do whatever that person wants," Smith adds. "I think it's important to have a collaborative effort instead of someone calling all the shots."
Adding more opinions can be a challenge, but Smith says the writing process for Sofia Nights has been the most relaxing one yet. Having more ideas allowed the band to push its songwriting boundaries outside the formula of conventional pop and incorporate instrumental elements that hadn't been used on previous releases, like synthesizers and more varied percussion elements.
Lyrically and stylistically, the '80s and '90s get a nod once again. The decades hold special significance for Smith as they reflect a much freer time in music. The video for the first single, "High School High" even pays homage to hair bands of the time like Poison.
"We've had references to our music that we sound like we're a band from the early '90s," Smith adds. "I don't know if that's an insult or not. I don't think it is."
Fri, Jul 6 (8 pm)
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