Oct. 10, 2012 - Issue #886: Typhoon Judy
The work-hard-play-hard Celtic rockers in the Stanfields are continuing the good times with their new album, Death & Taxes. This time around the band has written an album that leans heavily on its rock influences, creating a more beefed-up sound than the rowdy five-piece has had in the past.
"I think it was kind of natural," vocalist and guitarist Jon Landry says of the transition. "When we did our first record, we were probably three months old. We didn't know what we were doing per se, and so we were kind of scattered all over the place. We wanted to play country, we wanted to play Celtic rock 'n' roll, we wanted to play pop."
Landry believes the group has come back for round two with a more refined sound, which he credits to playing hundreds of shows together in recent years. He didn't want the band to stay in its comfort zone, adding that when you start to do that, it's time to pack 'er in.
"We kind of became this big, loud, fast version of our previous selves. The whole mentality of the record was to take a snapshot of where we were and where we are, and Death & Taxes is what happened," he explains. "Its kind of like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I think we ended up taking the vial of medicine to make us a bit more bulky and burlier."
At the helm of Death & Taxes was producer Mike Fraser, whose recording credits include venerable rock outfits like AC/DC, Metallica and Aerosmith. Fraser helped reel in the intensity of the Stanfields' raucous live shows and put it on record, bringing out the band's edgier, yet still fun, sound.
However, Landry admits he had to get over some nerves to actually call Fraser and talk about recording the album once the band's management had started to get the ball rolling.
"I was beating around the bush; I was so scared. I was like, 'Holy crap, this guy recorded "Thunderstruck," and I'm in my apartment in crappy-end-of-town Halifax,'" Landry says with a laugh. "My fiance finally said, 'Call the guy or you're sleeping on the couch for a month.'"
With that threat in mind, Landry finally made the call, only to find that his initial fears weren't necessary and Fraser was completely onboard with the project.
"When he came down, immediately we all hit it off. He's a salt of the earth kind of guy ... we all come from pretty humble backgrounds and there's a lot of commonalities there," Landry notes. "It was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work at the same time, and that fits right in with us. We work hard and we play hard, so it was a breeze. Thirteen days or so and we had a record in the can."
Thu, Oct 18 (7 pm)
With Gloryhound, Fire Next Time
Part of Concertworks Presents: The Great Canadian Slugfest
Pawn Shop, $15
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