Regina’s indie-rock act Sylvie are coming to Montreal at the end of February. The band released their sophomore record entitled An Electric Trace this past fall on Smallman Records. We caught up with the band’s vocalist Joel Passmore recently and this is what he had to say:
The Concordian: Your new record is very creative. Is it hard to be creative in a time when music is so similar?
Passmore: I think it can be. I think it can get bogged down especially if your main goal is to be a popular band or a buzz band. I think it would be hard just because it seems to be a very short list of genres that are doing well. For us, it’s what comes through naturally and what interests us that we keep, that we pursue. It can be hard to be creative just from a lack of inspiration, feeling uninspired in general from music and life. What’s popular right now has not much to do with what we’re creating.
The Concordian: What fuels your creativity?
Passmore: I think that it’s probably more what’s going on in our own lives and with each other. A lot of our music or songs are created by all of us in the jam space. We are definitely more inspired by each other and playing with each other, that’s definitely an inspiration. Just something happening in your life can be way more inspiring or influential than a song you hear on the radio or a CD you bought. Obviously you take from everything you like but I think that losing a loved one or hating your job or having a terrible ride on the bus one day or even a snowstorm, I think those things have more of an influence on what we do than bands.
The Concordian: Is Regina a good breading ground for artists?
Passmore: I think it is a good place for music. Maybe it’s not the most supportive place for music, but I think it’s a good thing too. It really tests you before you take any chances, you really have to know that’s what you want to do and you have to be committed. I think that too much support early on in any band’s existence can really backfire in the long run. It’s a cheap place to live so it’s easy to afford a place to practice and afford a place to go home to when the tour ends. You talk to bands from other cities where the living expenses are triple what we pay and it’s hard. They have to make a certain amount. It’s easier to save up for recordings or to put out a record. You’ve always got a little fan base that slowly builds. It’s probably easier when you hit a certain level to be in major centers where things are happening. You don’t have to drive 25 or 30 hours to get to an event that’s being held there. All in all, it’s probably a good thing that we’re from Regina.
The Concordian: Why should people know Sylvie?
Passmore: We are really happy with the album; we’re working hard as a band to play as many shows as we can. I think our live show is the reason why we started playing music and put out a record. Especially these days with the newer songs we’ve been playing, there’s a lot of attention to layering. Our live show is the acid test to anyone who wants to know what a band is about. If somebody is not going to like us live, it’s hard to say if they are going to like the record. Why should people like us? We try to do things a little differently. Maybe they’d like us because of our hair cuts? How about that!
You can catch Sylvie (and their awesome hair cuts) at Main Hall on Tuesday Feb. 28th. Show at 9 pm.