Last Saturday, Men, Women and Children opened the show at Main Hall on their first North American tour since the completion of their self-titled debut album.
The album has yet to be released, but nonetheless, the members of the band are still excited to be touring and getting their music out there. Singer TJ Penzone said that with only three songs available online, any expectations they’ve had so far have definitely been met. Keyboard player Nick Conceller agreed. “It’s been fun. It’s not like there are millions of people at the shows, but there’s feedback from the people who are there and the word’s spreading,” Conceller said.
In terms of the audience reception, Conceller has enjoyed seeing people respond to all different types of music in Canada, which he sees as a definite difference compared to the scene in the States. Guitarist Todd Weinstock conceded. “I think people like music more here, same for Europe. In America, nobody likes music,” Weinstock said.
Elaborating on this point, Conceller added that in the U.S., “you’re told what to like; totally force-fed. And if it’s not force-fed, you’re too cool to like it and you have to pretend not to like it.”
Men, Women and Children obviously love music. Most of all, they want to be a band that makes music fun. This original premise is what brought all the members, completed by guitarist Jason Gimmule and drummer David Sullivan Kaplan, together. As Conceller related, “the band just started as kind of a long distance side project. Slowly as we began making music, it became serious and all our attention was on that.”
By keeping with an atmosphere of fun while they’re on stage, the band attempts to get the audience involved in their shows. Weinstock said that many people have told them that just by watching Men, Women and Children, “you can tell that we are definitely have a good time.”
Conceller added, “it’s almost like if we can have the [right] energy, it becomes contagious and a couple of people will be psyched. It spreads and that’s like the magical show.”
But with so many people in the band, it was sometimes difficult translating this feeling onto the record in a way that everyone would approve. “Everything is analyzed to the point of death,” Weinstock stated. “There was little direction on what the band was really going to sound like. We knew kind of the vibe and what the whole basis was, but I think that’s why it was such a hectic process.”
Without any rules, the writing and recording process was so open-ended for Conceller that their influences were just as vast as well. “Obviously it’s the sum of our influences but we just wanted to convey a feeling of music,” he said.
Working with producer Raine Maida, vocalist for Our Lady Peace, as well as partner Jason Lader, was an extra delight for the band. Going into the studio with an open mind allowed Maida to inspire and help out the members so much so that they made him co-producer for half the album.
And meeting random people that one wouldn’t expect to have a connection with, whether or not they’re in the industry, is probably what Conceller loves the most about his job. “You come to Canada and the kids in Montreal are singing the words. That’s so powerful and that’s the reason [why] I’m so happy to be doing what we’re doing,” he concluded.
For more information on Men, Women and Children, visit www.menwomenandchildren.com