The Tourist Company
November 4, 2016
The last time we spoke with The Tourist Company, they had just been accepted into the 2014 Peak Performance Project. Since then, they've come 3rd in the competition, released their long awaited debut LP Apollo, and spent a lot more time touring. We catch up with them about the new music, how far they've come since the PPP, and the evolution of their song-writing process.
Read our last interview with The Tourist Company: Click Here
Anderson Paak - Come Down
Bon Iver - 33 GOD
Future Islands - Waiting On You
Andy Shauf - The Magician
Jordan Klassen - Gargoyles
We Are The City - Keep On Dancing
Hannah Georgas - Don't Go
Diamond Mind - Diamond Mind
G: The last time we spoke you had been accepted into the 2014 Peak Performance Project, how have things changed for you since then?
TC: Oh man it’s pretty tough to know where to begin! Placing 3rd in the PEAK was a surreal experience. Having the money to work with for our new album definitely affected how it turned out in the best way possible. To me, the PEAK kind of felt like high school and now we’re out in the real world trying to put into practice everything they taught us. I’d say that’s been the biggest change, our training wheels are off and now we’re putting the work in to make our music everything it can possibly be.
G: You had just come off your first tour last time we spoke. Has touring become more natural feeling, and are there some new fun tour stories you’d like to share? (We need to know.. Has Jill’s spice tolerance gone up?)
TC: Haha I don’t know if her tolerance has gone up at all, but she definitely orders more wisely now. We have definitely hit more of rhythm on tour. Every time we go out we learn a little bit more about how interact best with each other’s personalities in close quarters.
As far as new tour stories go I think one of the crazier ones I can recall happened on our way back from Canadian Music Week last year. We were doing a straight drive from Toronto to Vancouver without stops and that put us right in the middle of the Prairies in the middle of night. Out of nowhere we came across this absolutely crazy wind storm. I had been sleeping in the back and Brenon and Alex (our manager) had been driving. I just remember waking up to the sight of several semis flipped over by the gale (which I didn’t know was possible in the absence of a tornado) and Alex and Brenon slapping each other outside the van trying to wake up. We made it back to Vancouver in one piece about 20 hours later, but that was one of the craziest drives I’ve ever been a part of.
G: Lets talk Apollo. What is the reason behind all the space themes with your music? Is there an underlying desire in the band to be astronauts?
TC: I’m not sure if the band has a repressed desire to go to space (although Brenon did apply to be a part of the mission to Mars when they had open applications a couple years ago), but I definitely had a strong fascination with the idea as a kid. That fascination found its way into our songwriting and the Space Race became a metaphor for life in a way that felt very real to me. I don’t think our music will always have space themes, but it’s been a great therapy for this season of the band where we’re constantly being pushed to the limits of what we can do, and are often heading into unknown territory.
G: Which track off the album are you most excited to have people listen to?
TC: Definitely the opening track 1957/Sputnik. I remember writing that song the morning they announced the Top 3 of the PEAK trying to distract myself any way I could from thinking about what kind of an impact that moment would have my life. The song’s connection to that moment makes it really emotional for me. It also features real harp playing which makes it easy favourite in my books.
G: Where will you be touring to promote the album? What can fans expect at your shows?
TC: We are actually in the middle of a cross Canada tour right now! I’m answering these questions on our way to Halifax from Montreal. Our shows will represent the songs from the album in the best way we know how. You can expect to see the record happen in real life with lots of dynamics and energy.
G: Has your songwriting process changed over the past couple years? Did this album evolve differently than previously?
TC: The biggest change this record saw from our previous releases is that I actually wrote the majority of the album from the piano (all of our music had been written on guitar until now). Our process has remained pretty much the same, I write the songs and bring them to the rest of the band for their input and we build parts together from there.
It's a great album. Thank you for chatting!