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Angela (from Drive Faster)
"Rock" that you can dance and hum along to.
Phillip Hong
August 5, 2010
Rock has morphed into rather a cluttered, heavy sound that seems to be quite emotionally imbalanced at the end of the day. If you don't believe me, try to remember the last mainstream hit you remember from five years ago, and then figure out the lyrical meaning of the music. Exactly. It simply isn't substantial enough to be poetic.
In a world where a genre is reliant on screaming and instrumental disasters, Drive Faster is rather a breath of fresh air. Originating in Alberta as "Supernal", without the cowboy hats, they provide a sound that's energetic and inspiring. The lyrics actually make sense. And you don't need earplugs to enjoy its rebellious feel.
Thus begins an interview with lead singer, Angela, who adds the right amount of "up and at 'em" to each wonderful creation.
PHIL: How was "Drive Faster" formed? Was it fate that brought you together?
ANGELA: Drive Faster was born out of the band "Supernal" that we were formerly known as for several years; a rock band with two crunchy guitars and a heavier sound. With the name change we decided to try and find a keyboard player and go for a more dance/rock vibe. The idea was to go up-tempo all the way. When we couldn't find the keyboardist we envisioned, we decided that maybe I should lose the guitar and try playing keys instead. And... here we are.
PHIL: Your music contains elements of rock along with the use of synthesizers and plenty of enthusiasm to boot. Does it require a lot of effort in order to keep a uniform sound with all these different features?
ANGELA: I think the use of the synth in the band works to create the sound, making it easier to sound uniform. We definitely have elements of rock in our sound, with our history of playing heavier rock, but that being said, we consciously strive for a specific vibe and tempo.
For "Frame of Mind", each song we wrote had to sound good next to the last one and have a common thread somewhere. That was a bit of the goal when we started as a band writing from scratch: songs that don't sound too "rock" that you can dance to and hum along.
PHIL: How is living in Toronto so far, considering that you guys are from Calgary. Is the music scene any different here?
ANGELA: It is totally different! We love Calgary, but for our genre we found it difficult to flourish in the scene there. It is very small in comparison and I found that punk and Top 40 cover bands were the bands that did really well. We found ourselves playing more out of our own city than in it...
It was our last tour out to Toronto that we decided this was a better home for our music. Toronto is an awesome city filled with people that go out just to watch original music, regardless of who is playing. That interest in original music is hard to find in the Calgary clubs unless you are part of the small niche community of a few great venues out there.
Edmonton and Saskatoon have a good scene too... I know as a Calgarian it is sacrilegious to like Edmonton, but hey, we don't live there anymore!
PHIL: When you perform in concerts, how do you keep up with the high energy of your music?
ANGELA: A steady stream of inspiration from the audience mixed with Coke - Coca-Cola I mean!
I find that the more you give, the more you receive. I know that sounds cliche, but a concert is really a two way exchange of energy. If we played to a brick wall, I think we would still dance, just because it is so easy with the faster tempo of our style. But when you feel the audience is with you every step of the way... there are just no words to describe it.
PHIL: What is the weirdest request a fan has ever asked you?
ANGELA: We used to play in Hanna, AB a lot, and there were some regular fans that we got to know pretty well. One night after a show, we were hanging out in one of the hotel rooms and this girl insisted that we watch a DVD of Pantera. No one was really into the idea but she refused to leave until we had finished the ENTIRE thing. That was a really long night. Luckily I don't have any crazier stories yet!
PHIL: If you were forced to perform a ballad from the 80s, what would fit your style of music? Please exclude Pat Benatar.
ANGELA: I think "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS would be alright...
Phillip Hong is a presenter on AMPM, combining some great indie music with quotes and interviews.
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