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.