A Chat With: The Velveteins
A few weeks ago, the Edmonton rock n roll band The Velveteins came to Montreal for a show at L’Escogriffe. I got to chat with Spencer, Addison and Dean about their journey on tour so far, their upcoming debut album (Slow Wave out May 12th), who they would like to hear cover one of their songs and much more.
How’s tour been going so far for you guys?
S: Good, it’s been fun. This is our third week so far. We’ve done 10 shows across Canada and some US and all the shows have been good, we had a few days off in
A: Yeah, tours been good. The shows have all been really good but it’s hard money wise, we don’t have much money
You guys are alone in this? No manager?
A: No we’re not touring with uh no, fully unmanaged
D: Well we manage each other. Addison manages Spencer, Spencer manages me and so on
S: This is probably one of our biggest tours across the country so far and it’s one of our firsts going all the way. We’re going to New York tomorrow, that’ll be a first, we’ve never been so that’ll be good
You guys were at Canadian Music Week, how was that?
A: It was cool
S: We played like 3 shows in 2 days which was cool and then we played a really good show at the Great Hall in Toronto which was sweet, yeah good time I think
And before that you guys were at SXSW, how was that experience?
S: Probably in one sentence I would say it was fucking crazy
D: Lots of industry people, lots of bands but also its spring break around there for college students so a lot of people there are in full on party mode
S: A lot of people aren’t even going to the festival that are just partying which is crazy, there’s a lot more going on. Um, but we saw some cool bands. We drove there from Vancouver which was crazy but it was cool, it was our first time there
Yeah it looks sick, and there’s so many shows to see
S: But like there so many bands that at some point during the festival everyone’s like ‘I don’t even care about music anymore, I’m so tired’ cause theres so many bands all the time. You can only see so many bands before you you’re just like ‘I wanna go for a walk’
D: Everything sounds the same. Try going on a walk without hearing a band too
S: It’s an overload almost. But we drove so we saw like so many crazy parts of America through the desert and we played some shows in Dallas and Las Vegas, it was sick
Did anything crazy happen on tour so far or cool?
S: Seems like everyday is a bit crazy in its own way but specific crazy things probably one of them would be in Las Vegas. Going to the casinos for the first time and being able to smoke inside
A: Yeah Las Vegas, we played a festival and just being there one weekend was crazy, lots of weird stuff
D: Its hard to stop smoking or drinking in Vegas cause its legal everywhere, it never stops
S: They never stop serving alcohol too so
D: Yeah it’s 24 hours, I feel like I need a last call
S: I don’t know if there’s been any crazy stories on the way out here though, like in Madison, Wisconsin we met some cool people and stayed in their old nun house
D: Like a bunch on nuns lived there in the early 1900s they were saying, nunnery? Is nunnery a word?
S: I don’t know but uh we’ve just been meeting a lot of people. We got some deep dish in Chicago, that was pretty sweet
D: Chicago was cool. Nothing overly crazy on this run though or nothing I can remember right this second
In an interview you guys did at SXSW you said that there wasn’t many Canadian bands in general, so what makes you stand out from the other ones? And I get what you guys were saying, like there are more solo or duo acts making it out of Canada rather than bands
D: I think that we were also saying that cause at SXSW, American bands versus Canadian bands was just-there just wasn’t as many Canadian bands. But also what makes us different from Arkells or July Talk is that they have money and we don’t
A: One thing is that it’s really common for bands to make it big in Canada and not big anywhere else
S: I mean, we like to go to the States a lot so maybe our tactic is to get a more general fanbase everywhere rather than just in Canada. Like Canada is where we’re from but its also so small compared to America, therefore there’s less bands and less venues
D: Even a band like Blue Rodeo which is huge in Canada, not my thing really, but they’ll tour once or twice a year across Canada and sell out shows and then go to the States and play to like 100 people
A: Or like Neil Young
D: hahah yeah no ones who that is
Your album comes out May 12th, are you guys excited about that?
S: Yeah we’re really excited, we’ve never released a full album before
What can people expect from it?
S: a couple songs
D: Maybe 9 of them
S: maybe a few songs, probably a few we play live that they don’t know, uh I don’t know, they might hate it
D: I just hope people like it or enjoy it
S: It might come out and people are gonna be like ‘wow fuck this band’ and we’re gonna stop being a band
Like what the fuck is this?
D: Hahah they might say that
S: Like this is bullshit, who knows
Is it kinda similar to your EP?
S: Its similar in a way that we’re playing it but it’s different because Dean wasn’t in the band when we wrote the EP so he’s in it now. The songs are different because we changed since the EP, like we’re into different stuff and we all wrote the songs collectively more than before
A: We spent a lot more time on it in general. I think its like the last record but with more intent behind the songs, like more thought out
Can you tell us a favourite song or lyric from the album?
A: We all really like the 2 singles we released so far. Don’t You Feel Better we like and people have liked that one a lot and it feels great to play live. That’s probably my favourite new one to play live cause its just different, it fits in well, it’s a breath of air in the set
D: I think the other single is pretty fun. Midnight Surf is different and there’s just a lot more going than the other songs
S: Yeah, and one song I also really like that hasn’t been released is a song called Spanish Wine that I think, when it comes out people will be like ‘this is chill’, or not, but I’m looking forward to it being available
D: I guess we seem pretty unsure by this, like I don’t know man
A: And it’s been a long time since we released music
S: Yeah we haven’t released any new music, like besides this album and the singles its been probably since 2015. Cause that’s when the EP originally came out and we re-released it last year. And also, this album that’s coming out was recorded a year ago so we’ve been waiting a year almost to put it out so to us it’s almost old
Why has it taken so long?
S: Well, it just started to get more serious when we recorded that and we signed to a few labels and we had to do a few tours. It was just a slow process and it wasn’t on our time anymore, like it was everybody’s timeline. We wanna do a new album already but this one hasn’t even come out yet