Canadian conglomeration ready to rock DetroitWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Take the lead singer from the Tragically Hip and add drummer Mike Belitsky, bassist Sean Dean, guitarist and keyboardist Dallas Good, and guitarist and vocalist Travis Good.
Simmer for seven years.
Place in studio for 10 days. Makes 10 songs that clock in at 31 minutes.
That’s the recipe for Gord Downie, The Sadies and The Conquering Sun and their self-titled debut, which was released last month.
“It wasn’t something that we labored over. We always checked the process against that sort of criteria, which was we don’t need this to be a hassle,” Downie said. “It was the sort of thing where we’d get together sporadically, catch is as catch can, whenever we could, and just pushed the yard sticks a little bit, maybe a song, maybe a song and a half, maybe record it and put it away and leave it.
“But all through the process, I think the work itself kept us coming back. Songs that withered away in our absence, we would just let die. But if we came in and the songs felt tight, felt pretty fresh — as a music lover, a music listener, that’s sort of the criteria I use, you know, records that resonate with me.”
Thanks to the blistering single, “Crater,” the band is turning heads for more than just that long name. Of course, Hip fans have noticed, and The Sadies have their followers, including Downie.
Downie wrote the lyrics, and The Sadies penned the music.
“The Sadies’ music really takes me places and puts me in situations or up against backdrops; it puts me in climates; it creates the setting in which I want to react as a tourist to what I’m seeing. And I try to capture or catch those utterances,” the singer-songwriter said during a call from his Toronto home.
“As a writer, I’m looking for music to take me somewhere, and again, I’m just trying to capture my reactions.”
He added, “I think that’s also part of the charm and allure — if there are such things in these songs — is that a lot of times when you try too hard to be clever or relate a message or anything that requires a lot of intellectualization, it allows a lot of ego and these types of things to leak in. I find that stuff doesn’t help the lyrics hold up over time, and I think that’s what I’m leery of; that’s what 25, 30 years has taught me to get to the point where I began, you know, where you’re not really worried about expectation. You just want to say something that really rattles around and resonates and hope it stays that way. That’s hard to do.”
Gord Downie, The Sadies and The Conquering Sun will play May 11 at the Magic Stick in Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.
“We’ll play this record, we’ll play some covers. You dance, you drink, you go home, you know?” Downie said.