Brevity is the Soul of Pop
“We all agree on short and sweet,” says bassist Megan Bradfield, speaking on behalf of songwriter Scott L.D. Walker and drummer Dion Willis. “It wasn’t really on purpose. We’re not really a band for jamming. The band I played in before never even had guitar solos. When I met Scott he had the same aesthetic I did, which is that everything has a purpose in music.”
Rather than just short attention spans, Bradfield bases her “short and sweet” philosophy on an admittedly odd comparison: jazz. “There are songs by Coltrane where everyone plays the same thing for a while and then solo for 100 bars. I’m a fan of someone like [Charles] Mingus, who has specific ideas for orchestration through the whole thing.”
Realising that she’s setting herself up for a pretentious comparison, the effervescent Bradfield — who wears a superhero cape on stage and punctuates her performance with well-placed rock kicks — catches herself quickly. Are you saying you’re the Mingus of pop music? “No!” she laughs. “But how many times do you go see a band and say, ‘Jesus Christ, when is this song going to be over?’ You think, ‘Wow, this is cool,’ and then they keep on doing it. We feel we have nothing more to say in our songs!”
While touring Canada a band can often be called on to play up to three sets a night, which can pose a problem. “That happened to us in Nelson, B.C.,” says Bradfield, adding that other than the band’s ever-expanding roster, there are other ways to stretch a set. “You can talk a lot, deal with technical difficulties… thankfully, Scott’s notorious for breaking strings.”
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