Published Jun 28, 2011In 2009, Women drummer Michael Wallace teamed up with his fellow Calgarians Nicole Brunel and Henry Hsieh to form the group Friendo. The band then gave their proper introduction via their debut LP, 2010's Cold Toads, on Secretly Canadian offshoot St. Ives. Now, with Women on what looks like a permanent hiatus, Friendo are back in the forefront with plans for a new single, album and European tour.
"I'd say there's a little bit of hope in my heart for a Women reunion, but I'm not going to sit around and wait for it to happen," Wallace tells Exclaim!
With that in mind, Friendo have booked a UK tour with Brighton's Cold Pumas, a band who shared last year's four-way split seven-inch with Friendo, Women and Fair Ohs.
"That's kind of helping us manage it," Wallace says of the band's tourmates. "Because we're no indie sensation with grants coming out of our ass, we've got to pay for the van rental and plane tickets out of our own pockets rather than the Canadian government, who paid for my last four Europe trips."
With that in mind, the trio can focus more on exploring their surroundings. "We're really sweet tourists in Friendo," Brunel admits. "In New York, we went to two museums in one day, and we had to play a show and we were hungover. We're marathon tourists. I want to see every castle!"
To coincide with the tour, which runs from July 1 to 16, Friendo are releasing a limited seven-inch on Faux Discx. The record is a split with their Calgary brethren in Lab Coast and will be limited to 150 copies. From there, the plan is to record another album.
So far, the new recordings mark a noticeable departure for the band, employing elements of garage pop in place of reverb-drenched harmonizing. Still, the band are always toying with new ideas for their sound.
"I think it's kind of like '80s New Zealand stuff a bit again and then maybe a little bit of '80s dance stuff," Brunel explains. "There are some synths lined up and we've got a bit of garage pop too. Some kind of mixture of those things right now."
Wallace adds that the new album could take any form as they continue recording, even expressing an interest in a more traditional studio set-up in contrast to the band's previously lower-fidelity recordings.
"I think it would be really fun to work with someone in a studio. It would be less on our plate and we could focus on just playing the songs rather than the aesthetic and the recording quality," he says. "I don't know which direction it will go, I think we're just going to fuck around for the rest of the summer and try to write some more songs and see what we can do."
All Friendo dates are available below, including a pair of Calgary dates going down this week, along with a brand new music video for the song "Germanic Panic."
6/28 Calgary, AB - The Area
6/29 Calgary, AB - Broken City
7/1 Brighton, UK - The Hope
7/2 London, UK - The Victory
7/3 Leamington Spa, UK - Leamington Assembly
7/4 Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
7/5 Glasgow, UK - 13th Note
7/6 Edinburgh, UK - Sneaky Pete's
7/7 Milton Keynes, UK - Upstairs of Slug and Lettuce
7/8 Cardiff, UK - Buffalo Bar
7/9 London, UK - Plan B
7/11 Brighton, UK - Prince Albert
7/14 Amsterdam, NE - OT301