Published May 23, 2013Toronto busybodies Hooded Fang are about to release their third album Gravez. Despite retaining the band's hectic, surf-hooked élan and trilling vocals, it's a decidedly more wintry-sounding set than predecessor Tosta Mista, a fact the band puts down to age and improved musicianship.
"It sounds more serious to me," singer Daniel Lee tells Exclaim! "I think it's the best record that this band has put out. It takes time for the stuff to meld together."
Guitarist Lane Halley adds, "We're a better band, more knowledgeable, better at playing together, [and it's] more of a team effort."
The album, Lee explains, went through three iterations before they settled on the final product.
"We had a lot of demoes that weren't really finished, that were very different from the final product, and our [UK] label [Full Time Hobby] were like, 'This is too demo-ey!' Which was totally true. Then we recorded a whole bunch and ended up using some of that and some of the demoes that were brought to a more polished state."
Adds Halley: "There's a few [non-Gravez] songs that go really well together. I'd like to see it as a small EP. Might be cool to do something like that."
In Canada, Gravez comes courtesy of Daps Records, run by Lee, Aliermo and Ian Chai. The label recently made its full online catalogue Pay What You Can, opening up releases from the likes of Phèdre, Odonis Odonis and Hut to the lighter of wallet.
"We just wanted more people to be able to hear it," Lee shrugs. "And some people don't have a PayPal account, or don't have the money to buy music, or prefer to buy a record at a show or go to some other concert. It doesn't matter; people support music in different ways. And if they're real music fans they wanna listen to music. Providing those people with music is the most important thing.
"People do buy stuff [using PWYC], and it gives people more of an incentive to check it out. I mean, especially the more obscure stuff is likely to appeal to people who don't have a lot of money. And those are the people that are probably gonna go start bands and stuff."
In support of Gravez, Hooded Fang will be heading out on a North American tour. Check all the dates below. Gravez arrives on May 28 via Daps/Full Time Hobby.
5/29 London, ON - Call the Office
5/30 Hamilton, ON - The Casbah
5/31 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
6/1 Montreal, QC – The Plant
6/3 Boston, MA - Middle East Upstairs
6/4 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
6/5 Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
6/6 Washington, DC - Black Cat
6/7 Cleveland, OH - Bad Racket
6/8 St. Louis, MO - Heavy Anchor
6/9 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
6/12 Winnipeg, AB - Royal Albert Arms
6/13 Saskatoon, SK - MOSO Fest at Vangelis
6/14 Edmonton, AB - Brixx
6/15 Calgary, AB - Palomino
6/16 Vancouver, BC - Media Club
6/17 Seattle, WA - El Corazon Lounge
6/18 Eugene, OR - Cozmic Lounge
6/20 San Francisco, CA - DNA Lounge
6/21 Los Angeles, CA - Viper Room
6/23 San Diego, CA - Soda Bar