Published May 11, 2012Japandroids are set to release their sophomore long-player, Celebration Rock, on the newly bumped date of May 29 via Polyvinyl here in Canada (June 5 in the U.S.). In a recent interview with Exclaim!, the Vancouver duo explained where they got that inspiring new album title from and just how divisive it was at first.
Singer/guitarist Brian King says that Celebration Rock came to mind because it represents the music best in his mind, but he didn't get an immediate thumbs-up from his inner support circle.
"I feel like it's the perfect description of the music. I came up with it and everyone hated it when I said it," King explains. "As is typically the case with our band, everyone hates my ideas until they become public and there is some sense en masse that it's not terrible. So when the record got announced and people were getting the tracklisting and hearing the first single, it wasn't until that happened when the reaction turned to excitement and that it was okay to be called Celebration Rock. But I met resistance on all fronts... you should have seen the look on people's faces when I told them that is what I wanted to call it [laughs]."
Adds drummer Dave Prowse, "I was a bit skeptical when he came up with it. We didn't have a lengthy discussion about what the album title should be. He came up with it, and I was like, 'Give me 20 minutes to think about this.' And then I thought, 'Yeah, okay, that sounds good.'
"As soon as we put fireworks and explosions on the record I was like, 'Okay, this is the perfect title for it.' It's something that people have started talking about, like that's an apt description of the music we make. To be honest, though, I didn't make that connection. I think Brian might have, and I think that's what he was going for."
As Prowse points out, the album features and actually kicks off with some explosive assistance -- a fitting touch for something they decided to call Celebration Rock.
"Brian and I have a shared love of pyrotechnics of all types," explains Prowse. "When touring in the U.S., we often pick some up along the way. We had some left over from when we went to Nashville in the fall to do some writing for this record. We actually tried to record firecrackers for a recording a really long time ago, when we were doing our first EPs. So it's something that we thought about before and decided to do it for this record. Fireworks have been near and dear to our hearts for a long time, so it seemed like a good way to start the album."
Some trickery was required to get the popping sound to come out perfectly, thanks in large to producer Jesse Gander, who once again recorded them at the Vancouver-area studio the Hive.
"What we did was have Jesse slow down the tape to give it a lower end to make it sound like Fourth of July fireworks," says Prowse. "We did it in the back alley behind the recording studio. Jesse put up and we just let a bunch of firecrackers off. Best day in the studio. Way more fun than laying down drums."
5/17 Cardiff, UK - Club Ifor Bach *
5/18 Brighton, UK - Green Door Store *
5/19 Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
5/21 Bristol, UK - Cooler *
5/22 London, UK - CAMP *
5/23 Manchester, UK - Soup Kitchen *
5/24 Glasgow, UK - King Tut's *
5/25 Leeds, UK - Cockpit 2
5/26 Nottingham, UK - Bodega *
5/29 London, UK - The Garage *
5/31 Barcelona, Spain - Parc del Forum
6/11 Seattle, WA - Neumos *
6/12 Portland, OR - Doug Fir *
6/14 San Francisco, CA - The Independent *
6/15 Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex *
6/16 San Diego, CA - Casbah *
6/19 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge *
6/21 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall *
6/22 Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop *
6/23 Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace *
6/25 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa *
6/26 Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall *
6/27 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
6/28 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
6/29 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's *
6/30 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel *
7/3 Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry *
7/7 Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore
* with Cadence Weapon