Published Apr 21, 2010Montreal-based psych pop rockers Plants and Animals made a conscious decision to go for a more rock'n'roll sound on their sophomore album, La La Land, which got its proper release on Tuesday (April 20). And as the sound of Plants and Animals has grown stronger since the first album, 2008's Parc Avenue, so have the band.
"Our life at the time [of Parc Avenue], we weren't this unit that we are now," says singer/guitarist Warren Spicer in a recent Exclaim! interview. "We would just find time where we could get together and try to make these songs happen, and as a result, that record is a lot more all over the place in a lot of ways. This one is a lot tighter because we are a lot tighter as a unit."
The band, which also include bassist/guitarist Nicolas Basque and drummer Matthew Woodley, quit their day jobs and other bands, and went on cross-country tours. What they experienced on those tours turned into inspiration for sounds, and promotion.
"We saw a lot of the world through a van window," says Woodley. "We passed through a lot of places and lived somewhat of a more transient life, especially when we weren't home."
As for promoting La La Land, the band decided to record short video clips of each song with their actor friend Joe Cobden doing something random with pickles. The band were inspired by watching ads for Bonnie "Prince" Billy on the Drag City website that came loaded with dry humour, and the rest went from there.
"I don't know where the pickle thing came from," says Woodley. "Warren's got this pickle on his windowsill sealed in a plastic bag that came from a gas station somewhere in the world in our travels, so we thought pickles would be a good foundation that could be a springboard for the joke. [Cobden] really likes pickles anyway, so he was pretty much into any idea that involved pickles."
As previously reported, Plants and Animals kicked off a Canada-heavy North American tour this week. All the band's U.S. dates can be found here, while the Canadian stops are listed below.
4/21 Quebec City, QC - Theatre le Petit Champlain
4/22 Montreal, QC - La Tulipe
4/23 Ottawa, ON - Babylon
4/24 Peterborough, ON - The Red Dog
4/28 Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
4/29 Saskatoon, SK - Amigo's
4/30 Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room
5/1 Calgary, AB - The Legion
5/2 Kelowna, BC - Habitat
5/4 Victoria, BC - Sugar Nightclub
5/5 Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Ballroom