The Scenics How Does It Feel To Be Loved

Kicking off like a frayed electric shock, How Does It Feel To Be Loved quickly immerses the listener into a warm frenzy of fuzzy energy. First formed in 1976 by Andy Meyers (guitar/vocals/bass) and Ken Badger (guitar/vocals/bass), the Scenics were one of the most intrepidly inspired bands of the Toronto new wave/punk scene. Although their sheer originality wasn’t always easily embraced, the Scenics stuck it out for six years before disbanding in the early ’80s. They now return with a full-length collection of Velvet Underground covers recorded live between 1977 and 1981 in Toronto. At their inception, the Scenics were fuelled by the sense of rampant possibility that the oncoming new wave scene carried. Meyers credits this with the fact that there wasn’t enough media in place to provide new music 24/7 and as such, this album is rife with the inventive fervour that drove the Scenics. Although these are classic Velvet Underground songs, from "Waiting For My Man” to "Here She Comes Now,” the Scenics have made this into something that is all theirs. Jangly, inverted pop aesthetics and wild mood swings of feverish noise dominate these ten tracks, making How Does It Feel To Be Loved an abrasive wash of harmonious distortion.

What made you decide to release a covers album now?
Meyers: It is kind of funny, because our songs were one of the strong points of the band, but we did do a lot of Velvet Underground songs. The simple structure allowed for you to take it down almost anywhere you wanted. We didn’t really feel differently about the covers and our songs. They were some of our songs as well as far as we were concerned.

What state were these recordings in? Did you have to do a lot of mastering on them?
They were remarkably good to start with. They were recorded live with a two-track. You can hear all the instruments, but you can also hear great atmosphere. There’s a real sense of being there, which is very direct and powerful.

Does the feeling of the Scenics being outsiders 30 years ago still apply to the band today?
We were absorbing the same influences as everyone else, so at the time we were just being ourselves. We were responding to what we liked, who we liked, and being who we liked. And that’s all I’m really concerned about. We’re just continuing to be ourselves now at this point. (Independent)