Published May 22, 2014With the Constantines' Shine a Light reissue and reunion shows nearing, the band's Steven Lambke has provided details about the status of both the band and their most enduring album.
"We're about to enter full-time Constantines practising. Basically after the You've Changed shows, we go in and start practising," he said in a new episode of the Kreative Kontrol with Vish Khanna podcast.
"There will be more shows announced soon, which will be later in the fall," he revealed, before clarifying, "There's not going to be a big tour. There's going to be some shows. Nobody wants to go out like we used to go out, for weeks and weeks at a time. That's not going to happen, but we're going to play a handful of shows beyond what's already been announced."
So, if you were holding out on attending one of the band's summer festival dates in Ontario and New Brunswick because you figured they might be hitting the road even harder, you might have travel plans to make.
Lambke explained that it was Bry Webb who initiated the Cons' indefinite hiatus in 2010 when band members were a bit "burnt out" but willing to go on, and Webb also made the call to bring the band back together for the summer and fall shows they have planned.
When asked if he sees the Cons engaging in any other activity, Lambke said, "Who knows? We haven't talked about anything beyond these shows we're going to play. Everybody's got full-time jobs and busy."
Lambke also provided some insight into the Shine a Light reissue, which Sub Pop Records is releasing worldwide on June 10 except for Canada, where You've Changed Records is standing by to take your pre-order. He said re-releasing the album was initially a practical matter, as the record has been out of print since even before the band stopped functioning.
As for the reissue itself, Lambke said the relatively streamlined final product came about after some back and forth between band members about its content.
"We had a lot of talks about what it was gonna be because the impulse is 'Let's put out a crazy deluxe thing with all of this extra stuff — demos and live things and dirty underwear' and all this stuff," he said, chuckling. "The more we talked about it among ourselves, the less that idea appealed to anybody.
"But listening to the record again — and I hadn't listened to it in a number of years — this is a really great record still. I would rather it come out and be heard as a record and not be prohibitively expensive so that people have the record, as it was made. It's still good, it's a complete record, rather than have it be [padded] with stuff that waters it all down."
It kind of helped that a dip into the audio archives didn't reveal any outtakes or real treasures that fans might be clamouring for, particularly from the era that spawned the original album.
"For stuff that made sense to combine with Shine a Light, there just wasn't anything worth charging money for," Lambke said. "We have a blog up and I've been posting live things and posters and that makes way more sense to me. If people are interested, there's this thing and they can look at it. I would rather that's where that stuff exists rather than in some super deluxe LP.
"So the reissue is the record itself. It's a new cut of the vinyl master because the old one was gone. The new one sounds better, I think; it's awesome. We had the original artwork so we re-photographed it, which was [Cons member] Dallas [Wehrle]'s idea. It was made on these sheets of drywall so it's really beat up and mouldy from being in the basement for 11 years. So, it's the same artwork, re-photographed and recreated."
Lambke also discussed his label, You've Changed Records, and its fifth anniversary parties taking place tonight (May 22) at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto and Friday (May 23) at St. Alban's Church in Ottawa. He expects more records by the Weather Station, Shotgun Jimmie, Marine Dreams and Baby Eagle to see the light of day in the next while. He also revealed that the secret surprise performer for the You've Changed Toronto show will be label co-founder Daniel Romano and his band the Trilliums.
Listen to this entire conversation on the Kreative Kontrol with Vish Khanna podcast.
06/08 Toronto, ON - Fort York & Garrison Common (Field Trip Festival)
08/03 Sackville, NB - SappyFest
08/22 Peterborough, ON - Peterborough Folk Festival
08/23 Ottawa, ON - Arboretum Festival