Published Aug 16, 2016The Pack A.D.'s latest album Positive Thinking is a policy statement in the face of danger: just carry on! Even in today's mad world, it's best to keep moving forward. Otherwise, where to?
On July 22, Becky Black and Maya Miller landed in Munich to start a European tour. As they were driving out, a shooter attacked and killed mall shoppers in another part of the city.
"It was weird because people had been saying, 'you shouldn't be travelling to Europe right now,'" singer-guitarist Black tells Exclaim! "But anything can happen, anywhere. The world is not a safe place — it never has been, it never will be. But sometimes reality is too much to handle."
Despite the fragile state of world, or perhaps because of it, the Pack won't stop their mad pace of stealing every stage they play on. Working through the tough times and screaming over the obstacles, the Vancouver musicians continue to reinvent themselves with every new offering.
While they've typically spent a couple of weeks recording an album that would take approximately a month to write, sixth album Positive Thinking took two years of writing and three separate sessions with sound engineer Jesse Gander to finally capture.
"I don't know if we did it intentionally but it felt like on the last album [Do Not Engage] we tried to branch into a more radio-friendly area," says Black. "I think that was a mistake."
For Positive Thinking, they went back to writing what they love — and dug into their personal lives for lyrical inspiration. Even the most rambunctious, head-banging dance tracks and the pithiest punk anthems touch on mental illness or anxiety — "things that have been on all our albums, but maybe more on this one," says Black.
In drummer Maya Miller's words, from their press release, the album explores, "the numbing day-to-day routine of depression and the fantastical ways that we look to mask it from ourselves and others."
Though there's relief in musical self-expression, it's still better for the Pack A.D. to get on the road. It's on stage, entertaining and sweating, and on tours across the continent and the Atlantic, where the two feel most content.
"And after the fall tour, I don't know, but probably a lot more touring!" says Black. "We like touring. When you're on the road it feels like you're constantly moving forward, even if it's just psychological. That's positive thinking!"
Positive Thinking is out now on Cadence Music. You can see the duo's upcoming tour dates below.
08/20 Rock Creek, BC - Ponderosa Arts & Music Festival
10/20 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
10/21 Montreal, QC - Turbo Haus
10/22 Ottawa, ON - House Of TARG
10/25 Somerville, MA - ONCE Somerville
10/26 Philadelphia, PA - Kungfu Necktie
10/27 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
11/15 Indianapolis, IN - The Hi-Fi
11/16 Chicago, IL - Schubas
11/17 St. Louis, MO - Firebird
11/19 Denver, CO - Lost Lake Lounge
11/21 Los Angeles, CA - Roxy Theatre
11/22 San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of The Hill