Only a few years fresh out of grade school, We Are the City have already chosen to hit rewind. The BC-based pop rock outfit will release High School, a six-song collection devoted to revisiting moments of the past with a new outlook, on March 22 via Adventure Boys Club.
Vocalist/keyboardist Cayne McKenzie and drummer Andrew Huculiak originally intended for High School to be a fictional side-project with characters and story lines. Last summer, they even went as far as playing parties with their faces hidden by masks, as they didn't want to associate the release's songs with We Are the City.
But the record also became a new outlet for them to deal with original We Are the City guitarist David Menzel's departure. It was when Menzel left that the remaining members abandoned the side-project idea, instead pushing forwards under the We Are the City moniker as the project allowed the band to, as the press release puts it, "revisit their teenage years, laying bare some shameful memories from their past."
"We just wanted to do an experiment to see what it would be like to start over," explains McKenzie in a recent interview with Exclaim! "It suits the feeling of the band right now, because at the time, when we decided to do High School, it was impossible to look forward. Like, 'Is the band even going to be a band anymore?' So at least it felt comforting to look backwards, so we found some things that were worth writing about."
Following Menzel's exit, Blake Enemark joined We Are the City as their new guitarist, with the newly bonded trio making the move from Kelowna, BC to Victoria.
"I feel like we were really lucky that we did the High School thing because if we didn't, I don't know what we would have done when David quit the band," McKenzie says. "Because High School was already just Andrew and I, it was a good transition into bringing someone new into the band."
Along with the new EP, We Are the City are working on their upcoming sophomore album. According to McKenzie, about half the album is complete and it will likely be released next year. Like with the EP, Tom Dobrzanski (Said the Whale, Hey Ocean!) is producing, with the band aiming for a more progressive and experimental sound, McKenzie says.
In the meantime, the band will be embarking on a cross-Canada tour. You can check out all the dates below, and get set for more to be announced in the near future.
Also, as an added bonus, you can download the new High School track "Happy New Year" here.
1 "Get Happy"
2. "Happy New Year"
3. "That's It, That's All"
4. "Dark/Warm Air"
6. "An Angel in White"
2/18 Victoria, BC - Fairfield United *^&
2/19 Port Alberni, BC - The Academy *^$
2/20 Duncan, BC - The Duncan Garage Showroom *^
2/25 Brandon, MB - North Hill Inn
2/28 Thunder Bay, ON - Crock's
3/3 Kingston, ON - Clark Hall Pub %
3/4 Windsor, ON - The Phog Lounge
3/8 Montreal, QC - Casa del Popolo
3/9 Quebec, QC - L'Agitee
3/12 Toronto, ON - The Garrison (CMW Showcase)
3/15 Halifax, NS - Paragon Gallery Pub *
3/18 Charlottetown, PEI - Baba's *
3/23 Winnipeg, MB - The Park Theatre *%
3/24 Regina, SK - O'Hanlon's *
3/25 Edmonton, AB - BRIXX *
3/26 Calgary, AB - The Marquee Room *
4/2 Vancouver, BC - The Red Room (West Coast Pop) *
4/3 Kelowna, BC - Kelowna Community Theatre *
* with Aidan Knight
^ with Yes Nice
# with Yukon Blonde
& with Mike Edel
$ with Kingdom Cloud
% with The Liptonians