The Wooden Stars People Are Different

The Wooden Stars People Are Different
Eight years since their own The Moon and seven since their eponymous Juno award-winning collaboration with Julie Doiron, the beloved Wooden Stars have returned in perfect working order. Comprised of newly written songs and unreleased pre-hiatus material, People Are Different doesn’t represent a departure for the Wooden Stars, nor does it bear traces of rust. In fact, this inventive, intricate record makes it hard to believe the band ever parted ways. More rock-oriented and less quirky than their earliest work, the quartet’s latter-day material still challenges pop song conventions with gutsy arrangements and unique lyricism. Vocalists/guitarists Julien Beillard and Mike Feuerstack remain a formidable tandem, and songs like "Orphans” and "Pretty Girl” smartly entangle dark humour with measured optimism. The downer themes are tempered by stunning guitar parts and upbeat performances, such as the dynamic and infectious "Last Secret Infirmary” and the slyly romantic "Blackouts.” The tight rhythm section of drummer Andrew McCormack and new bassist Josh Latour propel deceptively poppy punk songs like "Microphone” and the dizzyingly great "Boating Accident” in intriguing directions. The challenging post-punk edges of People are Different don’t diminish its accessibility, easily enabling the Wooden Stars to remind young indie rockers of their singular influence.

Where did the Wooden Stars go?
Andrew McCormack: It’s basically the whole "life goes on” story. People moved away for school and other things and we were geographically disparate, which wore down the reality of being in a band. We reconvened to play [producer] Dave Draves’ 40th birthday party, looked at each other and went, "Yeah, shit, we should do this again.” It’s important to us but still not the main thing we’re doing; we’ll make time for it when we can.

Is the band dynamic different?
Things changed a lot in the recording studio and everyone was a lot more comfortable. Previously we put pressure — imaginary or not — on ourselves, whereas this time around we didn’t have a goal in mind, which afforded us the luxury of taking our time. This record flows well after the last one.
It’s probably a logical continuation of where the band were going. In that sense, it’s likely the endpoint for that particular path, as the Wooden Stars look toward the future. Our first record was crazy and chaotic and subsequent records were less so. Having said that, I can also see it going in the other direction in the future. Vish Khanna (Sonic Unyon)