Our Darkest Days released their new album A COMMON AGONY on Bird Attack Records in November 2016, I had a chance to talk to them via email about Music, Canadian People, Humor and how to kill the boredom while touring. Thanks to the band for talking to me and Tony from Earshot for setting it up.
1. This is your first release together, did you have any idea of its sound before you went in to record it?
We had a good idea what it might sound like. We had worked a lot on our sound and we were equipped to make pre-production. But as for the final result, once the mixing and mastering was over, we had no idea that the guys we worked with would deliver such a product. We have chosen beasts, and we are really happy and proud of what it has given.
2. Did playing in other bands help you form the idea of the sound of Our Darkest Days? Any things you wanted to do different or a different direction you wanted to go?
ODD is a grouping of former members of different projects that we had together over the years. When we started composing we had a guideline, we knew where to go. We didn’t want to deviate from a few points and to have experienced certain avenues in the past together, prevented us from repeating the same errors we made before in the composition of the songs. It was obvious to us that we wanted to go into the fast, technical, and melodic. The worst aspects that we had in the past have been left out. Just like the way we write song lyrics, we chose to take what we did the best and put it all together in what we are doing now.
3. Some of my favorite comedy comes from Canada, SCTV, Kids in the Hall, Norm MacDonald, are people from colder climes naturally funnier?
That’s a good question. Historically, families in my part of the country often gathered to spend the evenings together, to celebrate, to organize big suppers. We all have an uncle or a grandfather who tells stories to make us laugh. I think the fact that it is cold and we meet in the winter in our houses has made us people who are close to our family. In my opinion, everything starts from there, from our surroundings. We are more focused on humor here, laughing and making people laugh. It helps us to pass through our rigorous winters.
4. How in the hell does your drummer manage all those beats per minute without forming Popeye arms, or some kind of cramp? Or does he cramp up when you guys play live?
Guillaume is a machine, and in addition, this guy is so funny! I’ve never seen him have cramps, but maybe sometimes, brain cramps! [Laughs] More seriously, he is really strong and fast and it’s innate for him. He does not need to practice hours and hours to get to what he gives on the tracks.
5. Given the energy of your songs, how drained is the band after a show? What gets you through that, besides a good audience?
It is definitely loving our songs, loving to play together, loving to play music. We are just grateful to be able to perform on stage together after so many years, and to have the reaction we have from the scene and the crowd. It gives us the energy and the fire that we need to give intense shows. We just like what we do and we do not break our heads with the rest. As for the after show, we pack our stuff, discuss the show, and we rest. We meet the next day or the day after tomorrow to give ourselves a report.
6. If you see Matt Leclerc again (I know he left the band) tell him he owes me a drink after what went down in Tulsa.
No problem, the message will be made! Matt remained a good friend and he often encourages us in our shows. In addition, John is one of his childhood friends so Matt remained in the entourage of the band.
7. I’m fascinated by what bands do during their down time. What goes on to fight the boredom driving in a van, is touring a young person’s game? How do you kick boredom in its balls?
Good question! We are all focused on humor. We tease a lot. [Laughs] We listen to a lot of music, we play jokes, we tell stories, we talk about everyday life. But we do not have too much trouble with that. [Laughs] We are very simple guys with characters that are very similar.
8. From the outside looking in, are “our darkest days” as a nation (the United States), behind us or in the future?
Honestly, we do not want to take a political stand. We do not want to judge what is happening in other countries. We keep it for ourselves. We are very politicized, informed and we know what is going on in our southern neighbors. Let’s just say that we’re happy to live north of the border since Trump’s election.
9. Never tour in this town…, and always tour in this town?
There is not really a city where we would advise not to play. There are places we have been in the past and it was complicated, but we went back some time later and it was just sick! Always tour in this town, of course our city (Quebec City) is a must. The crowd is intense and rad! We also love to play in Montreal!
10. The perception from America is that Canadians are polite, good people. However, does that preclude them or you to call someone out on their bullshit? Or do you just do it in a less confrontational manner?
Not at all, we are direct people and we say what we think. It is, however, very true that we are politically correct on several points and that we do not like hurting people. We are polite by nature!