Japandroids will be hitting Australia this July for their national tour celebrating the recent release of their third album, Near to the Wild Heart of Life. The tour includes a stopover at the Rosemount Hotel, North Perth on Wednesday, July 19. The two-piece from Vancouver, formed in 2006, consists of Brian King and David Prowse: one guitar, one set of drums and two singers. CLAUDIA MOORE spoke with Prowse to discuss the tour and their third album.
You took three years off from performing live after your massive 2013 world tour: have you enjoyed touring again?
Very much so, we didn’t plan on taking so much time off but when you’re touring so much you start to feel like a human jukebox playing the same songs over and over again. We wanted to wait to tour until we had some new music that we were really proud of and bring something new to our performances. We are very happy to be back on the road again and be back visiting some cities we haven’t been to in so long. It felt like certain cities we were going to every year and now it’s been three to five years since we visited some of those places so we are very keen to get back to those places including Perth.
You toured Sydney and Melbourne at the end of last year, but haven’t toured many of the other Australian cities in four years what are you most looking forward too about returning?
We always planned on coming back to Australia, but it was very limited what we could fit in at the end of 2016. There were a lot of people who were bummed we only made it to Sydney, Melbourne and Wollongong. Australia is a bizarre place for us because it feels vaguely familiar as its similar to Vancouver but its also so different. The crowds in Australia have always been really rad; it feels like Australians are some of the only people that still care about rock music. We always have fun when we come over to Australia and the people have always been very friendly. Perth is so different as well because its removed from everywhere else and has a its own vibe.
You wrote the album in several cities, do you think those locations influenced the album?
Yes it definitely did, a lot of our lyrics are mostly fact but always have an element of fiction to it. Brian wrote the majority of the album, but there were constant references sprinkled throughout to where we were living or places we hung out. I found there were some very obvious references but then some much vaguer ones as well. We were living in four different cities: Mexico City, Toronto, Vancouver and New Orleans. All of those places made their way into the music in some way or another. One thing about being a musician is you’re not tied to one city, you can move around and write from anywhere in the world. As a band we have always been very inspired by wherever we are living and it always creeps its way into our music.
What do you think has changed the most about your music since your first album?
There has been a lot of talk about how different this album is from our other works, but to me it still sounds like The Japandroids. I do acknowledge though that there are differences, I think that we are older now and are more experienced musicians as well and that makes a huge difference. When we first started out we didn’t really know what we were doing and now I would say we sort of know. I also found our standards are much higher, with our lyrics, performances etc. The album is very fresh and the lyrics are much cleaner but we still remember who we are. A large focus for us was to keep pushing and go into uncharted territory with our music. We also focused on our studio experimentation; we overdubbed a lot with this album, which we hadn’t done previously.
Were lyrics a key focus for you on this latest album?
There has been a steady progression with our lyrics over the past few years. We have started to put a lot more thought into what we write, with our last album we would find a great line and just repeat it over and over. We have continued to push ourselves to try and produce more meaningful lyrics. I think Brian who writes most of our lyrics has become much more confident with his writing as well.
Are there any themes or a narrative present throughout the album?
Yeah there is, a large part of all our lyrics is reflection, we have built some great relationships over the years and the album reflects on those. There is a loose narrative present as well, which is realising that some of those things you’ve been searching for are back home. There is some darkness in the lyrics but we wanted to discuss having something to come back too whenever you leave and that runs throughout the entire album.
Finally, we apologise for taking so long to come back to Perth but are very excited and can’t wait to see you guys soon.