In the winter of 2005 came a creative watershed for the prairie-fire-and-brimstone, hot rod amps and double-neck guitars of The Summerlad: a commission to write and perform a piece at The High Performance Rodeo for One Yellow Rabbit. The ‘Lads blew everyone off the horizon with the guitar-orchestrated, choral-accompanied City of Noise, an ensemble piece about the day in the life of a city.
Part “Peter and the Wolf”, part “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”, City of Noise played for one night to a sold out audience. A smaller, more fragmented version was also performed later that spring for the group’s Themes: International release night at a beautiful old cathedral. The response was so overwhelming that the group disappeared for two years to record the composition. Recorded in fragments, the ‘Lads fleshed out the piece with added spoken text and a growing recording confidence. With massive amounts of help from The New Gallery and their space and a whole mess of friends and relatives, City of Noise has finally taken shape and has become a truly unique and exciting release.
And by the way: since they’ve come up for air, the boys (Garrett, Arran, Sean and Dean) have been swooning mightily over the addition of Ms. Liz Collins on keyboards and vocals. Oh, how the dynamics have changed! With Liz’s new blood and desire for sound exploration as well as the driest sense of humor in Western Canada, The Summerlad are more excited than ever for the City of Noise album and single.
With a release schedule set for fall ’07 on double vinyl via Saved By Vinyl and on CD through Saved By Radio, and a series of shows with expanded line-up set in unconventional venues across Canada and beyond planned for the winter of ’07/08 and the spring of ’08, along with plans to record yet another album and who knows what else — maybe forming a leftist political movement or writing scripts for Hollywood — The Summerlad seem poised for a career as, well, careerists.
Written, produced and performed by The Summerlad: Liz Collins, Arran Fisher, Sean Grier, Dean Martin, Garrett McClure. Recorded and mixed by Arran Fisher at Acoustikitty. Mastered by Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave. Featuring Aimee-Jo Benoit, vocals; Jenny Fisher, spoken word; Meagan Kelln, organ and synthesizer; Ian Russell, auxiliary drums; Chad Van Gaalen, vocals.
It’s amazing what having your dreams destroyed can do. When a young fellow named Garrett saw his major-label dream disappear after Geffen Records drowned his band The Primrods in a sea of bureaucracy, did he give up? Hell, no. In 1999, he gathered up his friends — Arran, Dean, and Sean — and together they became the Calgary-based prairie squall known as The Summerlad.
How would this maelstrom of a rock band follow up its 2001 debut Distance Will Be Swept Up and its two singles projects, Mandarin Hand and The Golden Hammers Project? The much-anticipated answer has now been revealed. Themes: International is a majestic, cinematic, psychedelic rock album with wild dynamics, compelling melodies and daring production techniques. It goes hand in hand with the work of groups like My Bloody Valentine, Blonde Redhead, Wire, Fugazi, Talk Talk, and early Pink Floyd, yet it remains a listening experience all its own.
The Summerlad experience will continue full steam throughout 2005. In addition to taking the show on the road, the band plans to record both a new album and their day-in-the-life rock soundscape City Of Noise (which premiered at Calgary’s High Performance Rodeo in January 2005), with a 7", a Dadaist song cycle, and a soundtrack to a silent film thrown into the mix.
Summerlad Soundbites (Press)
Derek McEwen gets Summerlad on the cover of Fast Forward on March 3, 2005
McMaster University's student newspaper loved the 'Lads, March 3, 2005!
Mike Bell talks church with Garrett in the Calgary Sun, March 5, 2005
Songs on Themes:International:
Recording and mix engineer was Arran Fisher. Mastered by Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave. Art and layout by Noel Heard. Recorded in Western Canada.
Copyright © 2004-2011