Canadian alt-shoegaze group Talking Violet discusses their latest singles, announces upcoming full length album, Tell Your Friends You Love Them.
Canada’s premiere alternative shoegaze band Talking Violet are one of the most exciting, emerging bands we’ve heard for a long time—recalling household names like My Bloody Valentine and Smashing Pumpkins with nods to lesser known but more experimental regional indie acts like Sully and Southpacific.
“Delusional” (streaming below) is the band’s latest single and video, showcasing the group at their shoegazing best with an undertone of ethereal dream-pop. This song is a followup to “Supergo”; the bands harshest and most grunge / alt-rock influenced tune to date. Both songs can be found on the bands upcoming full length album Tell Your Friends You Love Them (10/1/21). We sat down with the band for an exclusive interview to discuss their latest singles & what they have coming up this summer and fall!
What is the music scene like in your part of Canada right now? Are there any bands we should know about?
The scene here is small but humble. A lot of acts from other parts of southwestern Ontario end up here on their tours, so early on we found it was easy to make connections with bands throughout the province and that got us playing out of town and touring ourselves. There is truly a massive spectrum when it comes to genre, but artists are motivated in their own ways in their pursuits. A lot of bands pursue sounds that are true to them, without having to see it around them in local culture.
Tell us more about “Superego.” We love how you switched up the vocals (not that we don’t love Jill…) and the vibe of the song sounds a little bit heavier than what we’ve heard in the past. How did this track come together musically?
Superego is actually one of the first songs we wrote after the release of our first EP “Round Dreams”. It definitely has a vibe similar to our older material, and I think you can tell it’s coming from that headspace. Jay had made an iPhone demo of the skeleton of the song, and together we made a few demos with and without our producer Justin Meli before recording the final product. Lyrically, the song is about losing touch with a close friend and fighting the anxiety that comes with that process.
You’ve clearly done your homework in regards to how to get a HUGE and very dynamic sound from each track. What are each of your favorite pieces of gear? Anything in particular that you consider a “secret weapon” production wise?
Thank you! Our instrumentals are really influenced by bands with drastic dynamics like Pixies and Sonic Youth. We really love that experimentation is a huge part of the creative process for those bands, and being huge gear nerds ourselves, once we got into the studio that’s all we wanted to do. Our producer had an old Echoplex tape echo that we got to experiment with while recording. It definitely became a “secret weapon” of sorts for us.
Jay – My favourite and most useful piece of gear to shape my tone live and in the studio is the Neunaber MkII reverb pedal. The detune setting includes a chorus that you can blend in simultaneously with the reverb, and that has been the base of my tone (especially live) for the past couple years. In the studio, one of my secret weapons was my old rackmount Peavey Univerb. I got it for $50 at a Sam Ash in Florida a few years ago and we were able to get some super unique tones out of it.
Jill – This is definitely a challenging question to answer! But when I think “What couldn’t I live without?” I’d probably say my Walrus Julianna chorus pedal and
Digitech Supernatural reverb pedal. Those two are constantly on together and never turn off, truly my guitar tone’s homebase! These two effects are where I start, everything else is used with consideration of where that tone is sitting.
Jere – When it comes to dynamics, I rely a lot on my cymbals to dictate the volume of my playing. I use quite large crashes, an 18” HHX Medium Crash and a 20” AAX Medium Crash. They have a lot of sensitivity at lower volumes, but once you lay into them they can cut through the thickest wall of sound. The added wash adds to the layers that are present within Talking Violet’s music.
Nate – My favourite piece of gear at the moment is the Enzo by Meris Audio. I mostly use it as a mono bass synth that I blend in with my dry signal. I’ve barely scratched the surface with this pedal, there’s just so much packed into this one box, but I’m excited to experiment more with it.
Your newest single “Delusional” differs quite a bit from “Superego”—should we expect both “sides” of the band on your upcoming record? Tell us more about the process of shifting between the heavier, more menacing parts of your music and the lighter, more traditionally “shoegaze” elements.
Having three songwriters in the band, we naturally end up having multifaceted sounds in our writing and that’s definitely the case throughout this record. We are all influenced by the ninetie’s bands that did the “loud quiet loud” approach and we think that bleeds through here in a few different ways. Across the record as a whole the sound’s character ebbs and flows. A lot of the lyrical content centers around the struggles of mental health as both a personal experience but also in the lives of the loved ones around you. That being said, the different sounds throughout the record symbolize the wide spectrum of how complicated those experiences are. We each bring different influences to the band: everything from Pixies and The Smashing Pumpkins to Jay Som and Samia, so it’s interesting to see where the heavier and lighter elements overlap.
We’d love to dive into your inspiration for the video – we’re vibing with the dreamy, ethereal tone and direction. Did you have any specific influences visually?
We love dreamy visuals and were happy to meet that with a suburban element as we are definitely influenced by the punk-suburbia vibe. This video actually had quite simple and raw narrative intentions that ended up growing as we were in the filming process. We all wanted something that captured the intimate vibe of the song and that’s why we chose to film in our own neighbourhood – super familiar and a space that feels like the essence of home. Jill’s room felt just right to center the narrative in, as she talks a lot about being cooped up with her thoughts in the track. Our video team did a fantastic job of bringing that scene to life in such a small space.
While filming the bike scenes outside during sunset, we unintentionally ended up finding and filming at an old vintage car wash seen towards the end of the video. The place was ironically called “Bedazzle” and ended up being the perfect compliment to our pre-existing ideas. We are glad the video got to have it’s intimate, at home feel against the juxtaposition of getting outside for a change of scenery. It ended up depicting the experiences discussed in the song’s story and how those emotions are all a work in progress.
Tell us about whatever you’re working on now. We hear you have a new album on the horizon…..
I don’t know who told you that but if it was Brett, please tell us so we can have a stern talking to with him. This isn’t the first time he’s crossed the line…. But since the cat’s out of the bag:
We’re proud to announce Tell Your Friends You Love Them. – our first full length album dropping October 1st, 2021! Vinyl and merch pre-orders will be available from our website (talkingviolet.com) later this month
Here’s a fun one- describe Talking Violet in 5 words!
SHOEGAZE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY