First of all, I hope you’re doing great. It seems as if your extensive tour program for this year is largely completed. What is currently keeping you busy?
Marcia: Yes, most of the touring is done for the year. We might have one more week of shows in Western Canada in December but that’s all.
We have a few jobs between us that we work while we’re at home in Winnipeg. I work for a friend’s Perogy business, Jenna does some graphic design work for some local venues and bands and we both clean condos.
I suppose this would be a good time to write some new songs. We’ll see.
The band constellation as a duet is rather unusual in punk. What are the advantages of the reduced band structure?
Marcia: Less personalities to deal with, less schedules to work around, lower hotel room costs and we’re able to tour in a mini van in North America. To name a few.
With “Don’t Worry” your third album has recently been released. Musically you present yourselves again more versatile. How would you describe the development of your sound over the past outputs?
Marcia: Our first album “Cities Away” had lots of layers of instruments, we had some violin on there, keyboards, lots of guitars. For the second album “Feeling Disconnected” we stripped it back and wanted it to sound more like our live sound, just drums and guitar, minimal vocals. The new album is somewhere in between, there’s vocal layers, a couple guitar tracks but it’s not so much that we can’t replicate it live.
One of the most striking songs on “Don’t Worry” is the hymnic “Escape Plan”, whose tonality is almost a little contrary to your otherwise often gloomy tracks. How do you characterize the song and its intended effect?
Marcia: Jenna wrote this song on her acoustic guitar and didn’t really plan for it to be on the album, but we both liked it. I thought it was fun and fast so we started playing it together and it ended up on the album.
You made a video for “Escape Plan” that shows you riding bikes. How did the idea come about and how much fun was the realization?
Marcia: The song is fun so we wanted a fun summertime video to go along with it. We had a blast filming, we just rode bikes and drank beers for 12 hours in the sunshine.
Your lyrics are often concerned with the insecurity of the individual and/or heartbreak issues. Is music primarily a way for you to process your own emtions?
Marcia: Yeah, definitely. For me and I think Jenna too it’s easier to write songs when I’m feeling down or when I’m upset about something.
How have the overall reactions on “Don’t Worry” been?
Marcia: I’ve only heard good things but I don’t read reviews!
After touring Germany with AGAINST ME! In 2017, you recently opened for Laura Jane Grace. How did the new invitation for a joint tour come about?
Marcia: Yes, we had a blast on that tour with Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers along with Frank Iero and the Future Violents. Laura and us have a mutual friend in our Label head Gunnar of Gunner Records.
When she was planning this last tour she reached out to him and asked if we were free and we said hell yeah! The tour actually fit in perfectly with some Canadian dates we had booked so we were stoked.
In recent years you have been touring Germany several times a year. To what extent does Germany’s concert and club culture differ from that of other countries?
Marcia: Germany is our favourite country to tour. People seem to appreciate live music in a different way than the other countries we visit. We’ve been 7 times now, but even the very first tour, people were showing up at our shows and singing the words even though they hadn’t heard of us before.
They saw on a poster that a band was playing, they looked up the band, liked the songs, learned them and came to the show. It seems too simple and obvious, but most people don’t do it. Also the hospitality in Germany is incredible, people are cooking dinner for the bands, offering up their homes, making breakfast, it’s just so nice.
Even if the #MeToo debate has lost some of its momentum: How serious do you rate the extent of sexual assaults or male power demonstrations in the independent music sector? After all, apart from a few exceptions (e.g. Leonard Graves Phillips‘ misogynistic “Warped Tour” tirade), there was no major discourse on the subject.
Marcia: We saw THE DICKIES play at Punk Rock Bowling a couple years ago and they were shitty. They said shitty things, they had a female blow up doll on stage that they were pushing around, it was an awful vibe.
There shouldn’t be room for that kind of band on stage, they shouldn’t be given a platform to spread their shitty thoughts. Let’s just keep moving the conversation forward and hopefully bands like THE DICKIES will fade away and better, nicer bands will take their place.
What are your plans for the near future – and do you have plans for coming back to Europe?
Marcia: We’re mostly hanging out around home for the rest of the year, hopefully we’ll do a week in western Canada in December. We don’t have anything booked in Europe but we’re always planning on coming back. Hopefully spring or Summer of 2020.
And also the last words belong to you: Hope to see you soon!