ARTICLE BY MADISON FOSTER
If you haven't heard the name Two Hours Traffic, well then you should be kicking yourself. The Charlottetown band has done nothing but make a name for themselves since their start with the help of Joel Plaskett. Since then the band has maintained a professional and personal friendship with Plaskett, who has produced three of their albums including 2008's “Little Jabs” which was nominated for a Polaris Prize. If that wasn't enough there are also the multiple East Coast Award nominations, a performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler and their music featured on several hit television shows.
Now new material from Two Hours Traffic is almost in our grasps! Back in June the east coast band went back into the studio to work on a new EP called “Siren Spell” and revealed earlier in the month that that tracks will be released on September 11th through Bumstead Records. According to the band's website the upcoming EP will be a sneak peek for the new full length album they plan to release in early 2013.
Before hitting the studio the boys (including members Liam Corcoran, Andrew MacDonald, Derek Ellis and Nathan Gill) took off on a small tour of the East Coast and Ontario which landed them right here in London, Ontario. I had the chance to talk to Two Hours Traffic about the EP and some recent changes the band has gone through.
Madison: Usually the band tours after the album or EP is released but you guys went on tour before even recording. Why is that?
Liam: We had the recording dates all set up but it just made sense get the momentum going, play some shows and play the new songs before heading into the studio.
Madison: So since you guys are far from home (being from Prince Edward Island) how does it often feel when you get home from a tour? Like, when you've been gone for weeks to months at a time what do you like to do when you finally make it home?
Liam: Really you only have a few days to relax then you have to go back to various jobs and what not. So it's really just a reality check before getting back to a more regular sleep pattern.
Madison: So like you said you're getting the momentum for the new EP and album. Obviously you've got all the new material ready to go. But almost a year ago, last September you lost member Alec O'Hanley as he left the band. Did that ever put a damper on the way the album was going? Did you ever have to stop and rethink things after that?
Liam: There was a period of rethinking after that but really we ended up gaining more momentum after that. The old line-up just wasn't working anymore. Once Alec left and we were in the process of looking for someone else we wrote a lot of good, new material. We had a lot of good communication during that time. Things rolled along well but of course we had a lot of decisions to make like whether or not we were going to keep the same band name.
Madison: Okay, because Alec was one of the founding members of the band. That didn't cause any issues when he left?
Liam: We thought it was going to be a much bigger issue and we talked a lot about it but as we gotten out and done more shows our fans don't seem to mind too much!
Madison: So Nathan, you became the newest member of Two Hours Traffic. How did you become involved in the project?
Nathan: Andy (MacDonald) sent me an email along the line seeing if I wanted to try it out. I play music in other bands in Charlottetown so I kind of knew these guys for quite a while. They were kind enough to extend the offer. I mulled it over and it seemed to be a good fit! So here I am.
Madison: So you're working with Darryl Neudorf who will be producing the new EP and album. Why did you decide to work with someone new this time around. In the past you've worked with Joel Plaskett. Why make the transition.
Liam: We've worked with Joel for years now. He's produced three full length albums. So it's purely for the reason of venturing out and trying something new. We felt we had to try it this time around and we got Darryl's name from a friend. We sent him the demos and he really seemed to see what we were trying to do. We love all the work we've done with Joel. It was just time for something else.
Madison: On your website your last album “Territory” is described as a “darker and more atmospheric sound then its predecessor “Little Jabs” and when listening to the two albums there is a more notable rock sound. How do you see your newest work maturing from that and how would you say it compares to your last two albums?
Liam: We tried to go back to some sunnier themes we played around with on “Little Jabs” but retaining more of the confidence of the rock and roll sound you might find on “Territory.” We definitely wanted to keep the mood a little bit more up beat, a little more fun then where we went on “Territory.”
You can hear the first track off the “Siren Spell” EP on the band's website now and keep tuned to there for updates and tour dates including their next stop in London on September 29th at Call the Office.