Interview You Say Party! We Say Die!

Now it’s time for another hot Canadian band, this time from Vancouver: the fantastic punk-rockin’ dance-pop girl/boy troupe You Say Party! We Say Die!.

Canada is, like, so hot right now. Either there’s something in the water or some kind of musical Midas resides over there we just don’t know. What we do know, however, is that there’s some amazing bands coming from those pesky Canadians. And we love it. Wolf Party, Stars, Broken Social Scene and some band called Arcade Fire have made us gush to all our friends even harder than Niagara Falls. And now it’s time for another one, this time from Vancouver: the fantastic punk-rockin’ dance-pop girl/boy troupe You Say Party! We Say Die!.

Are you all from Vancouver originally?
Krista: We are all originally from Abbotsford, a suburb of Vancouver. Most of us have known each other for a long time, through school or work or from ‘the scene’. Steve and Jason had been in bands together before, and they worked with Becky at a pizza shop, and Jason and Becky and I went to high school together, and we knew Bruce from his awesome band Fun 100.

Where did you start off?
Our first show was April 2004, in a church basement in Abbotsford. We played with Fun 100, The Hand, and The All Purpose Voltage Heroes. Our favourite venue in Abbotsford would have to be a place we never played - the Burlesque House. But probably the best show in Abbotsford was our CD release party in September - we played at a local skate shop and cafe, and it was one of the funnest nights we’ve ever had in Abbotsford!

It sounds like you’re turned on by a lot by a lot of early punk and new wave stuff - Blondie, X Ray Spex, Devo…
Everyone in the band has different taste in music, so we bring a lot of different influences to the band. Everything from what you described, to math rock, post-rock, pop-punk, hip-hop and more avant-garde type stuff. Basically, we love all kinds of music.

You’ve just finished your first tour, is that right?
We’re back from tour now. It was really fun, but really challenging as well. We had a lot of problems with our van, and a really expensive repair job that forced us to cancel our shows in the maritimes, due to lack of gas money to get there.

That’s pretty bad. I guess you have to expect something to go wrong though - what have the other bands you’ve played with been like?
We played with some fantastic bands - such as Varge!, North of America, and Le Volume Etait Au Maximum.

What about Vancouver bands?
We love Fun 100, Cadeaux, The Doers, Sean Wesley Wood and the Vancouver Vipers, Raised by Wolves, and Skort.

Canada in general is producing a lot of great stuff at the moment. How has the city and that area changed over the past year or so in terms of music and arts?
The scene is pretty good right now, there are a lot of good bands and a lot of the bands are friends with each other and promote each other, which creates a really positive community. We love living in Vancouver!

I presume some of you guys are in higher education or jobs - is it still difficult to rehearse, record and tour?
At the moment, no one is in school, although Derek just graduated with graphic design, and I’m thinking of going back. Of course we still all have jobs though, I’m at mine right now! We just do our best to work around our schedules, and take time off when we need it for recording or touring. We are planning to tour a lot more in the spring, and we may have to quit our jobs to do that. Basically, we just make do!

How was the writing and recording process for this new record?
We had a fantastic recording engineer - Shawn Cole at Lab Monkey Studios - and a lot of props go to him for this record. We love Shawn! The record sort of took on a life of it’s own in the studio. I don’t think any of us were sure what we wanted when we went into it, but Shawn pulled all sorts of creativity out of us, and by the end we could hardly believe how it had turned out. We’re really happy with it.

The trading and spreading of demos is a really hot topic here in England at the moment because of Arctic Monkey-mania - how have you found the internet has affected the way your band function?
I think the internet has had an effect on most bands, in that it’s just easier to find out about new bands that you’re curious about, or discover new bands you’ve never heard of. Because of that, obviously more people are going to find out about you. It’s definitely had a positive effect on our band.

What does the future hold for YSPWSD! - any more tours or releases planned? You should come to England or we’ll cry.
We’re planning to tour a lot in the spring, and we’d like to spend some time writing and do another recording next year sometime!

You Say Party! We Say Die!’s debut album ‘Hit The Floor!’ is out now on Sound Document.

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