Experimental in their sound, handsome trio We Are The City are a Canadian group who recorded new album 'Above Club' via a live stream on their website in October, where fans could watch every aspect of the creation process - from writing to recording and even watching the band eat, breathe and sleep.
Cayne McKenzie brings his tropical keys and ethereal vocals to Andrew Huculiak's tribal drums and David Menzel's minimalist and atmospheric guitar to produce We Are The City's unique sound - which has to be heard to be understood.
We got the chance to put some questions to Cayne about the group, their music and much more in a new and exclusive interview - check out what he had to say below.
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
We're always trying to come up with the best way to describe it. I have a theory that all music that is trying to become popular, in some sense, has got to have a lot of pop in the label. With that in mind, I'd say that it is pop music at the core, but with experiments.
We have been making music together for a long time now, just over 10 years. I suppose that because we started quite young, that our music as a whole story arc, sounds like growing up. Like a filter sweep. Like a bass boom. Like an arpeggio with all octaves. I think that our music reflects us and therefore, as a whole, is an evolution.
We try our hand at blending real acoustic sounds with digital sonics, to the point that a listener cannot tell what is what. Is that guitar or a vocal? Is that a drum or a synth? Etc.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
The organisation is a wicked challenge. Keep everything in line, especially because we are involved in film making as well, is a feat. The three of us split up different territories and tasks but it can be tricky to make sure there is foresight for all aspects of running our passion like a business. So far, so good.
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
It's a tough game, it really is. There are tons of bands. More and more as time goes on too, and as it becomes easier to record your own music and put it out into the world. It's hard to create firm, unwavering listenership because there are so many new albums, so many new artists and so much free, amazing music flying into a consumer's head at a mile a minute.
Having said that, and to change the subject only for a second, the fact that it's so easy to record and publish work is a HUGE gift, too. We have benefitted greatly from downloading plugins, hearing loads of new music on streaming sites, being able to record for free - because even base level free programs can turn out pro results - and the ability to upload and release music ourselves. The internet creates a true juxtaposition, making it hard to keep your head above water and make a solid name for your art while creating opportunity for self direction and immediate inspiration.
Here's the point: we're lucky, no matter how you spin it. No complaints.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
Usually, we've got full control of all creative aspects. We haven't done it another way yet. As a matter of fact, I'd say that we won't do it any other way.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
I've always found solace in quiet nature. This is a huge reason why I love living on the West Coast of Canada. The trees and the ocean, they keep me in my head without too much push back. When all you do all day, every day is try to think of brand new ideas, things can get a little hairy upstairs. Of course, there's other music too. Always a revolving door of great records to follow me around. Here's the concise version: nature and music.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
Some noise composers. There's a wicked artist called Stefan Maier. He is a classically trained guitar player who has some really interesting ideas on using vibrations from speakers playing low tones. It creates a really metallic synthesised sound, but out of a completely acoustic instrument. I love it.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many know.
Almost everything in our new record is improvised on the spot, including vocals and lyrics.
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
To make more music. The three of us have played together a long time now, since we were kids and have seen each other go through a lot of change. It's a great lucky draw that we've been able to stay playing together and that we still get along so well. Knock on wood. Let's keep this train moving.
Where do you hope to be by this time next year?
Hopefully, we will have been touring the new record for the year and be ready to put out some more new sonics. I'm really just looking forward to travelling with new songs and meeting more folks who like loud music.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
We have officially released a record earlier this month on November 13. The record is called 'Above Club'. We'll follow the release with a lot of touring, starting in the US for all of November, Europe in January and Canada in March. Expect live shows! Expect new music! Expect loads of video content and bizarre mystery.
Keep up to date with We Are The City on facebook at www.facebook.com/wearethecity or on Twitter @WeAreTheCity