Music Interview: City braces for Summerlad’s noise

There is a new force invading the hallowed churches of our city, filling them from knave to narthex. It crashes over pews, scattering bibles left and right and spews from guitar, pipe organ and bass. Beware when it breaks from the house of the Lord into the light of the city, creating a City of Noise.

The newest creation of Calgary’s own Summerlad take over the pulpit at One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo this year with a dash of art and a punk.

“It’s a long composition about a day in the life of a city–sort of a musical journey through what we feel it is like to live in a city; the urban sounds,” explains Garrett McLure, vocalist and guitarist for Summerlad. “It takes you through the major part of the day when cities are alive with activity and the music kind of reflects this through being much more compulsive and frenetic.”

When Summerlad unleashes their 45-minutes opus in the Big Secret Theatre, listeners will be led through a aural journey, including the serenity felt by the city as people leave work in the evening, represented by a craftily inserted waltz. “[The Night] is like a summation of all that has happened in the day,” claims Garrett. “It’s [also] a big climax, the whole thing builds. We don’t want to give away too much, but it basically ends the way it begins–like a cycle.”

The City of Noise show reflects the broad tastes influencing the band’s music, ranging from everything like post-punk to classical to jazz. “We try to bridge a lot of gaps with our sound I guess. I’d say we are trying to capture the energy of a lot of punk and post-punk type stuff,” explains Garrett. “At the same time it’s more compositional.”

“Summerlad is hoping to stretch our legs away from the rock stuff, and see if we could pull off something a lot more in tune with what music goes on during the High Performance Rodeo, more experimental and avant-garde stuff.”

Not only is Summerlad proud of the opportunity of playing a festival like High Performance Rodeo, but they are also proud of their music.

“One thing that makes us different is just how meticulously we approach the song writing process. Not every band spends an entire year to record their albums,” declares Aaron Fisher, bass player for the band. They have endeavoured to create themes in their piece like that in an orchestrated soundtrack of a movie.

With their meticulously developed musical motifs for City of Noise, the band hopes to leave a lasting impression on audiences and leave them with a different view of church music. Summerlad is definitely a great addition to the High Performance Rodeo. Don’t let the pews and flying bibles fool you–this band is serious about its sound.


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