Weaves’ self-titled LP is already one of the most anticipated debuts of 2016. Building on the promise of their 2014 EP, the record has captured international attention, receiving early praise from outlets like Pitchfork, NPR, The Guardian, FADER, NME, The New York Times, Stereogum, The Sunday Times, and Rolling Stone.
Weaves have been working on the album for almost as long as they have been a band, tracking with Leon Taheny (Dilly Dally, Owen Pallett, Austra) in sessions that span most of the last two years. Mixed by Alex Newport (Death Cab for Cutie, Melvins, At The Drive In) and mastered by John Greenham (Death Grips, Sky Ferreira), the result is an album that traverses the band’s history, exploring every facet of their always adventurous approach to pop music and leaving no idea unexplored. Filled beyond bursting with hooks and possibilities, it’s the sound of a band propelled forward by the thrill of discovering the limits of their sound and gleefully pushing past them.
The band are in town tonight (Playing The Portland with Beach Slang – Tickets) and with the album also set for release we decided now was the perfect time to catch up with frontwoman Jasmyn Burke…
Hey Weaves, how’s it going?
It’s going well! Been on the road for just over a week so the delirium is soon to start kicking in but otherwise things are running smoothly.
Where in the world are you and what is the view like?
We played in Tunbridge Wells last night and are on route to London. Lots of greenery. Tunbridge Wells was the most quaint place I’ve ever seen. And apparently was home of Sid Vicious growing up?
Your debut Cambridge show is coming up, how are you feeling about it? Is the Beach Slang tour taking you to new towns/cities?
Cambridge will be fun yeah. We are going to a few places we haven’t been to this time round. Last year we only did a two week tour in Europe/UK and this tour is two months (next 8 dates with Beach Slang) so we’ll see a lot more.
At the time of writing your debut album is just about to come out, what is this pre-release period of time like for a band?
I mean we were actually able to get advance copies of our LP and CD to sell in Germany last week! Seeing the vinyl for the first time in real life was pretty special. Nice to see this thing you’ve been working on for a few years in real life.
Tell us everything we need to know about the album
Umm I dunno, judge it for yourself I suppose. But hopefully you’ll approach it with open arms.
What was the hardest track on the record to finish and why?
I think maybe ‘Human’ took awhile for us to complete. Just couldn’t figure out the vocals and kept re-doing them in different spaces so I’d say that one was the most difficult.
How much, if at all are you planning to change the album’s material to songs that can be performed live?
I mean basically all of the songs on the LP were recorded live off the floor so we were hoping to capture the live sound so hopefully it stays true to what you hear at home. But I mean we also improv live and never really play the songs the same so I think live it’s kinda tantalizing.
Do you ever write a song with an eye on how it will sound/be received live?
No I think that’d be impossible. All the songs come from an emotional place so it’d be strange to then try and think about an audience when writing them.
Is the writing process quite democratic within the band?
I usually start by myself in our jam space. Just kind of looping vocals and guitar and figuring out a melody with verses and choruses. Then I email them to Morgan and we sort of pull apart the voice demo and then put it back together. So I guess I hold the writing process pretty close to my heart. It more of private process for me until I’m ready to show the band.
Were the songs on the album written specifically for the record or have they been knocking around for a while?
Yeah I think they ended up on the record but I mean I just write songs to write songs. It’s not necessarily my thinking about compiling a particular group for a record. It’s more living life for two years and writing about it.
As a band, are you constantly working on new ideas for new material or are you going to get all the debut album touring out the way before thinking about the next release?
Umm we’ll see I suppose. I like to write at home so we’ll probably just tour this record over the next year and ya know, things in life will happen that will insider the next record. Farley organic process.
When did Weaves first get together and what was your motivation for starting the band?
I guess Morgan and myself were freshly out of other bands and ended up starting this. I played two solo shows as Weaves and he came up to me after the second one and asked if I wanted to collaborate so I kinda went into it hesitant but we got along and he could understand what I wanted to do so we just started working on our EP within a few weeks of demoing.
How much, if at all, is your music formed by Toronto?
I mean Toronto is like an other major city in that it’s fast-paces and can suck you up and spit you out. I think in that way maybe there’s a certain intensity to our sound that might emulate that frenetic energy and spirit. But I don’t think there’s a particular sound coming out of Toronto, but people work hard and want to represent their city well.
What is something about Weaves that no one knows yet?
I have fake nails for this tour
What next for Weaves?
Lots of touring and then working on the next record.
Which band/act should we be excited about?
Hmm I am really digging She-Devils a duo from Montreal. I also really love our fellow label mates Dilly Dally.
Hypothetically you’re going to DJ a disco for us, what is your go-to dance floor filler?
I DJ a 90s night with my sister back home in Toronto and people always loose their mind over Venga Bus so I’d say that one ha