This past week I was lucky enough to catch up with Ian Casselman of Mariana’s Trench to talk their latest release Phantoms, in addition to their upcoming tour! Check out the interview below to read about what he had to say.
SM: Congratulations, first of all on Phantoms! The lead single is doing VERY well! The concept
for this album seems a bit darker than some of your previous releases. I even read that you
cited the work of Edgar Allan Poe as writing inspiration. What was it that made you want to
write a darker album, given the lightheartedness of the last few albums?
IC: I’d say all of our albums have had a darker lyrical context blended with upbeat melodies –
sort of what we do to keep a little bit of light out there. Playing a few shows in New Orleans
and experiencing the culture there was what helped us come up with the theme for
Phantoms. There is such a cool voodoo culture and hauntedness (not necessarily a bad kind)
in that city and we certainly felt it's presence. Also, over the years we’ve played in a few
haunted theaters and had some pretty unique experiences with ghosts that have definitely left
an impression on the four of us.
SM: Did you all write the songs yourselves, or did you get the chance to work with
IC: This whole album was written by Josh, recorded and produced by the band and mixed by
the band with long-time friend and engineer, Dave “Rave” Ogilvie. We had a guest
appearance by Roger Joseph Manning Jr. on vocals for the song “Echoes of You”. He was a
former member of the band Jellyfish, one of our main influences. It was such an honor to
have him sing on the album.
SM: Do you have a favorite track? If so, why?
IC: My favorite track always changes along the course of an album cycle (thank God) and
right now I’d say it’s “The Killing Kind”, it’s the last track on the album. The closers on our
albums are always so much fun to play because they change up a lot during the track, it
keeps things fresh.
SM: You have nice long tour lined up for March – What can fans who’ve yet to see your live
IC: We always try and bring an upbeat approach to our shows, no shoe gazers on stage on
this tour. We like our audience to leave feeling energized after the show. We’ve recorded a
few cool poems and put the audio over some creepy video footage to go along with the
haunted theme of the album. I hope fans dig it!
SM: Is there a song you never tire of playing live?
IC: I love playing live shows and I never get bored playing on stage. My approach is to always
lay down a perfect take which is actually impossible but it’s something that pushes me to
always be better.
SM What’s next for you after the North American tour completes?
IC: We have a Canadian tour here in March and then we go to New York at the beginning of
April to do press. We’re touring the US in May and June and then it’s summer festival time. In
the fall we will be hitting Europe and Australia and then hopefully we’ll get out to Canada’s
East coast and do another US tour. We can’t miss the opportunity to get out to one of the
most beautiful places in Canada!
SM: *Just for fun* Who is someone you would love to collaborate with one day?
IC: Can I choose someone who is no longer with us? I would have loved to do a collaboration
with Freddy Mercury, who wouldn’t? The man was a legend, an amazing vocalist with so
much talent. I can only imagine what we could have come up with.
SM: *Just for fun* What is on your current playlist?
IC: Honestly, I listen to everything. My favorite way to listen to music right now is on vinyl.
When I listen to records I never skip a track because it’s such a pain in the butt to move that
needle, so I find myself listening to the album as a whole as the artist intended. It also helps
me to go deeper into the music, improves my listening and in turn helps my playing. I love
Suspending Gravity Tour Dates:
March 6 Windsor, ON Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino *
March 8 Barrie, ON Barrie Molson Centre
March 9 Kitchener, ON Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex
March 11 Oshawa, ON Tribute Communities Centre
March 12 Hamilton, ON FirstOntario Concert Hall
March 13 Toronto, ON Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
March 15 St. Catharines, ON Meridian Centre
March 16 Ottawa, ON TD Place Arena
March 18 Montreal, QC Corona Theatre
March 19 Sudbury, ON Sudbury Community Arena
March 22 Winnipeg, MB Bell MTS Place
March 23 Regina, SK Conexus Arts Centre
March 25 Calgary, AB Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
March 26 Edmonton, AB Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
March 29 Vancouver, BC Orpheum
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