Inner City Elegance loves life on the road

If there is one thing that pop-punk trio Inner City Elegance knows well, it is life on the road. The Toronto-based trio, comprised of band members Bruno Rodrigues on guitar and vocals, bassist Justin Parsons and drummer Spencer Kathrens, estimates that they have been away from home for close to three months when we spoke with them earlier this week from a tour stop in Newfoundland.

“We have been from one end of the country to the other in the past three months,” Parsons says. “We have played everywhere from the Northwest Territories to Newfoundland. It is such an exciting way to see the country and experience what each region has to offer.”

Formed in 2008, the members of Inner City Elegance formed as if drawn together by fate.

Take into account the fact that vocalist Rodrigues was a native of Brazil who relocated to Canada when he was 20 years old. Parsons was born and raised in Newfoundland, relocating to Calgary when he was 15. It was in school there that Parsons forged a friendship with Kathrens, and he ended up meeting Rodrigues in university, soon suggesting they start a band together. The rest, as they say, is history.

Inner City Elegance released their five-song Hot and Dangerous EP to much acclaim and an ever-growing fan base in 2009. The following year, the band made the somewhat difficult decision to relocate from their Prairie home base to Toronto, a choice fueled primarily by the group’s desire to play as often as they could. While they acknowledge that being a fish in a pond of the size of Toronto is a little more intimidating than if they had stayed in Calgary, the benefits of having moved far outweigh the cons in their opinions.

“We have no regrets about having moved,” Parsons says. “The nice thing about being in southern Ontario is that there are so many more town and cities within a reasonable driving distance that we can perform in. Plus, it has been awesome having the opportunity to see this side of the country.”

Included in his reference to “this side of the country” is the Maritime region, of course. The band makes no bones about their love for Atlantic Canada. In fact, their show at Plan B tonight is the group’s second Moncton show since July.

“So many bands tend to avoid the Maritimes and Newfoundland just like they avoid going to Vancouver Island the Northwest Territories,” Parsons says. “The Maritimes are great, though. We love playing here.”

Once the group finally returns to their adopted home base of Toronto, they are hoping to hunker down to finally begin recording their debut full-length effort which they hope to have on store shelves in spring of next year. Though many details are still up in the air, the group is confident that they will find the path that works best for them.

“We have had the opportunity to meet with some producers,” Rodrigues shares, “and though it is too early to say who we would like to work with, I think we will likely keep the conversation with them going to see where things lead.”

Article published in September 30, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript