Despite having already earned an impressive amount of airplay for their single “Broken Love,” Cory Leblanc, the guitarist-vocalist for Nova Scotian rock band Rain Over St. Ambrose, has modest expectations at best.
“It still somewhat amazes me that we are getting any radio airplay at all,” Leblanc says in advance of his group’s free performance at the Tide & Boar Gastropub tonight. “It definitely caught us off guard. We all tend to be pretty realistic in the band, so we set our expectations low. That way, anything that does happen is just something extra that we didn’t see coming.”
If the group’s latest album, Still Waking Up, is any indication, however, the band might have more happy surprises waiting for them down the road. Earlier this year, the record secured Rain Over St. Ambrose two East Coast Music Award nominations, highlighting their knack for honest and infectious rock and roll.
Produced by long-time friend Tim D’Eon from the band Wintersleep, Leblanc says working in the recording studio with the musician made for an environment where ideas were freely traded back and forth.
“Tim’s strengths offset my weaknesses; he is the kind of guy you want to have in your corner. I’ve known him from the time I was 12 years old, so it was very much like getting advice from an older sibling. There is a good level of trust there, but we were also able to leverage his experience as well. It made for a total win-win kind of situation.”
Unlike some musicians that close themselves off to suggestions as to how they might be able to improve upon their songwriting, Leblanc says no suggestion went unheard when it came to the making of Still Waking Up.
“I loved having someone to bounce ideas off of, but you also have to have someone you trust. Having someone that won’t be afraid to tell you when one of your ideas might not be so great is so important to the creative process,” Leblanc says.
Although it took almost three years for Still Waking Up to be released, Leblanc hopes that the group will be able to close that gap between their current album and whatever they choose to release next. He says he has been amassing new material on a fairly consistent basis over the last year, but says he is unsure what format a new Rain Over St. Ambrose release could take.
“I’m the kind of person that, if I don’t have the chance to write at least one song a month, I’m not happy. That being said, I don’t know how much longer you’re likely to see full-length records from us,” Leblanc notes.
“There’s always going to be new material coming from us, but perhaps we will look at a scenario where we release one new song per month and then compile them all at the end of the year onto a record or CD. In terms of getting more frequent output in the hands of your fans, there has really never been a better time to be making music. Bands don’t have to be sitting on new material for well over a year anymore, as has largely been the standard in the past. That is really exciting to us, as a group and as creators.”
What: Rain Over St. Ambrose with special guests Fire
When: Saturday May 7, 10 p.m.
Where: The Tide & Boar Gastropub, 700 Main St., Moncton
Admission is free