Even though their fourth full-length record Modem Operandi was released this past September, it has taken a few extra months for Nova Scotian rock-roots band The Stanfields to find their way to Moncton to celebrate the album’s release.
That wait comes to an end tonight when the group performs at Moncton’s Plan b Lounge. Riding high on an East Coast Music Award nomination for Rock Recording of the Year, the release of Modem Operandi caps off a hectic six year span during which time the group toured Canada as well as Germany on numerous occasions, bringing their working-class musical anthems to the masses.
“We were never more prepared for the recording of an album than we were with this one,” Landry says. “We went through probably three incarnations of every song before we committed to a final version, and then spent another two weeks doing pre-production, where we tore everything apart again.”
Landry acknowledges that the album is a step in a slightly different direction for the band, which he knows has arguably cost them some fans along the way.
“With this record, it was really the active listeners that we were looking to appeal to. We wanted them to feel something in listening to this record.”
People felt something in listening to the record, alright. While many reviewers praised the group for not simply taking the easy way out and rehashing the sound and spirit of some of their prior efforts, others were far less enthused.
“The record has definitely thrown some people for a loop. We actually got an album review on a Belgian website where they rated the record a zero,” Landry says with a laugh. “Reading through the narrative of the review, though, it sounded as the writer was more personally let down by something they cared about rather than just giving us a zero because they could. I have no trouble accepting that because I realized long ago that we aren’t always going to be able to please everybody. We are making music for ourselves first and foremost, and, in my opinion, it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there in ways people may not expect.”
2015 proved to be a transitional year for the group in more ways than one. Last June, the band confirmed the completely amicable departure of two of their bandmates, Jason Wright and Craig Harris, replaced by Calen Kinney and Dillan Tate.
“Being on the road and trying to survive, let alone tread water, is no small task, so when Jason and Craig decided to step away from the band, it wasn’t hard to see where they were coming from. The bonus about having Calen and Dillan join our ranks is the fact that we have had a lot of our material reborn through their ears and eyes. It’s given the band a whole new perspective, which is always a good thing. As far as I am concerned, the worst thing any band can do is get comfortable and complacent,” Landry says.
Following the band’s show in Moncton on tonight, The Stanfields will embark on a 10-date tour of Germany, before returning to the Metro area in late May to perform an acoustic show at the Capitol Theatre.
What: The Stanfields with guests Like A Motorcycle
When: Friday Feb. 18, 10 p.m.
Where: Plan B Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton
Tickets are $20, available for purchase online at www.groundswellmusic.ca/shop and at the door