Out of sight, out of mind. It can be a precarious position that bands find themselves in when they wrap up the promotional and touring cycle behind a record.
Despite the four years that have elapsed since the release of their album We, The Weapon, Nova Scotia rock band Alert The Medic successfully toed the line of keeping in the public’s eye while getting into the studio to bring their newest record, The Phantom Moves, to life.
Celebrating the album’s release with a show at Plan b Lounge Friday night, Alert The Medic vocalist-guitarist Ryan MacDonald says that the group can finally breathe a sigh of relief now that their newest record has been leashed upon the world. If you thought that the gap between Alert The Medic albums was long for you, try seeing it from the band’s point of view.
“It seemed as though eons passed between albums,” Ryan laughs. “But there were very good reasons behind it. Ultimately, we wanted to live up to the same standard that we had set for ourselves with our first two records. We wanted to have everything from the quality of the songs to the artwork be absolutely perfect this time around while also making sure that this new record fit into the way that the band is evolving.”
Admitting that the group would have loved to release The Phantom Moves long before they did, the very real aspect of the money needed to make a record also came into play in the interim. Ryan says the group weighed all their options before deciding to go the route they did with the new record.
“We could have gone into someone’s basement and made the record on a shoestring budget but it admittedly wasn’t the way we wanted to go for this album. We didn’t want to make a wrong impression with those who support us. But at the same token, we were feeling some pressure amongst ourselves, realizing that we had to even consider releasing a four-song EP just to get the wheels turning for the band again. There were times we seriously thought the record would never be completed but then things just had a way of working out.”
To help ensure their record was completed with the vision they had going into the project, they undertook a PledgeMusic campaign, enlisting the help of their fans to see the album through to completion. Ryan admits they felt somewhat conflicted calling upon their fans to lend a helping hand but reiterates that they feel it was the right decision in the end.
“We battled with the decision to do a PledgeMusic campaign for a little while. A big part of why we felt conflicted was because we all grew up in a time where music was made on its own merit and so we wanted to make this record the old fashioned way like raising money through a bake sale or yard sale or something like that,” he laughs.
“But then we realized that PledgeMusic wasn’t like a charity or it wasn’t like we were asking for a handout. It allowed our fans to become a part of the recording process and contribute directly to the band and to our album. It was pretty exciting to reach our goal while building a closer rapport with a lot of our fans.”
What: Alert the Medic
When: Friday, May 30, 9 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George Street, Moncton