At a time in history when musicians are struggling to secure any morsel of attention that they can muster from an ever increasingly occupied space, Nova Scotia rock band Alert The Medic isn’t feeling the least bit deterred.
To help entice fans to seek out actual physical copies of the group’s newest album, Let Them Have Their Fun, Alert The Medic guitarist-vocalist Ryan MacDonald shares the group chose a unique approach.
“The new record is a do-it-yourself concept,” he explains in advance of the group’s performance at Plan b Lounge in Moncton on Friday Sept. 15. “We built a 16 by 8 room, got 600 blank CD jackets, put them on the wall with thumb tacks, and each proceeded to splatter paint all over them, which makes the artwork for any given copy completely different from any other cover.”
MacDonald acknowledges that while streaming may be the preferred choice of many consumers these days, the band wanted to offer something extra to their fans.
“There’s no denying that not a lot of people are buying CDs anymore. We actually wondered amongst ourselves whether or not we should even press physical product. But we are all big music fans that have always been rooted and interested in the ‘old school’ mentality of pouring over album jackets, credits, and the like. That is really what drove the decision to make sure we had physical product for our new album.”
Alert The Medic’s latest effort saw the group reunite with producer Mike Turner, who had previously worked with the band on their 2014 album The Phantom Moves.
“From the time we started the band, the most common thing we have heard has been ‘Why don’t your albums sound like you do live?’ That was the biggest thing we wanted to capture with this record, making sure the energy of our live show was brought into the studio,” MacDonald says. “Right from the get go of the making of this album, we sought to keep things as raw and organic as possible.”
While the band did its homework in the time leading up to the making of the record, ensuring all parts were worked out and the songs well-rehearsed, MacDonald says even they were surprised at their efficiency once recording began in Toronto this past February.
“Anytime that you’re in the studio, there comes a point where you can start overthinking things and the performances start to suffer for it. This time around, we ended up banging out final takes of five songs within the first four or five hours in the studio. We’ve never worked at a pace like that anytime in the past. It was absolutely invigorating.”
What: Alert The Medic
When: Friday Sept. 15. 9 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton