Newfoundland indie-rock band Hey Rosetta will be ending 2015 in much the same way they started the year off – performing at Moncton’s Tide & Boar Ballroom. Following two sold-out shows at this very venue this past January, the group returns to Moncton for a performance on Tuesday night.
As Hey Rosetta member Josh Ward tells The MusicNerd Chronicles, the group has spent the bulk of the past year touring in support of their third full-length effort Second Sight.
The group has invested significant amounts of energy both here at home in Canada, as well as in the United States where, Ward says the group is, slowly but surely, cultivating a dedicated fanbase.
“It has been a goal of ours, to try to work in the U.S. and focus on building our career there like we have done in Canada: playing shows,” he says.
“We’ve been fortunate that we play a show, and the next time we return to any given city, those same people are back and they’ve brought along some of their friends. Because there is so much going on and so many bands all vying for an audience, the American market is a challenging place to break. We are definitely seeing progress though. It’s encouraging.”
Since their formation 10 years ago, the group has been on the winning end of numerous awards, in addition to a heap of critical acclaim.
Joking that people’s attention spans tend to be dwindling, Ward acknowledges that the group having held onto a sizable fanbase over the course of the last decade is something to be proud of.
“A big reason for it has been the fact that we play live a lot. So many people these days are looking for the next YouTube sensation to replace the last YouTube sensation, but in my opinion, nothing can replace the live music experience. You can’t get the energy and magic of being at a live show through a download or by watching a video online. No matter where the music industry goes from here, the popularity and importance of playing live can’t be diminished.”
Not including a holiday-themed release in 2012, Second Sight was Hey Rosetta’s first studio effort in more than three years. Ward admits the group is their own worst enemy when it comes to being in the studio, as they choose to exhaust to all musical possibilities before settling on a final arrangement.
“There is a reward to that kind of writing and recording process, but I would perhaps like to see us approach the next batch of songs a little differently. I think that, in an ideal world, we could consider consolidating the touring we undertake in order to give the band a little more time to be creative.”
Hey Rosetta’s special guests tomorrow evening are B.C. pop band Yukon Blonde, who, this past June, released their third full-length effort On Blonde.
The album is a compelling snapshot of a group hitting their stride, casting a greater reliance on keyboards than on past efforts, giving their music with the same vibrant energy that drove the new wave movement of the early 80’s.
This past September, Yukon Blonde’s Jeff Innes told The Times & Transcript that, unlike previous albums, the group stopped sweating the small stuff while in the studio recording On Blonde.
“In a way, we find the album has charm that we had been trying to capture on other albums, but hadn’t managed to do until this record,” he said. “The album was made over the course of six months, which is actually the longest it has taken us to make a record. What was different about the songwriting process this time around was the fact that we decided to work the songs out in the studio in efforts to keep a spontaneous feeling running through them. Rather than running through the same songs a few dozen times to fine-tune them, we would start with a loose idea or passage and build it together, as a group.”
Despite being a prolific live act that has toured throughout Canada, Europe, and the United States, Innes says that On Blonde was the group’s first record where they didn’t concern themselves with how the songs would be reproduced in concert.
“With this record, we didn’t write the songs with the live show in mind, which kind of forced us to go back and revisit how the material should be interpreted in concert. It was definitely a challenge, but one that we welcomed as we realized that by things being a little different between the record and the live show, we are actually creating two different experiences for our fans. How we go about connecting those experiences is up to us,” Innes says.
What: Hey Rosetta with special guests Yukon Blonde
When: Tuesday Nov. 24, 8 p.m.
Where: The Tide & Boar Ballroom, 700 Main St., Moncton
Tickets are $33.51 (includes taxes and service charges). Advance tickets are available at the Tide & Boar and online at tideandboar.com/music.