It seems to take a lot to make the guys in Toronto band Inlet Sound grumpy. Even when faced with a broken down touring van a mere week before the group is due to travel to Atlantic Canada for shows, Inlet Sound’s Michael Wexler couldn’t sound happier.
Returning to Plan B for a show on Tuesday evening, optimism and Inlet Sound go hand in hand. From the opening notes of the group’s full-length debut effort The Romantics, there is an earnestness to the album’s songs that isn’t often or easily found in the works of other groups.
Yeah, yeah we get it, other bands, life sucks sometimes. Inlet Sound doesn’t deny this as much as they simply choose to focus on the glass half-full side of life.
“Optimism is something that we were striving to go for with the record,” Wexler says. “We chose the name The Romantics for the fact that there are a lot of issues that are dealt with on the record stemming from situations that had arisen in the last two years. They sort of serve as the tipping point in life and then deciding whether or not you succumb to cynical view of life or whether you keep being a dreamer and try to find the silver linings in everything.”
To help bring their vision to life on The Romantics, Inlet Sound enlisted the production assistance of Laurence Currie (Sloan, In-Flight Safety). Currie came to Inlet Sound’s attention when the former worked on Little City’s The Going and the Gone. Liking what they heard, Inlet Sound sat down with the producer and began discussing making a record together.
“We were pretty much instantly sold on Laurence. He is just a gem of a human being to be around. He has a very clear idea of songwriting and arranging and how to effectively break songs down and build them back up.”
Asked if there was any hesitation among band members with respect to bringing in a producer to analyze and potentially criticize the group’s material, Wexler says that he and his band mates all felt as though it could only help make the songs stronger.
“Any creative entity has limits and limitations,” he said. “Bringing in a third party that has a wealth of knowledge and experience from projects that can make some objective decisions is incredibly rewarding. When you’re too close to the material you don’t necessarily see those significant tweaks that can help make your material better.”
With the group hoping to undertake a Western Canadian tour later in the year, the immediate future of Inlet Sound includes releasing a new video directed by Christopher Mills (Broken Social Scene, Interpol). Even though videos are becoming a thing of the past on traditional television, bands can become stars thanks to You Tube and the Internet.
“We definitely see making videos as a viable way to get word of the band out,” Wexler says. “I have always been a huge advocate of visual art and love dreaming up the concepts behind the potential videos for our songs.”
Article published in the March 8, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript