There is a lot of nostalgia that comprises the sound behind Prince Edward Island rock band North Lakes. Owing much to ’60s rock bands, the spirit from decades gone by is alive and well in these east coast rockers.
North Lakes recently released their latest record, Grand Prix, a rousing, guitar-driven eight-song release that is already one of the most exciting rock records to emerge so far this year from this end of the country.
Asked how he feels the band progressed between the time of their 2010 record Cobra and Grand Prix, North Lakes’ Nathan Gill says the band was far more comfortable in the studio this time around.
“We spent a lot more of our time identifying a uniform sound that would permeate the record,” Gill says. “Our first record Cobra was a lot of experimentation and learning the process of recording however this time around, we felt as though we were able to creatively work within the medium much better.”
These days, many bands are choosing to make their records outside of the traditional recording studio atmosphere and North Lakes are no exception to this. The group cut Grand Prix in a church in Long Creek, P.E.I. with engineer Adam Gallant while Colin Buchanan handled production duties. Gill says that despite what some might consider being an unconventional location to make a rock n’ roll record, the environment turned out to be a boon to the recording process.
“Recording in the church turned out to be a great space that really informed the sound of the record,” Gill says. “Colin and Adam were able to capture a sort of Phil Spector-esque wall of sound through the architecture of the room. Plus the basketball court in the basement helped us get a very expansive and natural reverb sound for the guitars on the record.”
While some bands may say that years of playing together will result in a more concise approach to songwriting, there is little to no substitute for the experience a band gains from playing night after night on tour. Largely recorded live off the floor, Gill says the extensive road-work that the band did in support of Cobra played a big part in setting them on course to make Grand Prix.
“Touring in support of Cobra made it very apparent to us what kind of music we want to play. We discovered that we have the most fun with driving, dirty rock n’ roll music. The first record definitely had those elements, but I feel that with this record, those elements are much more clear and concise.”