As anybody with a pulse could probably tell you, there has been a lack of guitar-driven rock n roll in our lives over the past decade. But thanks to bands like The Sheepdogs and Toronto’s Teenage Kicks, rock n roll is making a welcome comeback into the public’s consciousness.
Teenage Kicks’ debut EP Rational Anthems is full blown tribute to the past. Lead by vocalist-guitarist Peter Van Helvoort, powerful vocals and loud, crunchy guitars are the order of the day. Though the band has only been together for a relatively short span of time, they have already landed high profil opening slots with the likes of Sloan, Mother Mother and the aforementioned Sheepdogs.
From his home in Toronto, Van Helvoort says that music has always been a huge part of his life.
“Some of the first music I was exposed to was Blue Rodeo and The Tragically Hip,” he begins. “My father was really into them and would play them constantly. My father was also constantly listening to Toronto Radio Station The Edge so I ended up getting exposed to whatever they happened to be playing too. The first cassettes I actually bought for myself were Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten.”
When it is suggested that Teenage Kick”s music sounds very honest and true to their influences, Van Helvoort immediately concur saying Teenage Kicks are very deliberate with their sound.
“I have been playing music for a long time now, probably 11 or 12 years,” the 26 year-old says. “It seems as though every radio station these days is playing the same music though. Our band manager says that he is pretty confident that there is going to be a second coming of rock bands, that people are going to lose interest in paying money to hear a DJ play music in club environments.
“If you look back to the mid 90’s when [Pearl Jam’s] Vitalogy and The Hip’s Day For Night were out, it was intelligent music that still managed to be risky. I’m not surprised that people are looking for something else these days.
“I believe a lot of bands feel as though people don’t want to hear something they have heard before but if you look at the way people are taking to a band like The Sheepdogs, I think it is proof that people are interested in something that is more real and less processed.”
Though the Rational Anthems EP was only released this year, Van Helvoort says the group is already planning on their next release, which he hopes to have out in the new year. Asked whether he believes it is possible to be releasing too much in terms of material these days, Van Helvoort says he is not worried about over saturating his band at this point.
“If you look at the number of records that The Beatles released in the short time they were together, it is kind of crazy. But I don’t think that anybody should stop bands from releasing material as often as they want. I just don’t think the state of the music industry allows people to appreciate new music as much as it should be. For the stage we are at with our career, I think people will be inclined to forget about us if we don’t release new material.”
Get yourself a free download of Rational Anthems on the Teenage Kicks’ Bandcamp Site.
*Teenage Kicks play Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern on Friday November 4*