Two Hours Traffic Ride Waves Of Change

Following up two critically acclaimed albums is no small task as Prince Edward Island’s Two Hours Traffic have come to realize.

Little Jabs, the group’s 2007 debut and their follow-up effort, 2009’s Territory earned the band legions of fans throughout Canada and as far away as Australia thanks to their undeniably catchy pop songs.

All was not to be smooth sailing for the band forever, however. But in their case, some changes and tweaks ended up doing the group some good.

In the time since Territory, the group parted ways with founding member Alec O’Hanley, they amicably said “so long” to the group’s former producer Joel Plaskett and Andrew MacDonald swapped his bass for the guitar while newcomer Nathan Gill (also of The North Lakes) stepped into the vacant bassist position in the band.

The rejuvenated band will perform with their friends in The North Lakes at the Tide & Boar Gastropub on Main Street on Saturday night.

Two Hours Traffic member Liam Corcoran recalls the group not being on the happiest place at the end of the touring cycle behind Territory.

“We had just wrapped up an Australian tour, and I feel that it was pretty obvious that we weren’t having a good time,” Corcoran says. “The original lineup of the band wasn’t gelling anymore. This isn’t to say it was anyone’s fault, Alec’s or otherwise, it just became a time to reassess the state of the band. Ultimately, we had come to the conclusion that maybe it would be best if Alec pursued what he wanted to do.”

Corcoran says that though they may not be making music together anymore, the band remains on good terms with former member O’Hanley, having seen him as recently as a few weeks ago when the group performed in Toronto.

O’Hanley’s departure from Two Hours Traffic also meant that the group had to reassess how they were going about writing songs. Corcoran says that when O’Hanley was in the band, the group had three different songwriters all vying for a finite amount of tracks upon their records.

“It went from Alec, Andy and I all writing songs to Andy and I writing together. Andy took the lead on writing the music while I focused more upon the lyrics,” Corcoran says. “I find it has made for a more cohesive story for this record.”

Although Two Hours Traffic had enough material to have released a full-length album, which Corcoran says will be released in the New Year, the band instead opted to release the four-song Siren Spell EP as a means to re-introduce themselves to their fans.

“We would be crazy not to recognize that we have been away from the scene for a little while. Reintroducing us with a new line-up really lent a lot towards trying to build up interest in the band with the EP. We didn’t just want to seemingly come out of nowhere with a full-length album,” Corcoran says.

Asked if the group feels they are back at square one with respect to needing to rebuild their fan base and remind the world that Two Hours Traffic is still a going concern, he happily reports that they were encouraged at the reception afforded to them during a recent run of Ontario shows as well as here at home in the Maritimes.

“I like to think that we are pretty smart about how we went about reintroducing the band. We realize that we are going to need to win some people back but things have actually been going better in that respect than I think any of us really anticipated that it would. It isn’t at all hard for people to move onto a new band; we knew we had our work cut out for us but thankfully, we have a lot of fans who have stuck around.”

 Article published in the October 26, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript