Vancouver’s We Are The City are currently on a Canada wide tour with Shad and they are rolling through Hamilton on Wednesday, November 13th. WATC released their sophomore album, Violent, this past June to great reviews. The album was accompanied by a film the band shot in Norway which is currently being shopped to festivals. Following up the sleek Violent, the band released PXTK in October. PXTK is a bit dirtier, free flowing, and open. Both albums are really great and can be found on WATC’s bandcamp page.
I caught up with Cayne earlier this week to learn more about the band. Cayne couldn’t have been any nicer. It is always a special treat when the person you are speaking to for the first time is really cool and friendly. Way to go, Vancouver.
Q – Hey Cayne, how’s it going?
Hey! I’m well.. just waking up in Montreal. I had some very buttery croissants earlier, life is good.
Q – The food in Montreal is amazing. Have you had any bagels yet?
No bagels yet. It’s hard because there is so much to choose from, you know? I think I’ve decided that I’m done going to Schwartz’s every time.. I need to make time for other foods when I come down here. But yes, Montreal is amazing. It is s cool here and the city seems like it has 100 heartbeats, you know? As opposed to like, Toronto, which seems to have one definite heartbeat and goal.
Q – What’s it like touring with Shad?
It’s been great. We’ve only done two shows together so far but they have both been a lot of fun. Shad is so inspiring, we love having this chance to go on the road with him. We live near each other in Vancouver and we’ve known him for a while. He is so amazing and he just makes so much space in his songs to say a lot, you know? He is a true professional. I like that he makes it a point to describe his thought process on a variety of things in his songs.
Q – What’s it like opening for a rapper? What have the crowds been like when they find out that the opening act is a rock band?
Well we’ve just done the two shows together so far, so I will probably have a better answer for you in a few weeks. It’s hard to say just yet, but so far the shows have been great. It seems like the majority of the people who are coming out to see Shad are just people who like good music, so it hasn’t been entirely a hip hop crowd. You know how when you’re making small talk at a party and you ask someone what they listen to? And they they say… everything? Well, a lot of those people seem to be coming out to the shows, which is cool. I’m not sure if there is a specific profile on a Shad fan.
Q – I’ve been listening to your October release PXTK lately. It’s great! What does PXTK stand for?
I would love to tell you what that means, but it might mean nothing, you know? Do titles always have to mean something? I don’t know. Everybody wants a meaning, but what do you do when there is no meaning. I guess there isn’t really a meaning to the title.. I’ll leave it at that.
Q – I especially like the song Friends Hurt. What inspired that song?
Long story short – a friend of ours was going through a breakup and someone said “It hurts to see friends hurt”, and that really stuck with me. It does hurt to see your friends hurting, and at that time I was going through some things in my personal life and it all amounted to this song. I really felt that phrase and what it means to feel for other people.
Q – I’ve been reading about your Norwegian movie. It sounds like a really cool project. Can you tell me a bit about how that came together?
We wanted to make a narrative driven movie and we didn’t want to make it in Vancouver. Basically it was a lot of talk and a lot of big ideas that turned into a lot of work. We eventually decided to go to Norway with Amazing Factory who do a lot of our videos. We wrote the film and the soundtrack and had it translated and filmed with Norwegian actors. We are sending it to some festivals and hopefully it will come out at some point.
Q – Can you see yourself doing more movie work?
This was a great experience, so I am definitely interested in writing more narratives in the future. I’m not sure if those will be movies or not, but the idea of writing stories really appeals to me.
Q – What are you listening to these days?
I really like that song Jasmine by Jai Paul. I don’t know a lot about him but that song is really innovative, I like it a lot.
Me too! Thanks a lot, Cayne.