It’s difficult to get the Canadian supergroup together, since they’re all highly in-demand artists with their own projects. But The Vogue has done it! This mini-tour is the last bit of the tour for last year's LP Brill Bruisers, an uptempo collection of indie pop harkening back to the band's Twin Cinema days, with some extra electronic flourishes. And there's something else new, too, according to lead singer AC Newman. “We've got sort of a new member named Simi [Stone],” he said in an interview with NUVO last week. “[Stone] is doing second female vocals. It's because even when Neko can't do tours, there's a point that I thought like, we really want to have that second [voice]. A lot of the vocals are built around a second female, and using the maximum amount of singers. We have like five; I've realized a lot of what we do is built around five voices. Not five part harmonies, but parts where it's like, 'Okay, you guys double that part,' and then we'll do this three-part harmony vocal over top of it."
Here's some more from our interview with the group's leader Newman before their stop at the Vogue tonight.
On this tour:
"It's pretty short. This is just ten days. It's pretty mellow, and it's sort of arguably the last tour on this record. We're doing festival shows here and there, but for the most part, this is the end. I've started demoing for another record. We'll see. There's other things. We're just trying to start, knowing it's a long process from beginning of a record to finishing it, we're just trying to start."
On how the uptempo new record influences the live show:
"I think it is. I think the last couple records, Challengers and the one before this, have more mid-tempo songs, which would make elements of the show more mid-tempo. One thing I like when we started playing these songs is that I felt that they worked very nicely with our older songs. It felt like we could play "Moves," and we could play "Use It," and we could go into "Dancehall Domine" and it seemed very seamless. We skipped the weird thing that could happen with new records were sometimes it feels like people are hearing the new songs and going, 'We want to hear the old songs! Play a faster old one!' Now that we've got six albums, I feel like it makes the set work very nicely. This record has a great tempo to it, so we can do a good chunk of this record, then do two or three key songs from each record, and the whole set has a very good feel to it."
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Th New Pornographers
On producer John Collins returning to lead producer on Brill Bruisers:
"It makes me think I want to stick with it. John has a very interesting aesthetic that I think is very unique. I think a lot of it comes out on Destroyer records as well. Not that he's the mastermind on Destroyer records, but you can see his influence. When we were working on this record, I remember talking to Dan Bejar about using John. Dan pointed out that, think of it, the two biggest records by Destroyer and New Pornographers, which are Twin Cinema and Kaputt!, were both very much John Collins productions. That's not just a coincidence there. I'm looking forward to it. We've started demoing again, and I look forward to it. It's good to have someone to work with that if you bring a song, and you're not sure where to go with it, he will just take it and run with it for a while. Like, I will go to sleep, and he will just sit in the studio for four hours and go off on some tangent. And sometimes it's crazy and sometimes it's absolutely great.
On "Bleeding Hearts Show" (NUVO's favorite New Pornographers' song":
"That's one of those songs where I think .. I'm very proud of that song because it hit. I think it's the best example of what I was trying to do at that time. I was really trying to figure out ways to stretch out and write a different kind of song. I felt very pleased. That song rolls along with a very weird pattern. It's not an ABAB pattern, it's like ABABCDEFG. And then G, repeat G for two minutes at the end. I was very happy when that all came together. It's the song that, when we play it live, I'm thinking, 'This is the song to beat.' In my mind, I'm thinking, 'Is this the best song I will ever write?' And I think to myself, 'I'm cool with that.' If this is my pinnacle, if this is considered my best song, I think, that's pretty good.