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> Monday, October 6th, 2008 > Lifestyles > Life on the road can have its bumps
Life on the road can have its bumps
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by TK Dallman
Published: Monday, October 6th, 2008
You Say Party! We Say Die! are seeing success on the road
You Say Party! We Say Die! were having navigational problems when I phoned them for an interview last week. They were tired, sore and hopelessly lost, trying to figure out where their driving directions went wrong. To make matters worse, they had a gig here in London waiting for them.
But the spirits of the five-piece dance-punk group weren’t dampered by minor (or perhaps major) setbacks, and Becky Ninkovic, their lead singer, made jokes in between answering questions over a sometimes-inaudible cell phone.
Still, it’s surprising that YSP! WSD! got lost in the first place – they’ve spent the better part of their four-and-a-half year career travelling Canada. Originally from Abbotsford, British Columbia, they’ve been back and forth several times, seen their fair share of Europe and even toured China last summer, after a promoter found their music through MySpace. They likely would have toured the States too, if they weren’t banned until 2011 (which taught them a lesson about getting proper work VISAs).
But it hasn’t been until recently that audiences have paid more attention to YSP! WSD!
“We’ve been touring for a really long time and we kind of lose track of time, but it definitely feels like we’ve put in our dues and we’ve been working hard,” Ninkovic said. “Now we’re beginning to experience some success with it all.”
Part of this exposure has come from playing a slew of big festivals, from Big Time Out in Cumberland, British Columbia (which featured groups ranging from Metric to De La Soul) to The Virgin Music Festival.
There, YSP! WSD!’s won crowds over with the best asset they’ve got – a stunning live show. Not only do Ninkovic and the others have great stage presence, but it’s almost as if their music was made for a live setting. It’s a culmination of ‘80s pop, modern indie rock and punk. Energetic, catchy, and it makes people want to move.
They love performing, too.
“There’s always a lot of adrenaline and excitement that comes from playing a good show,” Ninkovic said.
But after months of touring, how do they keep up the energy night after night?
“I don’t know,” Ninkovic explained. “No matter how sick or tired we might be, it always seem to come bursting out our soul. It’s just one of those phenomena... where we all can tap into the music, or the music taps into us.”
Such long-term touring is undoubtedly draining, however, both mentally and physically. That’s why the band are looking forward to taking a break in the coming months as they write and record a follow up to 2007’s Lose All Time.
For YSP! WSD!, making the switch from live performance to recording isn’t always easy.
“When you’re in a recording studio, you’re isolated and you’re really turning inwards and focusing on being creative and pulling out the best part of yourself. It’s a totally different process [than performing live],” she said.
And with so much emphasis on their stage show, it can be a challenge to capture that feeling on record.
“We just try to channel that same spirit, the same energy into it,” Ninkovic explained.”With all of our albums, we pull friends of ours in to do gang vocals and be around to bring some of that feel into the room. We also don’t play around too much with fancy recording equipment. We just use what we use live.”
Some of those friends even did remixes of YSP! WSD! songs for a digital LP that was just released on Paper Bag Records. They’ve called it Remik’s Cube, and while it’ll tide fans over until a new album is released, anticipation has been building to see what their next effort will hold in store.
But a new release means another whirlwind tour for the band, which they’re all for, as long as they can follow the directions from city-to-city.