MODERN SUPERSTITIONS with CITY SWEETHEARTS at Parts & Labour (1566 Queen West), Wednesday (September 29). Pwyc. 416-588-7750.
When we first noticed Modern Superstitions, some of their members were legally too young to be in the bars they were playing. At the time, they were called the Superstitions (inspired by a dream that guitarist Matthew C. Aldred had), and while their classic guitar pop tunes were infectiously catchy, they lacked the onstage confidence that only experience could bring. However, after touring with Sloan, changing their name, and hooking up a distribution deal with Last Gang, they’re ready for the big time.
“I thought it would be more intimidating opening up for Sloan than it was,” admits Aldred as we munch on sandwiches at a deli.
“If anything, it was easier playing for people we don’t know,” adds vocalist Nyssa Rosaleen. “And it’s really exciting when you see that the audience is actually into it.”
Sloan’s Patrick Pentland also came on board to produce All The Things We’ve Been Told (Pink Noise), their first official release. Though he brings a wealth of experience and songwriting talent to the table, it turns out he was happy to sit back and help the players find guitar tones rather than push his producer vision on them.
“We had pretty strong ideas about things, and he would step back and let us work through them ourselves,” recalls Aldred.
The Sloan connection is obviously a big boost for the band, but it wouldn’t mean much if you couldn’t buy their album, which is where Canadian indie heavyweight Last Gang comes in. Except instead of signing the band, the label is simply providing the distribution network, an arrangement that suits the band just fine.
“We don’t technically have a deal with them,” explains Aldred. “We own all the masters, and everything is in our control. It’s pretty important, when you look at how things work now. I’m not giving my masters to someone in exchange for a $15,000 advance – you just don’t need that much money to record a good album any more.”