Lately, life has been sweet for Vancouver three-piece slacker popsters the Courtneys. Fresh off an American tour with Tegan and Sara, they're suddenly a hot ticket - playing with St. Catharines alt-rockers Waterbodies on Friday (May 30) at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina). Plus, their self-titled debut LP was recently re-pressed on Hockey Dad Records. From a tour van on the road to Washington, DC, bassist Sydney Koke talks all-ages crowds, gigging in Van City and always leaving fans wanting more.
There isn't a lot of sun in Vancouver. How do you manage to write sunny pop tracks through persistent rain?
Vancouver can be really depressing. We live in the Downtown Eastside, and our jam space is on East Hastings, which isn't the happiest place, so elements of that are going to be reflected in the music. [But] perhaps that's why the band always sounds happy; it's nice to have a release.
Your full-length was recorded over one weekend on Vancouver Island. Was the plan to quickly capture a certain mood?
It was meant to be a four-song EP, but things went very smoothly so we just recorded more songs. It's eight songs and comes in under 30 minutes; we're happy with the length because we like to play a short set and leave people wanting more instead of getting bored.
A few years ago Vancouver garnered a lot of attention for the restrictions on venues and all-ages parties. From your point of view, how's that going now?
The city introduced a pilot project to deal with the fact that there are so many illegal venues. It would allow a lot of the underground venues to get around some of the building restrictions and problems with licensing. I think if this program allowed more all-ages shows there would be an increase in legal venues. There aren't many spaces where you can watch live music in Vancouver if you're under age. That's one thing I've noticed this tour - how great the all-ages crowds have been.
The Courtneys was released on Vancouver label Hockey Dad Records, and you've quickly become one of the city's favourite acts. What does it mean to have the support of your hometown?
Everyone we know in Vancouver is an artist or a musician or doing something creative. Whenever people come and see us, I'm aware of that - I don't take it for granted. I know their time is precious in terms of coming to watch other people play.