Northern Lights: Stars cashes in on Canadian rock craze
By Emily Zemler
About ten minutes into a phone interview with Stars drummer Evan Cranley last week, he was forced to cut the call short when the car in front of his bands van flipped off the road. Luckily, the Canadian groups near constant touring since their third album, Set Yourself On Fire, has gone much more smoothly.
The response has been fabulous, Cranley said once the Stars reached St. Louis safely. Its been a slow burn for the past couple years, so when the record came out, almost a year ago, people seemed to be kind of interested. Now a year later it seems to really have caught on with the kids. Weve been playing all-ages shows too, so weve been getting to a younger market that we havent played for before, so thats been really fun
And even though weve been around a while and we used to live in New York, the attention on Canada right now has obviously helped.
The attention on Canadian bands like The Arcade Fire, the Deers, and Broken Social Scene has certainly helped Stars accrue a much greater buzz in the States. When asked why so much indie rock is currently emerging from the Great White North a question Cranley says he fields on a daily basis he attributes the critical mass of Montreal-based bands to their supportive attitudes.
Its a place where, unlike New York or L.A., theres not this competitive spirit, he explains. In other cities people tend to follow their own way and not support each other. Theres a great support system up North and thats really great for being a band up there. No ones trying to out pose each other or anything like that.
Cranley, who backs the Stars emotive indie rock fueled by the dueling vocals of singer Torquil Campbell and guitarist Amy Millan, loves playing in the U.S., but has lately noticed how refreshing the crowds in his native country have been.
Playing in Canada this time around has been great, Cranley says. I think its really exciting for music fans and young kids to be into stuff thats coming from their own backyard
Ive never seen this before ever in Canada, this kind of craze or support.
New Yorkers are obviously smitten, too their show this Friday at Webster Hall is already sold out.