Talk about bad timing.
It seems as though I’ve been trying to get some coverage for this great band lined up for more than a year now. It just so happened that when they had something going on, I didn’t necessarily have the bandwidth to get something done.
Well all that changes now, boys and girls.
The Moncton-based group is celebrating the release of their debut effort, Belated Love, with a hometown performance on March 10.
We had the opportunity to chat with Tampa main-man Nic LeBlanc about the origins of the band, the welcoming of a new member and what figured into the band’s selection of recording studio.
First, why the decision to put your previous group Danger Cat to bed?
Well for starters, there was a change in members and we had a new wave of songwriting and feel to our songs. The name Danger Cat represented something that had reached a conclusion, I guess. A couple of years down the line, in 2016, we had a new sound and a new name felt like the next natural step to hop into.
On the other side of the coin though, was it refreshing to start over with a band that had no expectations or anything of the such?
It was refreshing in a sense. However we still felt there were expectations of us because some of the songs crossed over from Danger Cat to Tampa. Even though the name is new people still knew us as members of Danger Cat. A new name gave us a blank slate that we could build a new aesthetic and feel on. The idea of a new name turned into an introspective reflection. We got to focus more on our songwriting and write our first preconceived album. We wrote more songs than needed which gave us some material to shape an album that we’re very proud of.
When did the songs on Belated Love come together?
We had a couple of songs on the go near the end of 2014 but the album came together between 2015-2016. In 2015, me, Mathieu, and Marc-André started to conceptualize the idea of an album. We made a decision to give songwriting more of a work mind set. We scheduled our songwriting sessions a few days a week over coffee and tea instead of beer and whiskey at night. If the songs were good we’d keep them, and if they were bad we’d scrap them. We ended writing more than 18 songs. We recorded 13 of them, and we kept 11 on the album.
Where and when was the album recorded?
We recorded the album in la belle vallée de Memramcook at MRC Studio. We chose this spot because it’s run by some seriously talented musicians and producers who are making some of the best records to come out of the Maritimes in the last few years, including The Divorcees, Menoncle Jason and John Richard. Also though, it’s THE place to record an album on tape.
Tell me a bit about what Katrine [Noel] brings to the band and what inspired you to bring her into the Tampa fold.
She’s the whole package in the respect she’s got a fantastic groove in addition to her bass playing, voice and style. Not to mention she’s also one of our best friends. We just really jive together. She brought the touch that we needed for our project. Kat and Marc have been playing together with Les Hay Babies for awhile now and for Marc, being the drummer, it was really important to have a solid bass player. When it boils down to it, Kat has the best sense of time and rhythm around. Even though her main instrument wasn’t the bass, at the time, we had faith in her abilities and it really paid off.
What: Tampa Album Release Show for Belated Love
When: Saturday March 10, 8 p.m.
Where: Aberdeen Cultural Centre, Salle Bernard-Leblanc, 140 Botsford St., Moncton