In the shadow of the Stanfields’ excellent new record Limboland, band vocalist-guitarist Jon Landry is in a bit of a contemplative mood.
“It’s a weird time, isn’t it? We’re in a currency of consumption,” he declares, referring to the Wild West atmosphere known as the modern-day music business.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m doing exactly what I should be doing, meaning I’m part of a band that’s doing our best to make meaningful connections with an audience along the way. It used to be that you made a record, you put it out and, if you were lucky, it sold. Unless you had a whopper of a hit on your hands though, you didn’t always really know how your music was making others feel. One of your songs could be the soundtrack to somebody’s party, or their own personal summer anthem. Now, most musicians are trying to anticipate and monetize something that’s inherently human, and it’s hard to see where we fit in, especially as a rock band in the year 2018.”
It’s been a big few years in the world of the Stanfields. In the nearly three years that have passed since the band’s last release Modem Operandi, the group has, by all accounts, gotten back to basics with their new album.
Part of getting the band back to basics included the recalibration of the band’s lineup. The arrival of Dillan Tate and Calen Kinney in the group’s roster in 2015 inspired The Stanfields to take a fresh look at where they had come from, but also where they were headed.
“The lineup change really got us looking inward,” Landry says. “When you go through a major shift like that, you start asking yourself all kinds of questions. Suddenly, you have five fingers making a different fist than what you might have been accustomed to. It was never a question about Dillan and Calen’s talent or ability to fit in with the band; you just work to find a new collective voice along the way. It was a lot like starting from scratch in some respects, but we wanted to be sure to give ourselves the time necessary to go on this journey together. The time betweenModem Operandi and the new record might be one of our longest stretches between records, but it was the right move to get us where we are today.”
Getting the band to where they are today involved the group incorporating more elements of roots music that was more predominant in some of their earlier releases. While their new album is closer in spirit to their 2010 debut Vanguard of the Young and Restless, The Stanfields aren’t merely rehashing the past in hopes that those driven away by their previous album will return to the flock.
“Limboland will feel very familiar to those that know the band, and I think a big part of that had to do with Calen and Dillan’s arrival in the group. They were fans before they joined our ranks, and both of them suggested we look at returning to what endeared the band to them as fans in the first place. This is a much more concise record than Modem Operandi. We haven’t exactly reinvented the wheel as much as we hit the reboot button,” Landry says.
Asked if he feels The Stanfields could have arrived at this juncture of their career had it not been for the somewhat divisive nature of their previous release, Landry insists the group has no regrets.
“There was definitely some things we had to get out of our system with Modem…I’m still incredibly proud of that album, but there’s no denying it didn’t hit the mark with respect to what a lot of people expected from us. We are all very excited about what we’ve uncovered with this new record.”
Tour dates for The Stanfields:
March 30 — Fredericton, NB — Charlotte St. Arts Centre
March 31 — Moncton, NB — Tide & Boar Ballroom
April 13 — Halifax, NS — Casino Nova Scotia: Schooner Room
April 14 — New Glasgow, NS — Glasgow Square Theatre
April 21 — Charlottetown, PEI — PEI Brewing Company
April 26 — Montreal, QC — L’Escogriffe
April 27 — Toronto, ON — Adelaide Hall
April 28 — Ottawa, ON — The 27 Club