Toronto's Fast Romantics ready for album release party on June 8
Although the Fast Romantics have been around in name for years, their new album American Love is really a debut of sorts.
The band celebrates the release on June 8 at a special release show at the Mod Club in Toronto.
First formed back in 2009, Fast Romantics has evolved over the years following founder Matthew Angus's move to Toronto in 2011. Angus and bass player Jeff Lewis are the two remaining original members and they decided to start fresh and hire on a new crew in 2014.
“We really just ended up forming the band again from scratch,” Angus says. “We did it that way so now we have six very dedicated and permanent and very passionate people. It feels very final; as final as a rock ‘n’ roll band can be.”
The current lineup includes Angus and Lewis along with Kirty (who released her own wonderful solo album last year, read about it here), Kevin Black, Lisa Lorenze and Nick McKinlay.
Soon after, Fast Romantics released a song Angus had apparently penned with his acoustic guitar while sitting on the floor for about 15 minutes. It was a huge hit, and thrust the band into the spotlight very early. The song won the 2016 Socan Songwriting Prize.
“First when Julia happened we didn't realize we were going to be a band that got radio play,” he says. “All of a sudden, it’s like oh my god, we gotta write hits now?”
Angus admits that some songs written during this phase suffered.
“We needed to be true to what we wanted to be as a band,” he says. “As soon as we let go of that (idea that we had to write another hit), the pressure just went away.”
Angus and the band didn't want to put out an album, instead opting to hit the road first across Canada and then into the United States, with the goal of becoming a tighter band and making sure they were doing what they wanted to do.
“It was right around when all the madness was happening with the election, and people were really dazed and confused by the whole thing,” Angus says. “We were talking to fans after shows and there was this palpable crazy energy in the air.”
When the band returned to Toronto, they knew much of what they’d written would need to evolve.
“The songs needed to reflect the context of the times a little better,” he explains. “So we spent time rewriting, and the songs absorbed what we’d experienced over the year of touring.”
Yes, a lot of the songs were still about relationships and everyday human experiences, but like on “Why We Fight,” released on the same day as Donald Trump’s inauguration, there was this background of political upheaval that added a new edge to the music.
“In ‘Why We Fight’ and ‘American Love’ there’s political imagery in there, and it’s more of an exploration of what it means, still to fall in love, but in the real world where things aren't perfect,” Angus says.
The band is currently on tour in Western Canada and will return to Toronto for their show June 8 at the Mod Club.
“We’re having a good old-fashioned album release party,” he says. “It’s going to be a special one, and we have a brand new set for the whole thing. It’s going to be pretty cool.”