Andrew Penner and Michael “Rosie” Rosenthal of Sunparlour Players took some time out to answer questions about touring, their new album, The Living Proof, and more. Adelaide Hall will play host to Sunparlour Players on May 24th for their Toronto album release. This show will be the first time The Living Proof will be performed live in Toronto, you don’t want to miss it.
How is your Canadian tour going so far?
Andew: It’s going great! We just finished the Western leg of the tour, it’s been amazing.
Where is your favourite place to play?
Andrew: I don’t know, what do you think Rosie?
Rosie: That’s a tough one; we have around 40 or something.
Andrew: We have a lot of special pockets. If we single one out we’ll get beat up.
What is the best part about being on tour?
Andrew: It’s always the people. The travelling is great, it doesn’t really get old but, the things you remember are the people. We’ve been lucky that we have a lot of connections in each town across Canada. I wouldn’t say it is like a homecoming but it’s a fun time to touch base with people all over the country that we have a history with now.
Do you have a favourite city you always like to play?
Rosie: hmm, that’s tough. I’m not singling anyone out but Andrew can take that one!
Andrew: Not really, for me, my favourite part is the opposite of what you’re asking. It is the variety that has become my favourite part. We don’t play rock clubs every night, we don’t play a certain kind of thing every night, we switch it up. It is definitely my favourite thing that it is a variety each time.
Speaking of variety…do you stick to a standard set list?
Rosie: We switch it up a bit. It depends on the venue we’re playing. We’ll switch up what we do depending on the crowd.
Can we expect surprises for your Toronto show on May 24?
Andrew: Lots of them! They’re called surprises though; people will have to come see. There’s going to be lots of fun stuff. We haven’t played any of these songs live in Toronto before, so I think that’s a check in the surprise column.
Any plans set for after the Canadian tour?
Andrew: Right now we are aiming for Europe.
Rosie: We’re going to be at festivals in the summer time and things like that.
What is your creative process like?
Andrew: The short answer is: when we get together in the room and come up with the sound. The sound is what happens when the two of us get together. The way it often starts, not every time, I’ll come up with the lyrics and melodies and general ideas and then Rosie and I will get together and we’ll form what is the song and what is the sound of the band. It’s different for every album and every song.
How did you choose the title for your album The Living Proof?
Andrew: It’s one of those old fashioned “take part of the lyrics from a song” thing. I was like “Hey Rosie, what do you think about this?” we thought it was pretty strange at first which usually means we like it to some degree.
If we don’t say yes or no it usually means we’re on to something. I just picked it out of the lyrics one day, fom the song called “By Your Side” on the record. All the songs and the subject matter all involve living something in the present tense, not about doing something in the past tense.
Rosie: It came to that place where we suddenly thought, I think this might be right, and it gets quickly to the point where it can’t be called anything else. You can’t change it; it feels right and its over. It is sudden.
I lend you the NewMusic Ten time machine so you can travel back in time to see any musician/band perform, who would you see?
Rosie: Spike Jones and his crazy, whaky, orchestra, whatever they’re called, when they had their heyday, which I think was around 1930. I have a video and it’s an unbelievable thing. He shoots pistols and stuff musically, it’s insane. Spike Jones and his orchestra, that’s where I’d go.
Andrew: I’d have to go with the first time that Motown toured Europe. It was called the Motor Town Review and they toured a couple different cities in Europe and nothing like that had ever been there before. I’d want to go to Berlin or something and watch these Motown people for the first time and see what that felt like, in an audience/performer kind of relationship. Also, it would be watching Marvin Gaye and little Stevie Wonder.
Rosie: It is Spike Jones and the City Slikers, I just remembered. That’s a good name.
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