Just before the doors opened at Cafe Dekcuf last night, I sat down with Mike Searle, bassist for Toronto’s Grounders. The band has been touring with Deleted Scenes in Canada recently and will follow them into the American eastern seaboard for a quick US tour. Being on the road and promoting their new music is what the travelling band is all about, as I discovered chatting with Mike.
Tell me a little bit about Grounders.
We started in 2010, an amalgamation of a few other bands that folded. We came together and started practicing lead guitarist Andrew’s songs. He had a lot of ideas which he brought to Dan, Rob and I, and we just hashed them out together. About a year later Evan joined the band and we’ve playing ever since.
It seems like fans have been waiting for you to come out with an album for a while. Did you feel that way too?
Yeah, we put out our EP last March and we’ve been touring that during spring and summer with Yukon Blonde & Zeus. Then we went out again with The Besnard Lakes to end the summer, but since then we’ve just been writing. We’re going to start recording in January. So, it’s coming. Please be patient guys, it’s on its way! We’re just finishing all the writing right now and we’re rehearsing in December. It’s definitely been on our minds quite a bit.
When did you sign on with Nevado Records?
That happened about a year ago. We met Nick Bernal when we played a show with one of his bands, Great Bloomers. He liked it, so we met a few times and worked something out. The record is coming out with them here and with Park the Van in the states. That worked out well, we have a good relationship with Nick & Nevado. He’s given us lots of great opportunities from the EP.
Whose idea was it to have every medium of music available for Wreck of a Smile? You’ve got digital download, CD, vinyl & audio cassette available on your bandcamp.
We just wanted to get it out on as much as possible. We obviously really wanted the 10″ vinyl, and CD of course, but before we signed with Nevado we did a run of cassettes on our own. We made like 50 and they all sold out at our release show. When we were talking to Nick about it he said we should do another run of them. So we did, and lots of dudes in trucks who live out in the country like ’em, cause they don’t have CD players. We like that it’s on as many mediums as possible to give more people a chance to listen to it, no matter what they use.
Do you have a large audience in the country? Are you from rural backgrounds?
Well Andrew is from Hamilton and Rob is from Bolton, which is out there. Dan & I are originally from Calgary and we really like playing out there. The biggest place for the cassettes are placed likes Saskatoon, Winnipeg & Calgary.
So what’s the best part about being in a travelling band?
The drugs & the drinking. No! I’m just kidding. Probably the coolest thing is just playing in front of as many people as we can, and hanging out with as many of them as we can. Hopefully connecting with them, cause we’re pretty chill guys, anyone can just come over and talk to us. And seeing as many cities as possible. We’ve been all over the place the last year and we’ve seen some cool places none of us have never been to.
Tell me a little about POP Montreal.
We’ve played there the last four years and it’s great. It’s one of my favourite festival to play, it’s just really fun and well organized. The guys over there do a really great job and we’ve always been treated well and on good bills. And obviously Montreal is hilarious and the food is amazing. We always have fun in Montreal, and we’re going there tomorrow!
So what’s next for Grounders?
After this mini-tour with Deleted Scenes we’re going to finish writing and get the recording, mixing and mastering all done. That’s the next big thing. After these shows we probably won’t play for a bit I guess. The next shows are in March, so now just grinding it out for the record.
Thanks a lot!