Fast Romantics interview + ticket/merch giveaway

Fast Romantics, Ottawa, Black Sheep Inn,
Fast Romantics are a band that do one thing really well — making great music. That skill set of theirs has been turning heads since the band’s genesis in 2008. They’ve worked with legendary Canadian producer and engineer Howard Redekopp (The New Pornographers, Tegan and Sara, Metric, Mother Mother… the list goes on) on two out of their three albums. They’ve been accepted by our southern neighbours, and even had the chance to play at a temporarily reconstructed CBGB in New York City before the bastards shut it down for good.  As their raw sound and substantive lyrical content of their new album Afterlife Blues demonstrate, Fast Romantics are in the business of creating music that people connect with. After having just wrapped up a six-week North American tour, the band plays at Black Sheep Inn on Thursday, Dec. 19, along with Sam Cash & the Romantic Dogs. So with all this romance going down, it’d be a shame for anyone to miss out.  Check out our interview with drummer Alan Reain below.
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Interview with Fast Romantics drummer Alan Reain

Afterlife Blues is only your second full-length album as a band, but you’ve been around for a while now. In what ways have you guys matured or become wiser with a few years experience as a band? 
Alan: Well, this is one of the biggest musician cliches ever, but I think our music is more direct and honest now. I mean, not that it was dishonest or anything before, but now we’re not trying to be musically or lyrically clever for the sake of being clever, or trying to please radio stations or critics. We just have a much better idea of who were are as musicians and what we want to sound like as a band, and I think it shows on the record.
The band just finished up a six-week North American tour following the release of the new album. We love to hear funny, crazy, and/or messed up stories from tours… got any?
Alan: I think the most messed up thing is that we probably managed to eat from every fast food chain in North America, and yet none of us died. But about the coolest thing that happened was that Shane and Lauren, who are huge Death Cab for Cutie fans, ran into Ben Gibbard getting coffee in Seattle. Shane and Ben spent some time geeking out about guitar gear after Shane recovered the power of speech.
You worked with Vancouver producer and engineer Howard Redekopp on your 2010 EP Kidcutter, and now on this year’s Afterlife Blues. What does he do that makes him special to work with?
Alan: Howard’s amazing because he’s got the full spectrum covered. He’s got a great ear, he’s a musician himself and he’s been through it all, and he’s a great engineer and mixer. And maybe the most important thing is that he’s a really great presence to have around during the recording process… He’s great at putting people at ease, getting everybody having fun, and figuring out what each person needs to lay down the best possible performance.
Fast Romantics played at the legendary, and now defunct, CBGB in 2009. What’s your favourite band or musician from New York’s CBGB scene?
Alan: How do you even choose between acts like Talking Heads, The Police, The B-52’s, Blondie… But we’re gonna have to go with the Ramones. Hey Ho!
Good answer! The band was just signed to a big booking agency, which is cause for celebration. What’s a city or country that you’ve never been to but want to go? And why?
Alan: Australia! We have two aussies in the band now so it would be extra special to go there. Maybe our Canadian accents would be as cool down there as Australian accents are here. Plus we play a pretty mean game of knifey-spoony.