Kyle Stumpo: I caught up with the guys in Lees Avenue for an interview just before their EP release show at Ask A Punk yesterday. They gave me some tips and tricks to share with you on dealing with stage fright and also explained how they made their EP and Music video!
Zane: Hi! We're the super sexy guys in Lees Avenue! I'm Zane and I smack the skins!
Daniel: Oohh! Oh god! I'm Daniel I play guitar and sing!
Matthew: Oh ya, you know there eh? My name is Matthew and I play rhythm guitar and I like to sing... from time to time.
Logan: I play bass. My name is Logan and I play the bass.
M: First question please sir!
What is the name of your EP?
D: The EP is called Locker Room Talk, and it's about talking... in locker rooms.
Z: No it's actually a reference to Donald Trump and his 'Grab 'em by the pussy' remarks."
M: (shouts in the background) Grab 'em by that pussy!
Z: But it's also about you know, just talking with the guys, hanging out and shooting the shit. You know, locker room stuff.
How did you guys find the experience of recording the EP?
Z: I got this one boys! We uh you know we didn't just do it all at once. As you know some bands just go to the studio for two weeks and then they have their album. But we went slow and completed it over 4 months doing it piece by piece, you know like 'oh we'll do vocals here and guitar there' we didn't do it the 'right' way.
M: But it worked didn't it boys! You know, we all work and that makes it hard to just take two weeks and do something like this for fun, but it was fun to do even if it took so long.
Z: And a big shout out to my brother D'ar for recording this for us. You know he, uh, he didn't charge us a dime to make the EP and we really appreciate that. But that's why it took four months to record, we were working on his time and schedule, but like I said he didn't charge us anything.
M: Yeah! He left us with more money for beer!
Did you guys enjoy shooting your music video?
Z: Yeah definitely! It was a lot of fun and actually, this is the room we shot the video in!We had all our friends come out and hang out and we shot the video, it was a lot of fun just getting rowdy with the boys.
Was there any part of the video that was particularly hard to film?
Z: Yeah! Daniel's dog! (everyone laughs.) If you watch the video, you will probably notice that there's a dog on stage with us, and because it was so loud he tried to run away.
M: Yeah! Dogs don't like live music! Who knew. We all love 'em but the pooches, uh uh!
Z: Yeah and also, just pretending to party and get rowdy without actually drinking and having the music and stuff made it a little awkward at first, but most of the people we shot the video with are used to moshing and just you know, acting like punks, so after a little while we got a little out of hand at some points.
M: Yeah we would have the camera guy in the back looking at us like, how the hell and I supposed to tame this shot!
The next question is when you guys are going on stage, how do you deal with your pre-show jitters or stage fright?
D: I know you just kinda go up there and do your own thing and just try not to really think about it really. Just go up there and have as much fun as you can and take out all the anger and frustration on stage.
M: Or happiness, you can be happy too!
L: Or your sexual frustration.
Z: Yeah, personally it takes me a song or two to get into it. You probably notice that I have my head down for the first little bit then eventually I get into it. You just gotta have fun man, and I don't get nearly as nervous as them I think because I'm hiding in the back and they're you know up front with all the BS. But I think Matt really loosened us up on stage, he's just so energetic and he brings it out in the rest of us.
M: When I first joined the band we only had about four hours practice together and I knew the riffs but not really how long to play them and I was like, I know I'm gonna make a mistake so I might as well just have fun! So I kicked the wall and never looked back!
L: Yeah you gotta just break the seal on that! But, uh, yeah you just gotta go on and try to have as much fun as possible and realize that even if you make a mistake it's not that big a deal and just have fun.
D: Yeah just kicking things, kicking people it all works out pretty well.
M: (sarcastically) Or you know, just play your instrument well, but that's just me.
Z: Sometimes Matt and I will spit at each other on stage, it just makes it fun.
M: Yeah he got me in the mouth in the music video, I played it off for the camera but, nope he sent it right down my throat!
Are you doing any other shows to support the EP?
Z: Yeah, we're doing a show at Berrymores on the 18th of August.
Do you want to make any shout outs?
Z: Uh yeah! D'artangan Bean! You rock, thanks for recording the EP! And Cory Bergeron, Josh Hart.
M: Yeah really anyone who ever came out to one of our shows, even if you think we suck, as long as we were in your mind at some point I'd like to say thanks!
L: Yeah thanks to anyone who shared the video, it means a lot to us and we appreciate it.
M: With grunge dying it's about time someone steps up and puts it back in the fold, right?! All we have left is the dudes in Pearl Jam.
Z: (screams) Ohhhhh!
Thanks for reading the interview and don't forget to check out the boys' EP "Locker Room Talk" on Bandcamp! If you like bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam or just grunge music in general definitely check them out! If you're in Ottawa they have a show on the 18th of August!