INTERVIEW: Canterbury [January 2014]

By Ben Tipple

Canterbury are just about to release their brand new third album Dark Days via Hassle Records; an LP that has been fan-funded with a Pledge Music project. Having first announced the project back in April 2013, Canterbury received nearly 800 pledges from fans for the album, as well as offering pledgers special rewards like the signed drum skins used to record Dark Days and a guitar lesson from Mike Sparks himself. The band have previously said how they’ve been “blown away by the amount of support we have been shown towards [the new album]” and as they start 2014 with a new record label and a new record, Punktastic caught up with the band to find out about the experience of making Dark Days and if the number 13 can be lucky for some.

Hi Canterbury. Congratulations on working with Hassle Records – who are your favourite new label mates?

We have been good friends of the We Are The Ocean boys for years now, our first ever real tour was with those guys back in 2008. Super guys, great hard working band.

Because ‘Dark Days’ has been fan-funded through Pledge Music, did you feel an added layer of pressure when writing/recording?

I don’t think pressure is the right word for what we felt. As a group we are confident of our abilities, and writing and recording is an absolute pleasure, it’s what we all live for. However, I think with the fan-funded mentality just comes with more obligation for the record to see the light of day. Suddenly it’s not just us funding it ourselves for our own release, people have literally given us the money to do it this time round which is really quite touching, and we are over the moon to have been able to record another album.

Did you come up with any pledger rewards for the fan-funding project that were just too ridiculous/impractical to offer?

We thought for a while that it might be kind of cool to offer people the chance to come and play a song on stage with us, on their instrument of choice, but it turned out the logistics of it, and the size of tour we were doing just made it impossible to sort out. Maybe something we could do in the future though!

What are you most proud of, musically speaking, on the new album?

I think the composition of every song is just much more honed and slick that anything we’ve done before. We’ve taken things that in the past were perhaps experiments, and made them into just techniques that shape our sound now. Musically we are all more competent now as well.

What are the most significant experiences or emotions that have influenced Dark Days?

There are songs of love, and friendship, there are also songs about the trials, lows, and highs of living the life that we do, in a band at the level we are at. Out of our three albums, it is the most time concentrated, these songs were all written in a similar time frame, so have more of a running theme, as opposed to say ‘Heavy In The Day’ which was written over several years.

How have you challenged yourselves with this record?

The song writing is stronger, we never settled for anything we weren’t entirely happy with, and with 3 song writers in the band, that can be a challenge in itself, but it always ends up for the better. We really wanted this record to mean something, which it certainly does to us, and we hope it will to others too.

For any brand new fans: what song from your previous LPs should they listen to before checking out Dark Days?

Check out ‘Friends? We’re More Like A Gang’ from our debut ‘Thank You’ and have a listen to ‘Something Better’, ‘Saviour’ and ‘Garden Grows’ from ‘Heavy In The Day’; that should give you a nice all round taster of what we are all about.

Your album comes out on 13th Jan 2014 – is the number 13 lucky or unlucky for you?

Neither to be honest! Although mine and James’s first band back when we were 14 was called Lucky For Some, and we are hoping the channel the energy from those early days into the release of this next record!

The new album Dark Days by Canterbury comes out on 13th January. See what we thought of the album here.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]