A bottle of Maker’s Mark is nestled by David Prowse’s drum kit as he hammers the skins and Brian King threatens to choke on the microphone every time he throws himself forward.
A few feet away, kids and grown men old enough to know better are hurtling, slamming and caterwauling to Japandroid’s spirited sound.
On stage, David and Brian look exhausted, two wrecks finding strength in the moment, the crowd, and each other, powering through on a mix of whiskey, adrenalin and conviction.
This was 2009 and one of the last shows on Japandroids’ whirlwind ‘Post Nothing’ tour. It, and they,
came out of nowhere, the internet buzz around their debut album reaching pandemic levels and driving two intense years of touring.
This time, though, it’s supposed to be different. “Things are good but it’s quite busy and quite overwhelming,” Brian explains.
“People forget that in many ways, this is like a first album because it’s the first time we’ve actually done the traditional album-making process properly.
It’s the first time we went in, recorded an album, got ready to release the album, then released the album and toured on it.
“It’s what 99.9% of bands do,” he continues, “but with ‘Post Nothing’, we put the album out ourselves,
had it floating around for a while then it got picked up and it felt like a much slower process.
So many things happened in such a short amount of time. This, now, is ten times as overwhelming as that was.
You never really get used to it but if you’re a big time rockstar, it’s probably old news.”
After surviving the whirlwind around the debut, Japandroids now face the obligatory pressure around its follow up,
‘Celebration Rock’. Where first time round they were a band making music without expectation,
the building anticipation for the new album is a factor they’ve been painfully aware of.
“I think we went through every second album cliché we could when making this album,” Brian admits.
“When we recorded ‘Post Nothing’, we didn’t have any fans, we’d never toured, so when we played the songs to people they were friends or friends of friends. Japandroids
It was probably a case that people didn’t necessarily like the music; they just came to support us because we basically had no audience.
It was just for us, just for fun, and so when you’re writing and recording the second album,
and you’ve gained this massive audience, and you know people are waiting for it, and you know a certain
amount of people are going to hear it and review it,
it’s a totally different psychological process to write and record.
In one respect, the first album was totally pure, then the second time it can be very impure if you let it get away from you.”
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