In a relatively short time the guys from Close Talker have learned about living on the road, recording in the studio and writing the music they, and you, want to hear. We caught up with them before they kicked off our Canadiana Concert Series on Sept. 24th and found out how they stay calm in the chaos.
“In the music scene you have to be pretty easy going that’s the only way you can survive,” said guitarist Matt Kopperud. “If your expectations get out of check it’s very easy to let yourself get bothered by something that in reality is quite small so if we have a technology problem at a show we don’t get too phased or rattled.”
“We’re still totally new and totally fresh and still a small band,” he added. “But we’ve become a little more weathered when it comes to…a stick gets thrown in the spokes so to speak.”
They’ve crafted a sound that is somber yet uplifting as down to earth drums give way to soaring vocals all intertwined with spirited strings. Their songs speak of striking out, growing up and bring to mind those dreams not yet glimpsed but still within one’s grasp.
After forming in June 2012, the boys from Saskatoon have honed their skills while clocking kilometres across Canada and in the United States, most recently at Culture Collide in Los Angeles, California. Along the way they’ve learned that you can’t control everything all the time and stressing is a job for the tour manager.
“The nature of our set can change from night to night depending on where we’re playing or how long our set is,” said Kopperud. “We usually try to talk through it and come up with some sort of cohesive plan [but] there’s always an element of having no idea what’s going to happen.”
“We always plan to not have a concrete plan,” he added.
The approach is paying off as Kopperud, vocalist Will Quiring and drummer Chris Morien continue to book more shows, get more applause from audiences and garner more accolades from media and those in the industry. The experience has given them a zen-like approach to shows and the necessary tools for touring that help one make the most of the down time between gigs.
“We play ‘Words with Friends’ right now, usually sing a little bit [before a show],” said Quiring while finishing up a game on the addictive app. “Mostly we listen to a lot of records, a lot of music,” he added. “We listened to the new Youth Lagoon, which we got from a buddy who attended a recent concert of theirs.”
“We still put on old National records that we love dearly but we’ll try to find or discover new bands too,” said Kopperud. “There’s this one guy from Edmonton we really like called Motorbike James (Sandy McKinnon from Ten Second Epic and Royal Tusk), he’s like completely unknown but he’s amazing, we’re trying to tell the world.”
When they’re not spreading the word about other awesome acts or crushing it in competitive spelling matches, the dudes from Close Talker focus on making music that will stand the test of time and stand up to their own scrutiny. Their attitude is similar to their music, a balance of reality and optimism, as they know the valleys are never as low as the peaks are high.
“Since we’re a three-piece now we’re writing a bit differently,” said Quiring. “We write all of our songs together, which is little bit new to us,” he said. “ It’s cool to see how well we’re working together and I think the songs are stronger because of that.”
“We’ve healthily evolved quite a bit for the better,” added Kopperud. “We want to write songs that we’re happy with, that we’re proud of and that we won’t get sick of playing.”
To find songs you won’t get sick of hearing check out closetalker.ca