Electropop rockers, Repartee, have unleashed their long-awaited studio album All Lit Up, to fan and critical adoration. On the steps of the war memorial in the heart of downtown St. John’s, vocalist Meg Warren caught up with Rock Island to share her thoughts on the album, as well as the bands Cross-Canada tour and die hard Newfoundland fan base!
Rock Island: You guys have finally released your long-awaited and highly anticipated studio album All Lit Up. How do you feel? Anxious? Excited? All of the above? It’s been a long time coming.
Meg Warren: Yes! It’s been a super long time coming. Basically, we were writing, re-recording and reworking this album for almost two years. It feels incredible to have it out and have people listening to it.
RI: You guys recently started a huge Canadian tour, which you kicked off here, in your hometown of Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland. How did that feel?
MW: Oh it was awesome! I grew up in Grand Falls-Windsor so it was really wonderful to see a lot of my old neighbours. My Nan was there! She can’t come to any shows, so it was really nice to have her there. She’s 85, so we don’t want her coming down on George Street to The Rock House or anything. Getting to Grand Falls and having the big kickoff here in St. John’s with the official album release was really, really nice. We were really excited we could do it.
RI: It totally made sense. In terms of Cross-Canada tours, a lot of bands start or end here. It would be fitting either way, but for the album release show it was definitely fitting to start here.
MW: For sure! This is our home. This is where we started, where we grew and we’re still kind of based both here and in Toronto. It made sense to start it here.
RI: Kind of a bias question, but what are Newfoundland crowds and Newfoundland audiences like compared to those across Canada? Better, worse, any noticeable difference?
MW: There is a noticeable difference. I feel like everybody says this, but honest to God it’s not a cliché and I’m not just exaggerating or whatever. The crowds here are so much more supportive, enthusiastic and passionate. They love to dance. It’s just incredible. There’s a couple of places across the country like that. We found Vancouver and Charlottetown were like that. The people from the East Coast are generally like that. It kind of spoiled us growing up, with the band forming in St. John’s and our first gig out of the province being a wakeup call. It’s like ‘oh wow! Not everybody is super supportive and enthusiastic and passionate like the crowds back home!’ I mean that with 100 per cent honesty. There’s no other place like it. It’s really beautiful.
RI: It seems like there are a ton of amazing local bands today who are getting off the island and touring. Does the music climate here feel at all different than a few years back?
MW: That’s a good question. I think one of the biggest changes is something that we talked about with this album release, that people are really not buying cds anymore. It started to change when we put out our first album. People are streaming on Spotify and iTunes and that sort of thing. My Macbook doesn’t even have a cd drive. You know? There’s nowhere in my house that I can actually play physical cds. We don’t even really know now if people will be interested in buying cds at our shows, we’ll have to figure out once we start touring and going across the country. That’s something that certainly has changed in the last five years.
RI: It feels like vinyl is coming back in a big way (points to Fred’s Records directly behind us).
MW: Yeah totally! And that’s something we’re going to look into doing probably for the fall.
RI: So thematically, how would you describe this album? It’s certainly upbeat and designed to be seen and heard live from my first listen.
MW: Totally, and that’s a good accurate description. We kind of like to consider our music to be top 40 pop hooks over indie band music. That’s kind of what we are hoping to do and we hope that’s what comes across with this album. I think our writing has gotten better and more cohesive since the last album, up-tempo, synth pop stuff that you can dance to. We like to bring that to the live show as well.
RI: What are some of your influences musically? I can really hear Metric when I listen to you guys.
MW: Absolutely! We actually had the opportunity to open for Dragonette a couple of times. Their drummer is good buddies with us. We got to open for Lights in Vaughan, Ontario last year. Those two are up on our high list … There’s a lot within the scene in Toronto we’ve gotten to see.
RI: You’re getting a good chunk of touring out of the way before the crazy summer music rush. Any plans lined up for the summer?
MW: We have two right now in Ontario and we’re trying to hop on to a few last minute summer festivals. The problem was we didn’t have an album out and you had to book them really far in advance. So hopefully, we’ll get a few last minute ones!
Repartee’s new album ‘All Lit Up’ is available for purchase on iTunes, to stream on Spotify, as well as your local music retailer. The bands Cross-Canada tour concludes June 11th in Kenora, Ontario. Visit www.reparteemusic.ca for all things Repartee!
Listen to Repartee here: https://play.spotify.com/album/5T10x6o3jyBNUrTfbPFXFD