The Velveteins: Edmonton-based band talks new music and new inspirations
It may be an early winter outside, but Edmonton-based band The Velveteins, thawed out the Gateway Oct. 6 with a taste of psychedelic surf rock.
The band has ridden their debut album, Slow Wave, to opening spots at festivals this summer with big-name headliners like Brian Wilson, Social Distortion, and Car Seat Headrest.
“It’s one of the things that’s really blowing my mind lately is being able to open for bands that I listened to” said singer Spencer Morphy over the phone.
“Last weekend we played in Toronto, we opened for this band called Night Beats, and I’m a huge fan of them,” said Morphy.
While the close encounters with their heroes is a meaningful accomplishment, the band is also soaking up the opportunity to learn as much as they can.
“When we play with bigger bands, we see how they perform, the way they interact with the audience, and how they translate their record live,” explained Morphy.
“It’s good to see how the big guys do it, and we start to implement that into our live show.”
It might seem strange that a band from landlocked Edmonton is able to offer a premier slice of sun and surf-inspired music, but Morphy has been living that life for quite a while.
When he’s not touring, he’s heading out to the West Coast to hit the waves and live in his camper van.
“It’s a nice little escape from everything, to go out surfing, or even any physical activity where you can forget about the world in a sense”.
The Velveteins were formed after Morphy returned to Canada from a life changing trip to Australia.
“I was 18, I had never really been away from Canada.
“I went there pretty much alone with no money and just tried to make it”.
The adventure of showing up to a foreign country with no plan, helped Morphy reflect on his own life and he came to the realization “if I can be homeless on the beach and surf every day, I can be in a band, I can do anything.”
The band is also working on a follow up to Slow Wave, and have been working out some of the songs live on this tour.
“We’re going to definitely try a couple new songs we’ve been working on” said Morphy.
He said “a good portion” of their songs have been tested live, “because it’s super important I think, to translate it to a show setting.”
On their last album, they helped the recording process by playing many of the songs live for weeks before they headed into the studio.
“We were pretty comfortable, as soon as the record came out, and we had pretty much nailed it down live”.
The experiences of the last two years, touring and learning from other bands will feature heavily on the new songs.
“I feel like we’ve learned a lot about not only song writing, but the production and recording, and I think we can probably get a little bit closer to what we want every time we go into the studio.”