Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Originally published in: Monday Magazine

Album: Tournament of Hearts 

Random thoughts: Interviewed them before I ever saw them live. Liked their stuff, but wasn't a big fan. Everything changed once I saw their show. 

The Constantines

Getting ready for the make out

By Jason Schreurs

Good news and bad news for fans of Toronto’s indie rock powerhouse The Constantines. First, the bad: The band has not started writing a follow-up to 2005’s pulsating Tournament of Hearts. Now, the good: They have talked about which direction their next record will go. Quick, grab your partner, sounds like they will be setting the mood for a little romance.

“We’ll probably just try to make a really good make out record,” says guitarist/vocalist Bryan Webb. “But it depends on what you like to make out to, so it will have to have that dynamic arc that making out has in the best of situations.”

Sort of makes you wonder where this delicious little make out record idea came from, and how much of it is based on personal experience.

“Yeah, yeah… sure,” Webb pauses, laughs nervously, then clears his throat, “it’s based a fair amount of personal experience.”

Between personal make out sessions, the Ontario quintet have taken a workhorse approach to writing kinetic, angular indie rock inspired by DC post-hardcore bands like Hoover and Nation of Ulysses, but also by rock and soul classics like Rolling Stones and James Brown. Throw in a lifelong obsession with Neil Young’s Crazy Horse (members play in a tribute band called Horsey Craze) and the result is one of Canada’s best rock bands. A rock band whose fans can’t wait for what comes next.

“I think [the new one will be] the next logical step. People called Tournament of Hearts a bit of a burnout record. From there, you want to go romantic, maybe, so…” he pauses again and laughs. “I don’t know; that’s my thinking on it.”

Until then, the band will continue to impress with their live shows; usually a mĂ©lange of improvisation that helps them maintain freshness with material they have played many, many times.  

“It’s a means of keeping things interesting for us and it’s also something a lot of the bands we love do,” explains Webb. “Things are drawn out and the songs have a different life every time they are performed; it’s just so much more interesting than playing the same structure every night. Sometimes things just go in terrible directions; which is kind of funny, but still interesting.”

As for their show at Lucky Bar next Wednesday, Webb says their set will be “interesting” and a “revue” of their discography (he humbly hesitates to say “greatest hits”). But more importantly, will it include any making out?

“Yeah, well, hopefully,” chuckles Webb. “We’ll see. We’ll try and make it romantic for the people of Victoria. It will probably be pretty sweaty, if you’re into that kind of thing.”

For more info, go to: myspace.com/constantines

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