The Most Serene Republic
We’re looking forward to playing Little Rock, Arkansas; we’ve never been there before. That’s where Bill Clinton is from, so that should be interesting.
story by Anna Deem
photo by Nick Greaves
Although it’s been a little while since anyone has heard from The Most Serene Republic, the Canadian sextet has been hard at work touring to support their 2009 full-length, …And the Ever Expanding Universe, and readying a new EP that is due to be released this summer. This spring will find them on the road again for another trek around the U.S. with Annuals. Chicago Innerview recently caught up with singer Adrian Jewett on the phone and chatted with him about the new EP and life in the van.
Chicago Innerview: Your newest album, …And the Ever Expanding Universe, came out almost a year ago. I read that you guys have an EP coming out this summer. Is it mostly new songs or b-sides from the last album?
Adrian Jewett: It is brand spanking new songs, not b-sides. We can’t say when or what it’s called.
Chicago Innerview: Is your new song ‘Photocall’ going to be on the EP? Why did you decide to sample Jon Brion from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on that track?
Adrian Jewett: We can’t say due to legalities. Well, we’re very big fans of Jon Brion. Ryan [Lenssen, keyboardist] brought us the sample and we liked it. We’ve always had a deep respect for [Brion]. Ryan wants to meet him and hang out with him [laughs]. We love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and that was one of the movies that really turned us on to him. We always wanted to take something by him and we happened to choose that little segment.
CI: I read a quote that you said in your biography how the first record represents ‘denial’, the second record represents ‘anger’, and your last record represents ‘acceptance’. What do you think your next album could represent, if you’re going to continue in that theme?
AJ: We’re probably going to leave it at the three, because those are the steps of some form of addiction. No idea what’s going to happen next because the addiction thing, the 3-step process really did occur after we were all finished. Your own body of work kind of writes itself. Looking back on it you can see ‘Oh, here’s a pattern, here’s a pattern.’ You get used to your own patterns. Who knows, the fourth one could be about violent…drunks. Violent drunks [laughs].
CI: What was it like working with Dave Newfeld on your last album and do you think you’ll work with him again?
AJ: It was very, very interesting. Learning about a time in which we were little kids and he was DJing when we were only five and six. Or even earlier than that, he had a single out on Much Music in the late ‘80s. It was interesting to get a take on all these years in the music industry and exposing us to new songs. He was kind of like a new dad for a little while and he took us in and gave us a crazy upbringing.
CI: You guys recently parted ways with former bandmate Emma Ditchburn in the beginning of this year. How did that come about? Did it just seem like time to move on from one another?
AJ: Yeah, it was one of those unstoppable events that just kind of built up. It is a moving on, definitely a moving on.
CI: What do you think is the biggest misconception that Americans have about Canadians or Canadian bands in general?
AJ: Oh goodness. Well we say ‘sorry’ a lot, but that’s not a misconception from the States is it? Is that a thing, that we say ‘sorry’ a lot? Or is that just the Canadian perspective on it?
CI: Yeah. Well, I was thinking more about the hockey thing. How everyone in America seems to think that everyone in Canada is obsessed with hockey and that’s probably not completely the case.
AJ: That’s racist [laughs]. I wish I did [play hockey] but I can’t. I can skate, but I haven’t picked up a stick and been skating before in my life. What’s another one? We say ‘aye’ a lot? Or that we all listen to Creed and wear polyester. We’re pretty clean too.
CI: Your upcoming spring tour in the U.S. is your first U.S. tour in quite some time. What cities are you looking forward to playing the most?
AJ: We’re very excited. It’s going to be a good chunk of time. We have birthdays on the road, so those are good to be fun. There’s going to be drinking, there’s going to be drugs, there’s going to be women, but we’ll say no. We’re good boys [laughs]. We’ll make new friends with the band Annuals that we’re playing with. We’re looking forward to playing Little Rock, Arkansas; we’ve never been there before. That’s where Bill Clinton is from, so that should be interesting.
The Most Serene Republic :: with Annuals :: Empty Bottle :: May 7.