Guitarist Matt Webb caught up with The Herald for this week’s Q&A
You guys are coming back here on Nov. 24th with Shawn Hook and local favourites Repartee. We love how you consistently make Newfoundland a regular touring destination.
Why wouldn’t you? St. John’s is the best … It’s always logistically challenging with the trucks and buses to get there, but it’s worth it man. It’s such a good time. People are great and they’ve always been incredibly supportive of us, so why would we not?
This time out you’ll be bringing The Last Crusade Tour in support of your new album Astoria, which is being heralded as one of your more dynamic albums to date. How have you guys been feeling about this record? I know it holds pretty emotional significance for you guys, and for frontman Josh Ramsay especially.
I think you’ll find this record to be the most lyrically candid we’ve done. It definitely pulls on the heart strings a little bit and it’s definitely something for us to be real proud of. Another cool aspect of it is we incorporated a lot of 80s elements into it.
You’re going to hear a lot of nods to some of our favourite 80s bands – The Eurythmics, Huey Lewis and Toto. That’s the kind of stuff that we grew up on and it was cool to kind of bring that back in a more modern setting. It tries to take the fun 80s like the Huey Lewis and Footloose style stuff and incorporate that into our music and I think it came across pretty well. It seems to be well received amongst the fans, so we’re really proud of it.
Even with the album and art tour material, everything has this retro 80s, Goonies-esque vibe.
The whole theme of the album is sort of this coming of age theme. You look at these movies from the 80s like Back to the Future, The Goonies and all that sort of stuff and there were all these stories about people growing up and that’s where we got the title Astoria from. It was the fictional city that The Goonies was set. It summed up that coming of age vibe. There’s no real specific genre for that. We didn’t really know how to describe it, so calling the album Astoria we felt really summed up that time.
While there is some weighty subject matter with this record, it is like always with Marianas Trench a mix of dark and light. There is a lot of high tempo, energetic stuff here and that certainly links to your live performances.
We obviously love what we do and the records are sort of an opportunity to be creative. I know for Josh in particular it’s almost like writing a diary. He’s putting his life into his music and the beautiful thing about it is that it can be interpreted differently by everyone. What it means to us doesn’t matter. Everybody can associate with the songs in their own way and we get to go and play them on stage every night and rock out. It’s such a cool experience and amazing job we have. I get to travel around the country with four of my best friends and an amazing crew and we play rock music. It’s so much fun.
It’s been said before that the fan base Marianas Trench has cultivated are some of the most passionate and loyal in Canada. As an artist that must be humbling?
Oh man are you kidding me? I don’t even know what to say, I get choked up thinking about it. Our fans are amazing. The amount of support we get from these people. To take time off and go through some personal stuff and come back with a record and have the overwhelming support and positive energy we’ve been getting from our fans, it puts you at a loss for words. Every night to get on stage in front of thousands of screaming people out there who know every single word to every single song, I don’t even know how you do that?
You guys have won a slew of awards, fans choice awards and have sold countless records here at home. What, if anything, is left on your bucket list?
There’s so much, it just never stops. For us I think we’ve been focusing on trying to expand outside of Canada. Things are going well in the U.S and we just had a really great tour in Europe. Just expanding to other markets and building fans all over the world. As for Canada we just keep growing and growing here. We just celebrated the ten year anniversary of our first album release Fix Me. It’s cool because the people who were listening to that ten years ago maybe have kids or passed it down to their family and friends. You’re getting this really wide and colourful mix of shows where you get people of all ages and they’re all appreciating the music and singing along. It’s so cool to see the young kids and the older people. It feels like you’re doing something right. To have a ten year career in this business is pretty impressive and we’re really proud and rally fortunate.
For tickets to Marianas Trench at Mile One Centre in St. John’s on November 24th visit www.mileonecentre.com