Where they’re from: Toronto, ON
Their song 88Nine is playing: “Julia”
RIYL: Elvis Costello, indie rock, Pulp
5 questions with Fast Romantics
1. How did the band get started?
A couple of us have been playing under the name “Fast Romantics” for 6 or 7 years – a good chunk of our music careers. It was one of those situations where we kept the name, but the band kept changing. This version of the band has been around for almost two years now.
We’ve had practically entirely different line-ups and different sounds since the name first got coined. It’s been a mission of finding ourselves. This new record we’ve been looking at it as the first real, full version of Fast Romantics that we’re going to bring out to the world with everything we’ve got.
2. Who would be your dream collaborators, dead or alive?
Lately it’s been Bowie if only because we just lost him. Even before he died, I saw other artists I love collaborate with him and he seems like the coolest guy to collaborate with — he really cares. He morphs into whatever the song is; he’s a chameleon in that way. He’s also a genius. I think Bowie, for sure.
Although, I’d love to be on a stage with Bruce Springsteen, just because I want to see those moves close up. I want to understand how he does that. But as far as collaborating musically, it would be Bowie.
Our time in Milwaukee was short, but it was so memorable.
3. What do you think of when you think of Milwaukee?
Oh man, are you kidding me? That last time we came through, we didn’t even play a show but we met you guys and had an awesome time at the station. Then we went out to a tapas place. After that, we went to karaoke at Riverwest Public House and that was one of the best nights of the tour. Everyone we met at that bar was just amazing.
I don’t know if it’s proximity, but you really felt like it was a bunch of Canadians in the room – which is a compliment. Everyone was super nice, Kevin and I went up and butchered “Under Pressure” and everyone was really gracious about it. Our time in Milwaukee was short, but it was so memorable. It was the end of our run – it’s the end of this run, too. Last show of our tour. We’ll go out in Milwaukee and burn the town down again.
I want to meet every single Milwaukeean, I hope they come out to the show!
4. How is your music changing with the new record?
We didn’t really start working on the record until last year. It was really just a lot of member shake-ups, finding the right crew, doing a lot of touring on the old material, just getting everything figured out. The songs started getting written naturally after the changes. I think this group had a “hey we found ourselves” kind of moment which has helped make us all a little more confident in the stuff we were writing.
Kirty joining the band was a massive important thing, being a songwriter in her own right. Having someone that can hear the songs in that way. Kirt and I have developed this very direct, collaborative approach. As soon as the songs got their basic structure and were there as a demo, she’s helped me dig in and understand the songs before we would bring it to the band.
How has your process evolved with the addition of Kirty? Was it difficult to bring in a second songwriter?
It hasn’t been difficult at all, it’s been super amazing and different for me. I’ve always written things in a corner until they were done. I still do that to a degree with the songs in the beginning, but having someone else to open up to musically is huge. I also heard one of the songs that Kirt wrote and said we should put that on the record, so there will be at least one song that Kirty wrote on the [Fast Romantics] record.
It’s been a nice, organic experience. Everyone else in the band is so songwriting-oriented as well. It’s very collaborative. It’s super optimistic. It’s not that the past members weren’t rad people or anything, but everybody is so into what we’re doing right now and it helps make a record you believe in.
5. Do you have a day job?
We’re closing in on that moment. We’ve been on the road so much, we basically don’t have day jobs. We all pick up shifts at whatever we do, but for the most part, we’ve really been trying to get away from that. But we get back from tour and we’re dirt broke. We have to find a way to survive awhile. It’s getting to the point where we know this is all we want to do. We want to be on the road 24/7 every day of the year and we’ve practically been, anyway.
The reality is still there – we’re going to be in Milwaukee and not everyone in Milwaukee knows who we are at this point. We’re not at that point where we can confidently shed our responsibilities and dive headlong into it, but this is all we think about and all we do. Any time we come to Milwaukee, or any town, hopefully it just keeps going until we can do that.
Watch “Julia” by Fast Romantics below: