Turn Of The Tide – The Spiral Theory (Interview + New Album)
The Spiral Theory recently released their new album “Turn of The Tide” and if you’re a fan of new rock, there’s a good chance this album has got a song you’ll love, it hits a lot of the spectrum! Over the course of eight songs, you’ll hear active rock with a modern edge, elements of pop, a quintessential ballad, and even a galloping metal-tinged track, all put together in an original way and backed by very conscience lyrics. The Spiral Theory is a new wave rock band from Toronto, paying homage to rock n roll of the past while creating something fresh and exciting. It’s is an amazing sound to hear, and the messages conveyed through their songs are refreshing in today’s climate. We had the opportunity to interview the band about their new album, what they have on the go, and what’s coming up next! Click below to give Turn of The Tide a listen and keep scrolling for our interview!
You recently released your debut album “Turn of The Tide”, what has the reaction been so far?
We are happy with the response, so far, given all the challenges of being an unsigned band and unable to play live at the moment! Day-by-day, we are expanding our audiences on social media channels and enjoying the small wins. We are just getting started and looking forward to eventually playing live. In the meantime, we have more videos in the works and will keep flying the flag of rock. We know it’s not the newest, hottest genre, but we are confident in our ability to do it well!
Brace For Echo is a rocking way to start the album off. The track is a political one, can you tell us about the meaning behind the lyrics?
Our protest song! It is really not so much political as much as a simple observation of increasing social tension everywhere in the world. The words were written back in August of 2019. We support many issues, but it does not speak to any specific one in particular. It is, however, about the right to stand up for whatever you believe in. The message at the end is positive as we hope that humanity is headed in the right direction in terms of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and equality for the LGBTQ+ community. It may not seem like it at times, and change is not happening fast enough. But there is more open discussion, and tension is always a part of positive change.
You have an incredible video for the second track “Jokers Game” out, which is somewhere between a mini-doc and a music video. I’m so intrigued by it and its concept. Can you tell us what the thoughts behind the creation of this video were?
The band cannot take much credit for the video. A close friend and a professional film-maker, Johnny Vong, did his thing, put simply. The lyrics are about an actual, somewhat trivial, event in history. How Johnny found enough archival clips to last the length of the song is a mystery, but we are glad he managed it! It certainly has the “wow” factor!
“Turn The Tide” is definitely a rock album, but you guys seem to draw inspiration for your sound from a lot of different genres. Which genres and artists would you say influence your sound?
Although all band members love “rock”, each member’s interests are quite different. Guitarist, Joe, is all about The Police, U2, and The Smiths. Fenders and clean vintage amps all the way. Drummer, Alan, is a disciple of Rush. Clarence’s influence on bass is probably Blue Rodeo. I (Sandeep) grew up listening to 90s music, and I am always on the lookout for the current hits as well. So what does that add up to? Since the release, we have had comparisons to a mix of views such as vocals of early Bono, Morrissey, and Brandon Boyd to clean sounds of R.E.M., Tom Petty, and a lot of other bands we did not think we sound like at all!
How was the process of recording the album and who did you work with?
It was actually done over quite a period of time. We started with “Dirty Water” in March of 2019, and the album was released on September 4, 2020. There were many reasons for that, including the fact COVID hit with just two more sessions left which delayed the release by a couple of months. Otherwise, it would have been released in May.
We had the honour of working with Kevin Dietz for engineering and mixing. He has many credits, but the one we will mention is his work on The Glorious Sons’ Juno Award-Winning album: “A War on Everything”. He did more than just press buttons for us. He was very instrumental in ensuring we were squeezing the best takes out of our abilities. It was overall an enriching experience from start to finish. Mastering was done by Harry Hess of H-Bomb Mastering.
If your band had a mission statement, what would it be?
Quite simply, to enjoy the ability to create something we are proud of. We do not try to chase the latest sound. It is pure hard work with very few tangible rewards. So if we did not love the result, what would be the point? That said, we are like everyone else. We hope everybody loves the album as much as we do.
2020 is a crazy time to be a musician. How has the pandemic affected you as artists, and do you think it will have changed your sound or music by the end of it?
It has messed up with what was a full calendar of shows at some great local venues. We jumped on board to ride the wave of recorded home “COVIDeos” at the start of the lockdown. Other than that, we have had a lot of time to push the album as much as our small budgets allow and we are still in the release mode, so our sound is still new to us, and hopefully the same to everyone else.
You guys are based in Toronto, which has already lost several live venues due to the pandemic and more could be on the way. What do you think the Toronto music scene will look like when this is all said and done?
Well, it was a tough scene even before the pandemic, to be honest. People have so many entertainment choices right at their own homes with Netflix, gaming and all that. We sincerely hope all the venue owners make it through somehow as they are truly the hardest working, most determined people we know. If they can hang in, we are confident they will be rewarded. We predict people will be clamouring to get out of the house a lot more often than ever before once a vaccine arrives! There is always hope!
Who are some of your favourite local Toronto bands?
Great question! I am sure there are so many amazing bands out there, but we want to say our friends – Clever Weapon, Superchucker, and The Vidos. We also love Brighter Green. All different styles, but we have crossed paths, and we greatly respect them. They deliver truly original ideas and work as hard as we do.
Who are some of your favourite Canadian bands of all time?
Rush, Hip, Blue Rodeo, and Arkells!
You just played a show at The Black Swan and Smoke Show BBQ & Grill, how have the shows been?
Those were our special acoustic shows as the local businesses are slowly opening up to hosting live music. Felt good to be back on stage but it also was a bit awkward, at the same time, with everyone socially distanced, plexiglass installed before us, really low-volume levels, and people unable to party with us, but hey, these are unprecedented times, and we gotta do what works best for all of us, right? We are also thankful to The Black Swan and Smoke Show BBQ & Grill owners for having us to entertain their limited capacity audience.
You guys have played all over southern Ontario, can you share one of your favourite gig stories from the past with us?
Honestly, every show has been unique and the audiences have been incredibly supportive. If asked to choose one highlight, the first show where it was really on us and only us to draw a crowd was at Linsmore Tavern, on a summer long-weekend in 2019. It was a sink or a swim time. We did great, the audience was awesome, and we knew we had something then and there. We had an even better show at Linsmore a couple of months later, and we were just growing from there. It took a pandemic to stop us!
Outside of your original music, you guys also play note-perfect tributes to The Police, U2 and R.E.M. How does playing a tribute gig differ from playing an original one for you guys?
That is where we are a bit spoiled and unique in our approach. Few bands can get away with it, but we play our tributes and lay a big solid slab of original music right in the middle of each set. It was a risk at first. We could have made bar owners mad. People could have left. Honestly, none of those ever happened. The cheers for the originals are just as loud as the covers and we earn a lot of respect. Real music lovers appreciate that we write our stuff that does not sound out of place among all the classic hits. Best of both worlds!
I had to google the term spiral theory and it’s quite the concept. Can you give us a quick rundown of what it means? Why did you choose it as a band name?
Lol, we thought of the name after rejecting about fifty other names. It just started as mixing and matching words, and then we looked it up after the fact to figure out what it may mean. To us, it is about taking what is in the past and evolving towards something better. It makes sense on two levels. It relates to bridging doing covers from the past with the original music we are making now. It also relates to our lyrics and videos often dealing with negative emotions but evolving to end on a positive note. The simple, yet elusive, idea that tomorrow will be better!
What’s coming up next for Spiral Theory?
Meet “Doc” Brown, time-travel 30 years back to the 1990s and then to 2050s to play our music over multiple decades, hmmm only if…! Alright, I will be objective. I think like any other business, we will have to put in our time and eventually grow and learn by networking, by collaborating with multiple artists, and finally, by working hard with a lot of persistence by touring locally (whenever that is safe and likely to do so!) and by writing new songs. Music is a fast-paced, creative industry, and this album release is just our first foot on the gas pedal to a long and winding road ahead.
Do you have any last messages to share with our readers during these crazy times?
We are all in this together. Think more of your neighbour than yourself. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Listen to The Spiral Theory’s debut album, available now on all streaming platforms. We will hopefully see you soon!
To learn more about Spiral Theory and to find more of their music visit https://thespiraltheory.com/originals