Vancouver’s favourite busking band have released “Imperative Drive”, over two and a half years in the making!
The album can be found here.
Producing this album was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences, but it was also a great challenge technically, creatively and psychologically. We spend a couple months alone on pre-production, then we spent long days at Vogville capturing the most energetic performances, showing little regard for the physical demands.
And that’s what the Sons’ music is: demanding. On the players, the producers, the engineers, even the listener. But the end result is something to cherish. I remember fondly on the last day of drum tracking at Vogville we had just ran a couple of takes of the title-track, which is a serious work-out for drummer Jarrett Plett. I could tell that there was nothing left in the tank, and everybody’s arms and wrists were sore. And these are seasoned buskers, mind you! They routinely played 8-hour marathon sets on Granville street while crowds gathered and dispersed, through the sunshine and sideways rain.
This was the title-track, so we had to dig a bit deeper. The band felt they had gotten the best take they could: It was either the last one or the second last one. [Producer’s note: whenever there is uncertainty, it usually means you don’t have the keeper yet.] We all went outside for a few minutes, and the band was in a mood of cautious celebration, while Jarrett appeared just a tiny bit unsettled… was it the Donair at lunch returning with a vengeance? Or was he thinking he could have done more?
We broke album policy that day: Someone brought a herbal remedy and passed around the good cheer. And I had a plan for psychological manipulation. I explained to the band: We are doing “Imperative Drive” again, and that’s that. I don’t care about your hurt-y wrists and shoulders, or your dehydrated brains and irregular heartbeats. Let’s do this! You know what the coach says to his team in that movie, and the team rallies around the coach and they go out with new-found zeal? That’s what I was saying.
The rest is history. At the end of the album, you can hear the laughter rise up after the band coalesced on an unplanned but ultra-coordinated “Imperial March” ending, and everyone looks to Jarrett to see the hilarity of his suffering. He probably made some strange face, to which Matthew concludes: “Jarrett, you chimpanzee.”