NXNE: Ten Questions with Rah Rah

I caught Rah Rah at NXNE last June, having only heard of them, not heard them. I left really impressed at how tight and cohesive they were with such a large band, and I’ve been enjoying their debut Going Steady every since. They’ve just released a new album, Breaking Hearts, and they’re returning to Toronto for NXNE again this year. Here’s a bit about what’s happened for Rah Rah in the 12 months since my introduction to them.

1. Considering its sheer size, how difficult has it been for you to tour in Canada? What unique challenges — and opportunities — does our country offer for bands when on the road?

Canada is a vast and beautiful place, full of diverse landscapes and eight-hour drives. It’s also full of wonderful people who will go out of their way to help you out.  Touring Canada is a logistical poop storm but has taught us patience, creative hour killing and great comedic timing.

2. Where in Canada would you most like to play that you haven’t been able to reach just yet?

Definitely the Territories

3. Were you surprised by the positive critical response across the country for your debut album, Going Steady?

Yes!  We were proud of it but never expected the praise we received. It’s always nice to hear what people think of our work!

4. You recorded your new album, Breaking Hearts, in Montreal — why did you decide to go in the studio there, and how was the experience?

We’ve known Kees for a while and had rehearsed at the Treatment Room during previous visits to Montreal.  Going Steady was recorded in Regina over about six months of “here and there” recording.  We wanted to record the new album in one sitting and give it a bit more energy. The experience was new and exciting! We worked really hard for those two weeks and we know that it paid off!

5. What’s the reason for the upcoming release of a companion EP to Breaking Hearts?

We actually recorded 17 songs and have a few other recordings (acoustic and so on) that didn’t necessarily make sense on Breaking Hearts but we still want to release them. We don’t have a solid plan yet but we’re hoping they will be available later this year.

6. When I googled “rah rah” I got a lot of returned results that were lyric pages for Lady Gaga. How do you feel about that?

Good!  I mean it would be nice if some information on the band came up but she seems like a nice lady.  We’ve been talking about writing a song that has “lady gaga” in the lyrics…  Ga Ga GAGAGA, ga ga GAGAGA…

7. What are some of your favourite bands you’ve played with thus far?

Silver Medals, Slate Pacific, Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, Carka Weinwurm and the Prospecters’ Union.

8. Anybody you haven’t yet played with who’s high on Rah Rah’s wish list?

Wintersleep, Parlovr, Neil Young, Janet Jackson and DEVO

9. Who do you plan to catch live while you’re in town for NXNE?

Les Savy Fav, Grammercy Riffs, HEALTH, Old Man Leudecke, to name a few!

10. And finally, what does the second half of 2010 hold for Rah Rah?

Writing, Touring, Christmas, the usual!

Photo by Christine McAvoy

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