I saw the Pack A.D. play NXNE a few years ago, hearing that they had buzz developing around them. They were two young women playing dirty blues to a half-empty room at Sneaky Dee’s. A few years later, things have more than taken off for them and they’ve received solid reviews for their new album We Kill Computers. TWM talked to Maya about the band’s past, present and future.
1. You recently released a new album, We Kill Computers, on Mint. What did you do differently with the album this time?
Well, for one, we recorded in two seperate sessions in 2009 – one at the beginning of the year and the other at the end. This was really great for us as we didn’t have to feel committed to what we’d done first – giving us time to really decide what we liked and what we didn’t like. Also, we focussed on coming up with songs that more reflected how we are live – so the album is far faster and louder than the previous two.
2. And what did you find had worked for your previous recordings, so you kept it the same?
We recorded with the same Engineer – Jesse Gander at Hive. He was definitely a keeper – it made a huge difference to have a third person completely on the same page with us.
3. You spend a lot of time on the road — why is that important to you as a band, and how has it affected your recordings?
We decided when we started playing that we wanted to do it the old fashioned way – which is massive amounts of touring and really meeting and interacting with the audience.
4. You recently launched a mixtape contest for fans, can you tell us a bit about that?
The contest went great – we have a whole box of contest entries in the van right now that we’re listening to. It’s going to be tough choosing the ones for prizes – so many good tapes.
5. Your music has blues influences, and that genre is often thought of as being distinctly American. Being from Vancouver, what led you to that sound?
Honestly, it’s just what we started playing when we started playing. We never had a plan with how we were going to sound musically. It just happened. It’s the same as our moving away from the blues – it’s just a natural, unplanned progression.
6. As women performing strong rock music, do you often come up against stereotypes of what a female musician should be, or are audiences and other musicians open-minded and accepting?
Yeah, sure it happens – we just try and ignore it.
7. What’s in store for the Pack A.D. in the second half of 2010?
More touring, of course, ha. We’re doing a big fall tour of Canada in support of the album, playing festivals as well, and then we’re heading back to Europe and the UK to go on tour with Nomeansno again.
8. And which artists are you looking forward to catching while you’re in Toronto for NXNE?
Unfortunately, we’re scheduled so tight that I think we’re just going to get to see the other bands we’re playing with. Sigh. That’s one disadvantage to constant touring.
Photo from Creative Commons