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INTERVIEW: Victory Chimes

Pic by Faustino Balvé

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “40 Days On The Bridge”?Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

“40 Days” is the last song on the record as well as the last one written and recorded.  I’m into running and during this time I did this challenge to do 10km every day for 40 days.  My route in Montreal is over the Jacques Cartier bridge and around Jean Drapeau park.  So i spent at lot of time on that bridge and often at weird hours to fit in a run around a sometimes pretty crazy schedule.  Spent lots of time thinking about getting older, getting my shit together, staying true… These became the themes of the song and the name wrote itself.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The director, Darren Curtis got inspired by the tune and wanted to do hommage to one of his favourite film makers, Wong Kar Wai.  Lovers running through streets of blurred light at night is one of his styles.  We filmed in Chinatown in Montreal where there are lots of different coloured lights in the storefronts and restos and Darren used a special lens to get the streaking effect and also used the light to create two timeframes – the relationship in the past and the solitude of the present.  We wanted realism and luckily found CJ and her partner Pascale who are not actors but are obviously in love.  They were really incredible – comfortable with the camera and naturally emotive.  I was an über driver in the video but got edited out so i basically just held jackets and bought the mai tais.

The single comes off your new album Spinning Wheel – what’s the story behind the title?

It’s an image that unconsciously comes up a few times through the record.  In the song “Bubbles” there’s a rolling wheel metaphor for a life that’s as much a passing car as it is a hamster wheel.  And “Spinning Wheel” is one of the last lines of “40 Days on the Bridge” referring to the world. It’s hard actually not to write an album about life on Earth, isn’t it?

How was the recording and writing process?

I recorded the whole record at my home studio in Montreal.  This is how I like to work.  It affords me the time a flush out the songs, the sounds and ideas in a way that’s not possible in a “professional” studio – being bound by time and money constraints.  The key at home is to manage the time though, otherwise a year goes by and you’re still working on that kick drum sound.

In the writing process I start by searching for “the seed” of the song.  This is the core where the vibe lives and where everything is built around, the singular idea that carries through the whole tune.  This can be a lyric that conjures up a definite image, a melodic hook, a bass line or a drum loop.  I’ll often put myself in an unfamiliar, even an awkward place to find “the seed”.  This could be anything from looking for ideas on an instrument i don’t know how to play to limiting all lyric ideas to only describing a single image. It helps me focus on the fundamentals of the “seed” and avoids falling into traps, habits and old “licks” in more familiar territory.  When I find something that speaks to me and seems to have some weight to it I start to build around it.  If all goes well and i don’t lose or bury that original seed eventually there’s a cohesive song there.  Simple as that!

Will you call this a departure from your previous two works or rather a continuation?

More of a continuation.  Digging further into ideas in structure, sound, lyrics with same intentions as goals as before.  So that kind of links everything together as a continuation rather setting out to do something completely different.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

As i mentioned above, the songs can come from different inspirations but in general I would say that most of the music becomes image based.  Usually the music and lyrics come to describe an image which can maintain the vibe of a song and keep the parts cohesive throughout.

Any plans to hit the road?

After our Record release show this Saturday, Nov 24, at the Ritz in Mtl we’re planning on playing releases in Toronto and New York in Jan-Feb.  Dates to come.

What else is happening next in Victory Chimes’ world?

Just trying to play this music for as many people as possible for the next little while.  Hopefully get a couple naps in too.

Watch the video for ’40 Days on the Bridge’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ2d97dPhag

Listen to the LP on Spotify.

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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