Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Great, thanks for chatting!
Can you talk to us more about your single “Cast Away”?
That song initially started out as sort of a Kris Kristofferson/Townes Van Zandt folk song. The great thing about writing for a band, is that you can bring in a song and it comes out a completely different way. So we worked on that one for a while—adding lots of angular sounds. It has all these seemingly disconnected guitar and bass parts throughout the verse that then come together in the chorus—that song is very satisfying to play live, because you feel the tension on stage right up until the first chorus.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Not particularly. In the chorus, the girl uses over-confidence as a shield ( “And you thought all broken men would crumble at your feet, till you found one who would break your heart and leave you begging for defeat). She dates lots of guys that she sees are ‘less than’ her. She’s not very nice, and she keeps using people until she meets someone that she actually falls in love with—however, her same tricks don’t work. It’s like she searches for pain, and gets in to this routine of unhealthy relationships, and when someone good comes along, she doesn’t know how to handle it. It’s at this moment, when she feels small and singular, that she has to leave town, and do it all again somewhere else. The character in this song is a fairly tragic character.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Not at the moment—working on something for “Carmen” right now.
The single comes off your new album Tongue-In-Cheek Vows – what’s the story behind the title?
Tongue-In-Cheek Vows is a line in the song “Carmen”. When you’re young, running around trying to fall in love with everybody—you’ll say whatever you can to have your life work out the way you want. That’s what the title references. The whole album has these characters in these situations where they think they know what being an adult is, or what a relationship is, but they don’t—they’re trying on these different hats, making all these noncommittal, flippant promises—making Tongue-In-Cheek Vows.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing was pretty nice and easy. I had written these songs over a 2 or 3 year period, some are very old (Won’t Think Twice, the last one on the record, was written maybe 6 years ago, when i was 19). The recording was real intense—we worked on this thing for almost a full year I think.
What was it like to work with Ian Blurton and how did that relationship develop?
Blurton was great—he really pushed us to our limit, which was very beneficial for the sound of the record. He got us practicing every day for a month leading up to recording—just getting super super tight.
He had produced some of my favourite Canadian bands (namely the Weakerthans’), and I loved the sound on those records—so I reached out to him. The Canadian music scene is very close—so it doesn’t take long to find someone who knows someone.
How much did he influence the album?
He was very helpful with the arrangement of songs—but mainly, he was great at getting guitar tones. We had all these little pedal boards that we’d bring in, and he would unplug them, and put us straight in to a Marshall Stack amp—it solved every problem I’ve ever had. His biggest influence was that he taught me pedals are over-rated, haha.
Any plans to hit the road?
Not at the moment—just finished a cross Canada run a few months ago, so regrouping now.
What else is happening next in Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs’ world?
I’m just finishing up my University degree (one month left), so after that, I’m gonna start getting a new record together—hopefully make it down to the states for a run of solo shows, at the very least.