WORDS : ROB KENT
Mansions have new music on the horizon. The duo is ready to unveil to the world how they have developed and the product of their growth as humans and musicians. But the band, who formed in 2007, has seen the music industry change so much in over a decade of performing, and with each release, they have had to deal with the fluctuating change of the musical environment their art is projected into.
2020 sees no changes to this dynamic between the band and the industry they have never partially been fond of. “The music industry is gross in so many ways, and we are grateful and privileged that we’re pretty insulated from it these days. Ideally, there would be a way for artists to earn a good living without being on the road half their lives. Artists still have to tour their asses off (pre-COVID at least) and be away from their families. It wears on you mentally, disconnects you from the reality that inspired your songs in the first place, and brings out everyone’s worst habits”
On Big Bad, it felt like the songs were responding to a more subtlety and patience. We tried to let things breathe a little bit more
But songwriting is a way for artistic expression despite the music industry’s toxic features, a way of life and habit the band refuses to quit as the ideology of songwriting is never-ending.
“The cool thing about songwriting is that you’ve never really figured it out. For one day after you finish an album, it might feel like you finally know how to do it better than you ever have, but then the next day you pick up a guitar and all that goes out the window” these comments cement the fact that making music is a way of life for Mansions.
“For our last few records, we always start with this idea that we want things to be more minimal, and that we want to avoid doing the big loud rock guitar thing. But while actually fleshing out the songs, you have to follow what works best in the song, rather than some hard and fast rules. For our previous records, the big loud guitar thing often made the most sense, so we did it. On Big Bad, it felt like the songs were responding to a more subtlety and patience. We tried to let things breathe a little bit more” revealing how the record is an album that will keep you on your toes and defy the songwriting from the band’s past releases.
Albums are inevitably a snapshot of a certain period of time, and ours are no different
There are even moments on this record where Dave Ghrol drums are almost predictable but instead, a Piano lead will enter, adding changing elements to each song on a regular basis. Proving Mansions have truly created the highest quality release they are capable of at this point in their life.
But having your best work as your most recent can bring to light reflections of the past and make the band view other albums differently. But this is not the case for the band, they are humble and realistic about their past. “Albums are inevitably a snapshot of a certain period of time, and ours are no different. We were always just doing the best we could with what we had and what we were into at the time. So trying to compare Big Bad to something like Dig Up The Dead feels like trying to compare yourself at 35 to me at 25, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. You have the same DNA, but a different person”