Now when they tour, they spend more time resting rather than partying. For Loewen it’s relaxing in front of the hotel room TV and watching Iron Chef and The Food Network. “You spend all your energy at the show for the crowd. And once you’re done, you’re just done.”
Rather than rush recording of XXXX, the band took five leisurely months. In that time, they diversified their blaring punk sound with moody New Wave textures. While Loewen mentions her fascination with groups like Murder City Devils, she and the other band members all love 80s music. “When I was younger what really got me into music was punk rock. But as I got a little bit older, it was New Wave of the 80s, especially Blondie and some others.”
More than a collection of new songs, the latest recording represented an emotional release for You Say Party! We Say Die!. “These songs were written after going through a lot of the hard stuff. We sing about regrouping and finding our selves souls again. Being a group that really cares about each other.” Many of the lyrics allude to finding hope and a sense of purpose like the obviously titled “Dark Days” or more subtle “She’s Spoken For.”
To nail down the demons that plagued Ninkovic’s voice touring, she along with Loewen sought advice from trainer Sharla Souder. They must have applied that to this album because both their vocals sound sharper. Ninkovic especially dishes out a more distinctive and emotional performance.
This begs the question of why no one thought of getting more training earlier. Loewen admits that a little inexperience with being in a band made them put it off until now. “It was the point where Becky felt she needed to do something. Not that we didn’t consider it important. We just hadn’t thought of it before.”
It turned out to be the right time. Music fans up north love the new album with songs like “Laura Palmer’s Prom,” popular on the Canadian college radio charts. In January, XXXX was the #1 college album according to Chartattack.com. Finally, after almost four years, they can tour the U.S. and headline most of the shows. Their lawyer deserves big thanks for smoothing out bassist O’Shea’s five-year ban for attempting to cross the border without a work permit
The first city Loewen wants to visit is San Francisco where You Say Party! We Say Die! play Bottom of the Hill March 12. The East Coast looks attractive as well. “We went to New York once, but we spent eight hours there and had to drive straight out after the show. I’m looking forward to spending more time there and seeing some cities on the coast.”