by Mark Anthony Brennan


It was noon on July 2nd. The indie folk collective, Towers and Trees, had just played the night before (Canada Day) on the lawn of the BC Legislature. Band members Adrian Chalifour and Jesse Boland were on their lunch break from their day jobs, but they were still kind enough to speak with me between bites, despite being a little tired from the previous evening’s concert:

So, what is Towers and Trees up to right now?

AC:       We are just finding our next chapter. We are working on our second record, which is our first full-length album.

It’s been two years since your EP “Broken Record”. How have things changed?

AC:       The first one started out as a solo project, but I was privileged enough to come into contact with some incredible musicians. The members of the band joined one-by-one as the recording progressed. This time around we have the benefit of gelling together for a year and a half.

JB:        The first record was sparse, organic. More grass-roots. This time we are working on the songs far in advance. It allows the songs to develop more.

AC:       “Broken Record” was recorded in a friend’s apartment. We were working on the micro level, so there was no point in aspiring to something grand. Now, however, the songs will be rich, layered. More anthemic.

What’s the impetus behind the new album?

AC:       Well, for the past year and a half we have had blast working with the original material. But that wave has crested. Now we are creating a new wave.

Is there any theme or concept at work?

AC:       I think of myself as a songwriter first and a musician second. So I write the songs and then we build the music around them. These songs are inspired by some personal events. I believe this will be relatable to a lot of people.

Where in the process are you?

AC:       The songs are in the demo stage right now. We are sanding them down, and then we will polish them up. Our plan is to release a single or two before the end of the year. The full album will be out late 2014 or early 2015.

What are your plan in terms of touring?

JB:        This summer we will be focusing on this new album, so we are trying not to overbook ourselves right now. Looking further ahead, we’d like to get out to Montreal, Toronto, Eastern Canada. Maybe even the US. It will be a lot easier when we have a full album to promote. With the EP, it was just a sampler, more of an appetizer. The new album will be something people can get their teeth into.

And what does the future hold?

AC:       We will keep doing this because it is in our hearts. Yes, we hope to tour nationally and break into the US, but regardless we are just happy to make music. There was a time when I was somewhat discouraged because I couldn’t come to terms with the pressures to succeed. But then I had a personal breakthrough and I realized that I want to create music for the sheer joy of it, and to share it. That is our band’s philosophy, actually.

That’s a great philosophy.

AC:       Oh, and excellence. We always perform to the best of our ability. That continues to be our guide with this next album.

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