Was there a grand scheme going in when you formed Rococode?
Not at all. Had no idea. Laura was doing a solo thing for a while and I was playing in her band. We gradually started collaborating more and more on the songs and the whole endeavour. Eventually we got to a point where we just thought it should be something the two of us rather than Laura Smith. We had a pile of songs and we started recoding them. We didn’t have any idea of where they were going to go or what it was going to turn into. Everything took a really long time, but eventually we had a band.
How many members are in the band?
It’s back to just Laura and me again. When we play live we have other people who play with us. This new album was recorded in so many different places, but it’s always been Laura and I, two producers, and then we’ve brought in whoever else we’ve needed along the way, which has mostly been drummers.
The new album ‘Don’t Worry It Will Be Dark Soon’, is this a different direction for you?
It is definitely different from our first full-length record. A lot more electronic sounds, less guitar. A lot less of everything. The first album was pretty dense and layered. This one is a lot more stripped away.
When you went in to record did you have something in mind you wanted to accomplish or was it more a case of whatever happens happens?
A little bit from column A and a little bit from column B. We’d never worked with the people we were working with, so it was a pretty big risk. We went out to cabin somewhere near Powell River and set up a bunch of gear. We had a pile of songs that we’d whittled down from about fifty to fifteen, or something like that. So we just got there and got cracking. We sort of stuck to demos that we’d made, but we completely retooled a lot of them as well. It was kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants, but we also had a vision of what we were after. It sounds current but it doesn’t really have a time stamp on it, so I think it will continue to be something worth listening to over time.
Where have you toured?
Extensively in Canada. Dipped into the US a few times. One trip to Germany. We are gearing up for a lot of US in 2016, which may not be that smart considering the state of the dollar. It’s tough being in Vancouver because we’re so far away from everything in Canada. We’ve done the Halifax and back three, maybe four times. Especially in the winter, it just wears you out. But we’ve always had a good time on the East Coast. It probably stems from the fact that we were opening for big shows like Mother Mother, so we had a nice foot in the door over there. Of course, Victoria always been good for us too, which comes from the fact that it’s kind of a fake hometown.
Why is it fake?
Well, Laura lived there from age 10 to 18. Also, our other former rhythm section was from Victoria also.
But you are from Vancouver?
No, I’m from Manitoba.
What’s the worst concert you’ve ever had?
There’s been some pretty bleak ones. There was a really terrible one in Portland one time. The guy playing after us was a noise act and he was so loud that by halfway through there was just the four of us. We were the only ones left. The sound guy was standing in the back with his hands over his ears, which is funny because he is the one that wanted the guy to turn it down. At one point the guy playing left for about ten or fifteen minutes and went outside. Went for a smoke, or maybe it was too loud for him, I don’t really know.
Ok, then what’s the best show you ever had?
I think the ones at Rifflandia (Victoria) have been some of the best. Those are always fun. Playing the Metro is really fun. We were there about four times in a row.
Is there a difference between your recorded music and what you trying to do live?
Yes, they’re different things. You don’t want the live show to be an exact replication of the record. It needs to have its own unique energy to it. At this point there is so much music going on that people have access to whenever and wherever they want, so if you can create something that sticks around for a little while then that is the most meaningful thing you can do. Something that a person can carry with them and remember.
What would success be for Rococode?
We’re not out to sell out arenas or anything, but if we can create a base of fans in a broad geographical spectrum – if we could go anywhere around the world and draw three or four hundred people – that would feel accomplished.
Rococode will be touring across Canada and the US this spring in support of ‘Don’t Worry It Will Be Dark Soon’. Tour dates will be announced soon, please visit rococode.com for the most up-to-date tour listings. Look for ‘Don’t Worry It Will Be Dark Soon’ on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and all other digital retailers/streaming services on Friday, February 26th.