Give them all your loving
When Winnipeg’s Perms take to the Liberty Lounge stage on October 2, the stripped-down sound and renewed energy of the veteran rock-poppers will be a treat for us concert lovers.
The band’s catchy tunes and pleasant melodies over distorted power chords are sure to have us tapping our toes and packing that dance floor … and that’s not just because the show is free and the bar prices are some of the cheapest in town.
“We’re really looking forward to playing on a university campus again, which I prefer because the vibe is different,” says bassist Shane Smith, admitting that he is often disappointed by strictly bar gigs where people are just there to drink.
“People who are there to discover new music … those are the people we’ll be at Mount Royal to perform for.”
The Perms, who are stopping by MRU — and the U of C’s Empty Space earlier the same day — on a six-show mini-tour of the Prairies in support of their fourth full-length release, Keeps You Up When You’re Down, have made a name for themselves over the years on the strength of their live shows. According to Smith, the band is looking forward to making the transition from studio band to road warriors to test out some of their new tracks with an energetic and open-minded crowd.
“Playing songs at a show is a lot different than recording them in a studio,” adds Smith. “We’ve been holed up in Winnipeg for a little while now, recording the album and such, so we’re really excited to get back out on the road. We’ve been gigging here and there, and have had a lot of fun trying to learn how to play our new songs live.”
After touring for three years as a five-piece band, including a horn section to thicken their sound, Smith says he and his Perms pals are looking forward to wetting their tour legs before embarking on a lengthy tour in the new year, which Smith hinted could include the band’s first tour of Germany, and an extended visit to Eastern Canada.
High-energy drummer Jamie Carasco was added to the Perms’ line up two years ago, and according to Smith, the band — which includes his brother Chad on guitar — can’t wait to bring back their original sound in concert.
“I love music,” says Smith. “It’s an energy. If you can put on a great live show and create a positive energy, it will flow through to your audience, whoever they are.”
Smith says that in the age of social media and the Internet, where music can easily be shared and downloaded for free, bands can only really survive by giving back to their fans, and showing them what the music is all about in live performance.
“If you’re not constantly in people’s faces, they’re going to forget you,” he shares. “For the most part, touring is about making new fans. When we started the band, our bread and butter was selling CDs at the shows to make cash. Now, part of (being a band) is live, (and) part of it is using the Internet to reach out to people.”
Smith says the best way for a band to survive in the 21st century is to get the music out to as many people as possible. He says it’s only the hardcore fans that have followed the band for more than a decade who really want a hard copy of their albums. Smith adds, however, that the band has been overwhelmed by the response to their music on MySpace and the Internet overall, where Keeps You Up When You’re Down has already been downloaded 4,300 times on Mininova.
“The more people that hear us, and dig us, the better,” says Smith.
So in the spirit of beer-soaked fun and rock ‘n’ roll, come out and enjoy a band that knows what music and the live show is all about, while toasting your peers and fellow students as we celebrate our first month as Mount Royal University. It’ll be worth it, says Smith … at least, he thinks it will be.
“I’ve been told we put on a live show,” laughs Smith. “But I’ve never really watched one, so I wouldn’t know.”