“Word is getting out that The Weakerthans are done.”
This tweet from The Weakerthans’ drummer, Jason Tait, last July didn’t surprise many fans – their last album had been in 2007 and they hadn’t played a show in two years – but it was confirmation, and it still stung to read. So when it was announced that Weakerthans vocalist/guitarist/lyricist John K. Samson would be releasing his second solo album this year featuring collaborations from Tait and Weakerthans bassist Greg Smith (among others), it almost felt like that hiatus was over. Many fans probably expected Winter Wheat to sound, somewhat, like a Weakerthans album. Given the members involved, it didn’t seem like a stretch, especially consider Samson’s last solo outing, 2012’s Provincial, was stylistically similar to his old band’s brand of indie rock. Those people were wrong.
The official “Black Friday” Record Store Day list has been released.
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Asked what his biggest challenge is, he said: “It is ridiculous, but trying to dream up something more adventurous is always our challenge, where does the next bolt of lightning come where you capture the essence of it and trying to put it into a record or a tour, it’s definitely my permanent challenge.
“We want to do a stage made of magnets so the band can levitate on other magnets. It’s those questions that keep me awake every night of my life. If there are any magnet technicians out there, please come and see me because that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”
I caught up with Kevin Devine on the same morning that his new album, Instigator, launched for stream onto the internet — a fact he seemed almost as relieved as he was excited about. Over the next hour, we talked all kinds of things from the connection between the album’s title and its artwork, how his song “No Time Flat” has aged over the past decade, and what full-length album he might want to cover next.