By Jenna Lee Williams
EDMONTON — A lot has happened since I last spoke to Edmonton-based rock and rollers, Switches, just over a year ago. The three original members of the band, Tara McMahon on guitar and lead vocals, Tamar Dinner on drums and vocals and Stefan Opyshko on keys, electric organ and shakers, all of whom have known each other since school, have had two new bassists join them after bassist Angela Mason relocated this past year. “We got lucky enough to have the talented Caity Fisher play and record with us. She brought her own style, sweet bass riffs and sultry vocals to it. But, Caity has a lot on the go, between Tee-Tahs and her own stuff. Marlaena Moore graced us with her presence and it’s been a riot. She brings energy and compliments us well. And she loves pizza,” says McMahon.
Their rock and roll sound is reminiscent of the ‘60s howl, rich in harmonies that meld together gruff passion with softer romanticism. Expect to see wonderful, live overhead projections by Krystal Selbee.
During this past year, the band filmed and released a music video (directed by Selbee) for the track, “Faraway.” Their 2013 EP made multiple top ten lists throughout Canada. Switches played a number of festivals, most recently including the Up+Downtown Festival in Edmonton. They have also played Bermuda Festival, Golden West Music Fest, Endless Bagel and Hot Plains.
Rene Wilson recorded a second album on analogue tape for Switches that will be released digitally, on limited-edition CD and cassette this month and with a limited-edition vinyl becoming available in December. I Just Wanna will be their first full-length release.
What I asked Switches what to expect from this new album, McMahon explains that, while recording, “it was live-off-the-floor with not a lot of overtakes. We wanted to bring our live energy and stay as true to what we sound like as we could. Real Cardinal out of Vancouver mastered it. All in all, the sound is smooth, energetic and fun.”
As far as inspiration for their latest release, it comes from wanting to express love and from each member of the band. “I get excited about something and I want it to come out, I want others to share it. I’ve got a lot of love and it has to come out in some way or another,” says primary songwriter McMahon. “Some of the songs are about being pulled in different directions. It was that kind of year.”
Dinner adds, “I think we all inspire each other — we are really committed to being a team, so we communicate a lot, challenge and support each other. We actually embody a really well functioning relationship and I think that helps us want to create really awesome things together.”
Switches just wanna tour in a city near you, including Wunderbar (Edmonton) on November 5, the Windsor Hotel (Winnipeg) on November 7, Pizza Bob’s (Calgary) on November 10 and back to Wunderbar on November 21.AB, Alberta, Manitoba, MB, Pizza Bob's, Switches, Windsor Hotel, Wunderbar