By Michael Grondin
CALGARY — City Walls, an up-and-coming rock and roll four-piece from Vancouver, are rebuilding their foundation with a new name, sound and image.
Formerly known as Louder Than Love, the quartet released their full-length album Engines in April. Composed of brothers Paul and Tony Lambert, Nate Parsons and Brian Welsch, they toured for several months and are now beginning to write songs for a new EP, which the band hopes will be released this summer.
Lead singer and guitarist Paul said the last nine months have been very busy.
“We’ve been on the road a lot, and we’ve been playing a lot,” says Lambert during a phone interview from Vancouver.
“Once you get an album out there you want to hit the road and get the music heard by as many people and fans as possible, especially in areas that aren’t your own hometown.”
City Walls blends acoustic folk with alternative hard rock, due both to their numerous musical influences and complex production.
“We got really layered on this album; the song structures were more melodic and complex in a good way. We spent a lot more time working the songs out acoustically before we realized them as electric productions,” says Lambert, adding that this was a whole new approach than the way his band wrote songs in the past.
“We made sure songs could hold their own acoustically before we produced them.”
Engines was enhanced by producers as well.
“We were able to work with a great producer… named Arnold Lanni who had worked with Our Lady Peace. He acted as a mentor, which was a fantastic learning experience,” says Lambert. “We also worked with a great producer here in Vancouver named Howard Redekopp who worked with Mother Mother and Tegan and Sara.”
As Louder than Love, the band released a full-length album titled Dark Days. Favourably compared to The Black Keys, Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, it earned them allocates nation wide. In 2010, the band released the Coming Around EP, giving them the chance to tour and play with The Sheepdogs and The Trews, among others. Despite this considerable success, the band decided to change their name and sound.
“Our sound has evolved so much than when we started,” says Lambert, adding that the new name, City Walls, does not form a preconceived idea of their music or image.
“It allows the music to speak for itself. We don’t want to put the band in a box and brand ourselves this or that.”
Lambert prides City Walls’ new sound as dynamic and energetic, adding that developing this process was hard work.
“People are too educated as listeners these days and they get too bored too quickly if you just do the same thing over and over again,” he says. “We found it an interesting challenge to try and write what we feel. Whether it’s an acoustic song or a heavy rock song, if it sounds true to us we’ll chase it.”
City Walls kicked off a national tour this December.
“When we tour it feels like we are out to conquer something. We are just four friends out on the road and we get to perform our music to lots of great people,” says Lambert, speaking to his band’s love of playing for new audiences.
“There’s something thrilling about not knowing how the night can turn out and getting a good reaction from a group of people that don’t owe you anything.”
City Walls will be performing at Dickens Pub on January 22.AB, Alberta, City Walls, Dickens Pub