By: Vanessa Polojac
Prepare to share a new psychedelic listening experience with Toronto alt-rock band Neon Wave as they prepare to release their second self-titled EP on Nov. 4.
The new project comes right behind their first EP which only dropped in September of this year.
Formed in Toronto in 2014, Neon Wave consists of three multitalented band members: Norm Maschke (guitar and vocals), Derek Monson (bass guitar, bass VI guitar, synthesizers and vocals), and Ryan Roantree (percussion).
All three musicians were apart of locally successful bands prior to forming Neon Wave (formally Of Hands & Teeth/ Whale Tooth/ Ten Kens).
Lead vocalist and guitarist Norm Maschke described the upcoming EP as a slow, psychedelic soundtrack. As in their previous work, the members of Neon Wave put personal experiences and new ways of life into the lyrics of their music.
“A lot of it is a personal perspective on things. The themes that we explore lyrically are about change and kind of questioning everything around you as well as yourself. We’re all in our early thirties…Once you get over that milestone there is a kind of self-realization moment and comes in different forms for everybody,” said Maschke.
The tracks "Night Rider" and "Royal" invite the listener to get lost in the music. The trance-like songs feature the brittle and gruff vocals from Maschke and Monson that create a somber and haunting atmosphere.
“Deer Hunter for me personally has been a big influence… I think for us it was not about imitating a sound. It was about seeing where our best assets are as a band and that took some time to figure out,” explained Maschke.
“We would play songs faster and they would kind of sound more rock n' roll and we didn’t really want to sound rock n’ roll like every other band. Influences are there but they are not as prominent.”
Even though only forming officially two years ago; the members of Neon Wave have been in the band cycle for over ten years. The music industry has changed a lot over the course of those years because of technology.
While evolving as musicians and people since the early 2000s; Neon Wave is trying to bring back a sound that they feel has been lost from the 90s.
“We live in a monoculture where everything sounds the same. It’s produced by the same people. There might be a different singer or musician but ultimately it’s still accomplishing the same goal and it’s like bubblegum, right? You pop it in your mouth and when you’re done you spit it out and move onto something else.”
Neon Wave’s Nov. 4 release will be an evolution for the act, with a slightly faster tempo in contrast to their heavy, slow-burning first project. Like their earlier project, the new EP is designed to be rich and cohesive, intended for long listening sessions.
“It should be an experience. You can put on a pair of headphones or put it on in the car when you are driving. That’s what it is intended for…it’s not just superficial pop or alternative music. We aim to add depth… and we just want people to enjoy it. It’s entertainment, it’s fun,” explained Maschke.
Neon Wave will be performing the new EP on Nov 4 at the Casbah alongside Bad Girls, Dizzy Spells, Beach Red and Jordan Koren.