Myles Chats With Montreal's Newest Noisemakers: The Breezes
Montreal’s The Breezes are not only defined by their geography, but by an irreverent dose of humour, unpredictable at any instant.
Consisting of Matt Oppenheimer, Daniel Leznoff, James Benjamin and Adam Feingold, the electro-pop foursome possess tunes and talent of adroit jest, as evident in their viral, sing-a-long anthem “Count to Eleven.” However, as guitarist Dan Leznoff explains to ANDY, their roots are everything. “Seriously, Montreal made us. We’ve seen every band. Living here, the culture just breathes into you, covers you like a film of dust you don’t notice.”
Questioned further as to what gives Quebecois artist’s their certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ over Western Canadian cotemporaries, he didn’t hesitate to lay it down, proud and precise. ”Montreal is significantly cheaper than Vancouver and Toronto. It attracts artists who want to focus deeply on their craft without having to worry about rent and food. When you are really dedicated to learning about your art you come to Montreal and then you move on hopefully. It nurtures growth more than other cities.”
While the band’s sound derives from a dance floor zeitgeist of neon vibes and skinny ties, The Breezes undoubtedly know how to craft tasty hooks that balance the digital divide between today’s Top 40 and indie-chill. Indeed, adopting inspiration from all facets is integral to their tone – channeling the spirit of everyone from the late Owen Hart and Evel Knievel to Guns N' Roses and Ice-T, “boyhood heroes” as he calls them.
As for songwriting styles, Dan makes no bones about it: it’s about camaraderie and analogies. “A songwriter is just like an athlete, after a while he stops thinking about what he does and just does it. All you can do is live your art, study and listen a lot. Being in a band is all about building together. Competition is a force that helps the building process but one that can obviously destroy everything. Its all about figuring out how much space to give and how much to take.”
Aided by an escalating profile, the band exudes confidence, rather than evince egotism – something blithely reflected in the strength of their music and the successful manner by which they are managed.
The Internet can be a pitiless pool of blog-o-sphere build-up. For The Breezes, life’s too short to worry – embracing technology, but also swaying to their own sails. “Aint no taint to the paint. The Internet has leveled the playing field and opened the door for people all the way from Xanadu to Atlantis to Shangri La to know about you instantaneously, no matter where you’re from. We download music, shop at record stores, listen to the radio, go to clubs and the library to find music. Digital streaming and blog stuff have changed surprisingly little. A song is still a living, breathing thing that you hear with your ears and feel with your soul. ”
Online, songs can sustain longevity. However, to succeed professionally, a group lives or dies by their ability to perform live. From a recording studio to stage milieu, Dan explained the difference between both in typical Breezes fashion. “Our live show is much more free and loose, like a virgin in Tijuana on Spring Break. The record is like her audio engineer twin sister, who views Spring Break as extra study time to nitpick and dissect sonic mysteries.”
Anticipating label approval, and a subsequent debut LP within months, the band are currently on tour, turning people onto their EP of bedroom psychedelia entitled “Update My High.”
The future looks bright, as Dan concludes, with good times ahead “In two years hopefully we won’t see The Breezes, hopefully people will see us. The party is starting very soon…”
If that’s the case, count me in.
The Breezes will be performing in Toronto on March. 24 at Wrongbar