Moncton’s Thee Requiems celebrate 13 years with the release of new album.
Matt Carter | @M_J_C73
Thee Requiems have a lot to be proud of. The Moncton punk/garage rock trio have just released their second full-length album in less than a year. Death Perception is eleven catchy tracks that blend the band’s hometown influences (Eric’s Trip/Elevator) with the likes of Sonic Youth and The Modern Lovers.
Formed in 2003 by Fear of Lipstick bassist Josiah Barnett, 2016 marks 13 years for the band. We caught up with Barnett to talk about the band’s new music and how they have managed to exist for so long.
Tell us about your new album, Death Perception?
JA: This is an album that we started recording a year prior, by ourselves in our jam room. I wanted to finally make a record totally by ourselves, kinda like Eric’s Trip always did. Unfortunately, the end result was not what we wanted to achieve. Going with Kyle McDonald was a no brainer. He has recorded all our previous material and the process is painless and fast.
The cover art is intended to show the two main ideas behind the album, Death and Nightmares. My goal was to display both ideas simultaneously: A person on their deathbed with Death in the form of babies moving in to collect what’s theirs or a person in bed surrounded by their own nightmare. Death Perception is about anxiety, depression, sex, night terrors, demons, loneliness, longing and love. It’s about the personification of Death as a female entity. It’s about the folklore of the Succubus and making love to Death in a dream.
Thee Requiems have been together for 13 years? What is it that has helped keep the band together for so long?
We’ve always just played for ourselves. We don’t do a lot of shows. It’s hard with anxiety to make yourself do that stuff. But I think playing for ourselves and just enjoying it – that is the reason it’s lasted so long. We have had peaks and valleys over the years. Our lineup has grown and shrunk. There have been hiatuses when people move. But we still come back and jam for fun and to hang out with each other. I think the same five copies of our first record are still at the local shop. We definitely don’t do it for any reason other than we like it. Making records is something I feel I have to do.
How has the Moncton indie scene changed over the course of the band’s existence?
In the last five years or so, Moncton got a really cool house show/all-ages scene. This was crucial for our scene. The Gummy House, La Patante and now Claude’s House are where the best shows have happened. Our local record shop, Spin It, also regularly holds all-ages shows in-store. The atmosphere is way more personal, and kids that are passionate about live music get to be a part of it. A lot of that is thanks to the work of people like Jesse LeBlanc and the Claude’s House gang. This will be the second year for Claude’s House punk fest ‘No Funswick’ as well, which will see bands from all over North America come together for a few days to party and play. Also with Bandcamp, there has been a huge influx of artists doing their thing at home and being able to communicate with an audience. The music scene has always been a part of Moncton’s identity, it’s just more available to others now, I think.
What’s stayed the same?
Spin It Records. They are huge supporters of local music and always have been. People like Mark Gaudet, Jesse LeBlanc and Ray 13 have remained important constants, booking and documenting all the best shows with in-depth notes and photography, and a willingness to always share their knowledge with the next generation. I know the Esquire Tavern was gone for a while, but it’s back and it feels like it’s stayed the same.
How does this release fit with the rest of the band’s catalog? What sets it apart?
This release is an evolution for us as a band, in that we are definitely stepping the furthest away from the indie sound of our first record. But as a musician I find myself exploring the tight, compact song structures of my previous band, Fear of Lipstick. So it’s kind of a display of everything we’ve learned being put to use as best as we can. Awkward forever!