metal talk
instagram Facebook Twitter RSS
metal talk

jools green

Jools Green


Canadian quintet Expain recently released their superb debut album 'Just The Tip'. I tracked them down for a quick chat.

Thanks for taking the time to chat to MetalTalk.

Eric: "Thanks so much for having us!"

The band originally came together via Craigslist; what made you decide to go by that route?

Eric: "Most of us are not originally from Vancouver so Craigslist was an easy place to find people without having made many connections at the time. It can also be a real challenge to find people who are into the same sounds as well as being reliable, compatible, and technically able to execute the riffs and contribute to the music. With that in mind, it makes sense to look for people in as many ways as possible and Craigslist just happened to be what ended up working out for us."

Article continues below...

Your debut album 'Just The Tip', has been out for about a month now, has it been well received?

Eric: "So far I think it has been pretty well received. There have been a lot of very positive and encouraging things said about the record by many different reviewers. We have also received a fair amount of satisfied comments from fans who have bought the album. Apparently we even beat out Iron Maiden, Gojira, Metallica, and Pantera on Broken Neck Radio's top rated songs (which is rated by the listeners). It seems that people are enjoying 'Just The Tip' so hopefully that will continue as more people hear the album."

'Just The Tip' demonstrates a very high level of musicianship and strong sense of humour also; is humour important to the band?

Eric: "To us, the music is always the most important thing. We approach our music with sincerity and passion above all else. The humour is all in the packaging. Even though we are very serious about our music, we are still just people who love to laugh and have a good time. I think humour is important to us as people and we want to share that with others.

"Whenever somebody buys an album or watches EXPTeeVee or any of our YouTube videos or live shows, we want them to catch a glimpse of who we really are; we want them to feel involved as if they know us personally. In theory, this humour shouldn't get in the way of the music so we revel in the laughs when we can. The world can be a dismal place so why not have a laugh before you die?"

You have a very unique sound, encompassing a broad range of genres. Who inspires Expain and how did you end up with such a broad ranging, all encompassing sound?

Eric: "Each member has such different influences that it's hard to subscribe to one specific sound. Beyond that, we all have a great appreciation for good music in any style so it is easy for other genres to find their way into our music. Here are a couple of big influences for each member:

Nikko – Dillinger Escape Plan, J.S. Bach, and Jaco Pastorius.
Pat – Tommy Emmanuel, NOFX, Slayer, and Propaghandi.
Eric – Psyopus, Extol, Belvedere, and Paramore.
Ryan – Megadeth, Exivious, Death, and Exodus.
Dan – American Head Charge, Slipknot, Tom Waits, and Devin Townsend.

"As you can see, there is a fair bit of diversity between the members. With all of those stir sticks in the same melting pot, the broad ranging sound happens naturally."

I have noticed, and this has me curiously intrigued, that there is no one sound that defines Canadian Metal in general, such as guitar style, vocals etc. Musically you are a very unique nation as a whole, why do you think this is?

Eric: "For one, Canada is huge. I'm sure the typical sounds on the west coast are much different than those on the east coast largely because of the great distance between them. Within that great distance there are so many changes in landscape and scenery that could also affect the music in each region.

"Canada is also a newer country in the grand scheme of things and it is mostly populated by immigrants and descendants of immigrants from all over the world. Canada is so culturally diverse and we are still forming an identity as a country so I think the music reflects that fresh and eclectic style in its own way.

"The internet could also be a huge factor. We are now able to quickly and painlessly access all kinds of music from anywhere in the world so what influences me may never even grace the ears of my next door neighbour. It's really hard to say why Canadian music is the way it is, but whatever the reason, there is so much great music happening in this country and even in Vancouver alone. We are very lucky to play alongside so many talented musicians and bands from Canada."

What is Expain's approach to the writing process?

Eric: "Typically Pat or myself will come in with a riff or two and then we will expand on it and add to it as a band and play around with some ideas until we decide on a direction for the song or an underlying form. From there, we all go home and manipulate our own parts and then bring it back and put the pieces together, making adjustments and edits when necessary.

"Lyrics are often the last piece of the puzzle. Sometimes we think of a lyrical concept relevant to the musical material while other times we think of a working title and build the lyrics and concepts off of that. It honestly changes from song to song and that's kind of what keeps the writing process fresh and exciting."

What's next for Expain regarding tours etc?

Eric: "We are hoping to go across Canada or down the west coast of the U.S. in summer 2015. In the meantime, we will be taking on some dates in western Canada when we can in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. We are trying to make some music videos and maybe new episodes of EXPTeeVee to promote the new album as well, so keep an eye out for those."

Any final comments?

Eric: "If you like the new album, be sure to check out our YouTube page and give us a 'like' on facebook for more updates. We really appreciate all of the support we have received so far and we will continue to do our best to bring you entertainment in the future.

"We love hearing from our fans so feel free to give us a shout any time and let us know what's on your minds. We are very fortunate to be surrounded by so many great people and we hope to see you all at our shows in the future.



metal talk © All written site content is copyright 2008-2018, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.