Operators open up about all that is good

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

  • Dan Boeckner - Photo courtesy of Last Gang Records

    Dan Boeckner - Photo courtesy of Last Gang Records

By: Zoey Ross 

With bands like Phantogram, Death From Above 1979 and Awolnation leading the way across Canada and the United States great electro rock acts are beginning to emerge. The sound of 80s synth is finding way back into bed with rock and roll – the result is delicious for your ear tongues.

“We use…classic house and hip-hop drum machines, write patterns in that and the kind of chop them up,” said Dan Boeckner, front man, singer and guitarist.

Operators played at the Hillside Inside festival in Guelph, Ontario and they opened for The New Pornographers. What really made them stand out is the energy they brought to the stage. When you listen to them don’t be surprised if you catch a whole lot of feelings. One minute the music might make you feel all fun and dancy to funky 80s grooves and the next you’ll feel that mosh rage take over. So how is this energy mustered?

“I think the trick is with the electronic elements is [when] we write songs we start pulling things out of the arrangement and start replacing them with live elements,” said Dan Boeckner. It gives us a little more freedom to play behind the beat or ahead of the beat. We can make a little faster or a little slower depending how we feel on stage. It’s not like you got all the tracks and just push space bar,”

Sam Brown the groups high octane drummer who hails from the state Ohio, opened up and had some thoughts to share.

“I’d say that we are a pumped up synth-pop rock band,” said Brown. ”We are trying no to be so tidy with our electronic rock. Sweat, let it breath, let it be human.”  

It is interesting that Operators opened for The New Pornographers. These bands are both Canadian lead and have indie elements but produce two different sounds. Operators has a sound much more related to Death From Above 1979 and when this was mentioned to Boeckner he revealed an intriguing truth.

“We actually turned down opening that tour for this tour,” said Boeckner. When asked if he would change anything, seeing that Death From Above 1979 has gone on to be very successful critically and commercially he answered delicately.

“No, not at all. I mean, no I’m pretty happy we went on this tour,” said Boeckner. “Now it’s time to make a record.”

Although the band has released an EP with the Last Gang Records they have not yet made it public which label the chose for their new album. Pianist and band singer Devojka mentioned that one label has been chosen but no band member would confirm which one.

At the end of the talk Boeckner had some advice for aspiring artists wanting to break into the music industry.

“The advice my dad gave me when I started making music…don’t be a dick,” said Boeckner. “Just be nice [to] all the people you’re working with. If you’re playing a show and people enjoy what you’re what you’re doing just don’t be a dick. Seems simple but I think it’s really good advice.”

This is definitely a band to keep your eye on and ears tuned to. Hopefully, they have signed with Last Gang Records – the label backing Death From Above 1979, Chromeo, Metric and Mother Mother. With their electro sound and talented players they will be making waves across the country in no time. When they do get to your town, remember to bring your best dancing shoes.  

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