Sticking with the Policy

Roche Uhntraal, from hot-blooded to Coldplay.

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Having returned from a short three-date Maritimes stint with friends Wintersleep, rock group Folds of Policy are heading back to the studio with the intentions of finishing work on their sophomore effort, tentatively titled Trouble on the Wall. Bassist Charlie Coolen says while there are no huge, conscious format changes from Stay in Your Homes’ mix of hot-blooded rock tunes with hints of folk influences, the band has transformed since their debut.

“Obviously we’ve evolved. We had only been a band for a few months when we started recording the first one, whereas now we’ve seen a little more, played a lot of shows and just heard a lot more music,” he says of the differences from 2004’s release. “We recorded the first record in our rehearsal space with a friend, on a digital multi-track thingy. It was all very economical, but it meant a lot of compromise. This time we’ve been doing it in a studio, with someone who really knows his stuff, so we are getting a lot more of the sounds we want.”

The album, being recorded by Vance Dylan at Common Ground Studio, has been in the works since late last spring and will include a song that has been selected out of 15,000 entries to advance to the second round of the International Songwriting Competition. While the panel last year included the likes of Tom Waits, Steve Vai and various prominent industry professionals, the 2006 judges are still undisclosed. Folds are trying their luck with a demo version of their song “Big Lights, Big Cities.”

“Because (front man Jon Landry) writes the best songs in the world — seriously,” Coolen says of why the band chose to enter. “From the few reactions we’ve received to our songs, and Jon’s lyrics, we know that we have something special. We got a lot of recognition last year from winning the CMW National Songwriting Competition, and that song ‘Victims’ is easily three to four years old. Jon’s matured a lot since then, and we wanted to see what some of the new songs could do. Fingers are crossed.”

They are taking the “whatever happens, happens” approach while focusing on the completion of their album.

Try this at home

The Halifax three-piece recording ensemble known as INSTRUMENTS was exposed to a considerable internet audience January 5. Rocketboom.com, estimated by Newsweek to air to 130,000 viewers a day, incorporated band member Daniel MacDonald’s submission of the song “Skull Decay” from the band’s Nominal EP into its increasingly popular three-minute video podcast. The piece, initially made to share with friends, shows him and collaborators J Lapointe and Jon Hutt launching a homemade model rocket in a field. The footage was aired in its entirety to be enjoyed by computer nerds the world over.

“I am a Rocketboom fan, and watch the video podcast every day so I was very surprised and excited when they decided to use our video,” MacDonald says. “I am very pleased. I was surprised they used the entire video start to finish exactly as I edited it.”

See the video for yourself in Rocketboom’s archives, or on MacDonald’s website at www.thearchive.ca/rocketcam

Big in England

The nominations for the 2006 Juno Awards won’t be announced until February 15, but that hasn’t prevented organizers of the Canadian music celebration from causing overwhelming excitement this week by announcing Coldplay will appear at the April 2 awards show in Halifax.

A prelude to what is sure to be a nod in the International Album of the Year category, who would have thought the band might actually make its first visit to the east coast to accept? Tickets for the televised ceremony go on sale February 18 at 9am, but again, let’s be realistic. Tickets for last year’s awards in Winnipeg sold out in a mere 16 minutes.

Always with the realistic: scene@thecoast.ca

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