Long, Long, Long can't sit still. They've barely played their second show, and they're already working on their second release and preparing for a mid-June tour.
After three of four band members began building a reputation across Canada as York Redoubt last year, the band's sudden split late in the fall left plenty of disappointed music fans in Halifax and elsewhere. In Long, Long, Long (named for the 1966 Flintstones movie The Long, Long, Long Weekend), York Redoubt's fuzzy, lo-fi math rock has turned poppier, with a certain Beach Boys sound audible.
They're sampling a wide range of rock 'n' roll and listing off various changes to the music when we meet at guitarist Caleb Langille's house on a rainy night. "Less of a rock band," says guitarist Brad Lahead.
"No cymbals, no third choruses," adds Langille. "Maybe weirder---some York Redoubt stuff was kinda weird, I guess, but I want this weirder. Sparser."
Bassist Mike Wright nods from the back: "Those are all good things."
Though York Redoubt's breakup may have been a surprise to the Halifax scene, the band doesn't see it that way. "It ended when it was supposed to end," Langille summarizes. Wright adds that they were getting sick of playing the same songs, a complaint bands usually make after longer than York Redoubt's existence of scarcely a year. It's just one clue that Long, Long, Long is onto something uncommon.
Hooking up with drummer Rob Shedden (Dog Day) to form a serious Halifax powerhouse lineup, they played their first show on May 1 to a packed Lost & Found buzzing with excitement. They had their first tape ready for the show, and have been recording a second, of "summer pop hits," in time for the tour (with Quaker Parents, which Lahead also plays in, and Special Noise, all three bands piled in one van).
"We'd like to put out a lot of releases, especially in this year," says Langille. "Maybe 18, maybe 32...I'd like to be prolific at an extreme rate. A lot of bands we like are doing that, Thee Oh Sees are putting out a lot of records, I keep thinking about how in '64, if The Beatles didn't put out two records a year, often three records a year, their manager was afraid they'd be forgotten about," he adds. Long, Long, Long is interested in constantly reinventing themselves, looking to always play new material and not get bored.
"I think it's a good way to not dwell on things, to move really quickly writing and recording songs," says Lahead.
Despite the speed of their songwriting and claims of sounding rough, the band's two live shows so far have sounded sharp, and they've been getting rave reviews from local music fans. The vocals are more upfront in Long, Long, Long, with Langille taking on crazy, rambling vocal improvisation at live shows that suggest effects usually only found in recording.
"We all really like to experiment with vocals," Lahead says.
"You can be crazier with recording," Langille chimes in. "I think things will get crazier. The new tape is still only alright."
All four members have been writing songs, and though three of them have been playing together much longer, they're all quick to add that Shedden is being integrated into their creative process. "I'm into composition from a concept," Langille says.
Listing off their recording plans, tour plans and dream labels to release this year's anticipated 32-tape catalogue, the band has big dreams, and looks poised to fulfil them.
"We're hopefully learning new songs every show," says Wright.
"It's a lot easier to find time to record than practice. It's a lot more exciting," Lahead says---apparently Long, Long, Long's official philosophy.