OD – Tell us about the bands history and how you have come to where you are now for anyone that has not heard of Double Experience before?
BROCK – For starters, Ian (Nichols, bass/vocals) and I have been playing together since 2011, when both of our bands at the time had pretty much dissolved. Then we toured all over Canada, North America and when we first went to the U.K we met our booking agent and then skip forward a few years when we were just about to hit the road, our then drummer suddenly decided that he didn’t want to be part of the band, so our booking agent put us in contact with Dafydd (Cartwright, drums) and we pretty much met in the U.K prior to that tour where we had just two full practice sessions before we were on the road. The chemistry was just so good between us all that we moved him over to Canada to become the permanent drummer for Double Experience.
OD – Tell me about the creation of Unsaved Progress?
BROCK – Shortly after our 2015 European tour, we came back home and at the time Dafydd was not a Canadian citizen and we had to sort all of that stuff out. We flew him down in October and spent the entire month just working through song ideas with the intention of going into the studio in North Carolina in November. What happened was Dafydd’s plane journey didn’t happen because of some paper work issues.
We ended up having to do scratch guitar work and vocals and sent then over to Dafydd in Wales. He then did his drums tracks over that and sent everything back to us and then we put our parts on top of it before sending it back over to him for any overdubs that needed to be completed. So it was really our first transatlantic recording experience. As soon as we were done recording in November, we sent the album to be mixed and mastered as soon as possible as we just wanted to get it ready and set a release date.
OD – Can you explain the title “Unsaved Progress” for us?
BROCK – That title came from the circumstances as to how we all met each other. I think one of my experiences of being in a band is like, one step forward; two steps back type of thing. You don’t realize that your making any kind of progress until you kind of step back and look at what you have achieved. From the day to day stuff of trying to manage things, like people changing minds in the professional sense and at times it can feel like we are continually starting over but as long as we make that effort to start over, it eventually snowballs into something that has developed into something rather than unsaved progress.
OD – You worked with Al Jacob and Kit Walters (letlive) and mastered by Jamie King (Between The Buried and Me, Devin Townsend) tell me how this came about and why the decision to work with the guys on the album?
BROCK – We first were interested in Al Jacob in particular because he working on ‘It Hates You’ by He is Legend, which is a band that we all collectively really like. We asked all Al as to the circumstances of the recording of that album, as we just loved everything about it. We just wanted to make a recording that sounded as good as that album and so Al came on board with Kit Walters and then we had Jamie King master it.
We got to learn how all three of them were involved in the making of It Hates You and the other thing too was that it worked out a little cheaper to go to the States and work with these greatly respected people in the music industry, rather than do it all in Canada as the scene in Canada is much smaller in comparison, so the studios that are available just up their rates like crazy. It was just a better deal for us to chase after our hero’s rather than do the whole thing in Canada.
OD – So did Al, Kit and Jamie all collectively work on He is Legend‘s album also?
BROCK – That He is Legend record that we just love so much It Hates You, just made such an impact on us all individually. We were over the moon to be able to get the original team that put that album together in terms of production, mixing and mastering. At the time Kit was a still a student at school and the success of working with He is Legend, let him on to work with letlive and a whole host of other bands.
OD – You are currently on tour, can you tell me how it’s all going and are you playing any new material from the album?
BROCK – It was really hard to put this set-list together as we never had to deal with potentially appeasing people who would want to hear the older material, as we would just play all the songs that we knew. Where’s now we have had to consider taking out a few classics to replace them with the new material. Now we try to put a set-list together that doesn’t alienate some of the fans that want to hear particular songs. This will be our sixth U.K tour so we don’t want people to just stand there in silence because they don’t know that material. We are trying to update the show as best we can so it’s about 70% new material and the rest is our older stuff.
OD – Do you notice a particular difference between the European crowds opposed to Canadian shows?
BROCK – Totally! It’s night and day in comparison. I think that the fact that when they hear our goofy Canadian accents, they tent to pay a little more attention, where’s over in Canada, they don’t care what we sound like (laughs). Also, the nightlife culture is totally different over in Europe as opposed to back home. Ireland and the U.K have just so many places to hang our that all seem to be in the same areas. Loads of clubs and bars all in the same area which I’m sure helps when it comes to keeping places busy and setting the tone for a good night out. Also, when you look at the history of the bands that have come out of Ireland and the U.K like Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, we can totally understand the reason for the amount of rock clubs and bars.
If you look at Canada, you will most likely get to Rush and then have to scratch your head to find some more bands. We feel like there is a really great music culture over there and a place for not only us, but for all bands to tour.
OD – There is a fascination with computer games and the band can you tell me more?
BROCK – At the end of the day, if we were not playing music as a full time job we would be working in the gaming industry! When we are not touring or rehearsing we spend most of our time stuck to our consoles playing. We figured that this is who we are as people and it’s something that we really enjoy, so we decided to not dance around it and incorporate it into the music. When we first put the band together back in 2011/2012, we had no idea that this was a direction that we wanted to take, but it all just feels so right and honest as to who we are as individuals as well as a band.
OD – There is a particular affiliation to Game Boy, can you explain?
BROCK – I think that the Game Boy is just so easy to play and enjoy. Especially when we’re on the road, it’s just so easy to carry around. We can still engage in our favourite pastime and in particular our fans who know that we love gaming and get involved with us in this aspect as well as enjoying our references to gaming within the music.
OD – From the many shows that Double Experience have racked up, were there any in particular where you found yourselves crossing paths with any other bands that have either since made it or have been a favourite of yours personally?
BROCK – We sort of like accidentally got put on the same bill as Max Raptor the last time we were over in the UK. Now they are a U.K punk band that don’t really have a great deal in common with Double Experience, but at he time we just said ‘how bad can it be’ and turned out to be a really great show. So we asked our booking agent to ‘accidentally’ put us in contact with a more eclectic range of bands that are not necessarily straight-up hard rock, as there is a great achievement for us when playing these shows and winning over a new audience that would not necessarily listen to this particular genre.
OD – There is a some great music coming out of Canada with the likes of yourself, Monster Truck and of course Cancer Bats, how is the general hard rock scene over thee and do you get a substantial amount of support from the local scene?
BROCK – Yea, I think the size is definitely an issue as the rock; metal scene in Canada is not as big as other country’s. The pockets of each musical scene in different parts of the country have proven to be hard to connect with because of the distance. Some venues are like a 9-hour drive away between each province. So if any of the bands are looking for shows, they normally will play their local town, which after a while becomes kind of old really fast and usually happens is that bands take two directions which is either they follow their dream to tour and take on the long drives to other venues, or they decide to pack it all in and get a job, settle down and start a family. You get these great bands that are here today, gone tomorrow or you get some bands that are really great, but don’t go anywhere.
OD – What are the plans for after this European tour through the mid-Summer and on to autumn?
BROCK – The plan is to go back to Europe. We have three different things on the horizon at the moment and we are just weighing up the options as to what will be the best for the band in the long run. It’s almost sad to say that we’re pretty sure that some things will just not go to plan. Normally the way we put things together is by lining up as many options as possible and then making the best decisions based on what ever may be happening or what we are working towards.
Even with this tour happening right now. We were originally going to do this a little bit earlier, but the whole visa thing and the calamity of things that had happened over there with the terrorist stuff seemed like it was best to hold off until now. So right now we are just planning the best move for us that won’t result in unsaved progress.
OD – Although the album was written a while back, are you the type of band that keep writing or do you take a break from it and concentrate on the current material?
BROCK – Now that we have the full unit together, we are trying to get into the process of writing as much as we can. With the release of the new album and this tour happening, there literally has not been enough hours in the day. Even though the plan and mission statement was to continue writing as opposed to doing it all in one month as we did with Unsaved Progress, that opportunity as not presented itself to us as of yet. I should think that after this U.K tour, we will be looking at the follow up to the album and start bouncing ideas around, because we didn’t like the fact that our previous album, 721358 was written at the end of 2012/2013 and it’s been years since it’s release. We didn’t want to replicate that time frame again with such a long gap between albums and being an independent band, sometimes there just isn’t enough hours in the day to manage all of the things that we are doing, as well as find the time to write at the level of quality that we collectively want.
Don’t get me wrong, we try as much as humanly possible to make this work and I think we have a formula that works for us. It’s just one of those things that you’re either cut out to do or you’re not. We just take things day by day and get on top of it as much as possible.
OD – Speaking of albums, what would you say would be the most important album for you personally?
BROCK – I thinks it was Songs for The Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age. At the time the album oriented rock that we get on the radio can be pretty terrible at times because of the Canadian content laws. Before they bring in any “outside” non-Canadian content they will play home-grown stuff and nothing was really speaking to me. When I first head ‘No One Knows’ my jaw just hit the floor and I was hooked! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and was just blown away from the opening chords. There was this perfect balance between melody and aggression that was just awesome. Dave Grohl’s drumming on that album is so amazing, not to mention everything that Josh Homme is doing on that album.
OD – If you had a change to play with any band in any period of time for one night who would it be and what tour?
BROCK – I think it would have to be Elvis! Just being able to hang out with the guy who invented Rock n’ Roll and being part of the revolution that started everything, would be kind of amazing!
Double Experience have recently released their latest video / single ‘The Glimmer Shot’ which has racked up just over 48,000 view in the last few weeks! You can see the video by clicking on the link below.
Double Experience are currently on tour and will be pulling into a venue near you! Check out the full list of dates on the graphic below!
For more information on Double Experience, just select one of the links below!
Catch the guys on a very special exclusive show in Dublin’s Sin É this coming Friday 13th with Megacone and Pranks as support. This will be a special free event, so make sure you get in early to avoid disappointment. Click on the graphic below for more details on the event or check out Jetrocker for more details.
© Overdrive 2016
Photography – Black & White © CANADIAN BEATS 2016 / © DOUBLE EXPERIENCE 2016