Interview | Rococode

Your latest five-track EP, Panic Attack, was recorded in a cabin, deep in the BC wilderness. How do you think that kind of isolation influenced your recordings? Are you happy with the finished product?

Well, there’s nothing really rustic, or woodsy about what we made out there but the setting and the environment certainly shaped the sound.  We converted a cabin into a studio and so the four of us (Laura and Andrew and our producers Ted and Caleb) were also living there for the duration.  We had no cell service (a blessing mostly) and limited internet.  We grew close to each other very quickly and grew a shared sense of purpose with each song.  We were immersed in the record completely — there is a pretty funny video of tracking some of the most aggressive guitar parts on the whole album (not included on this EP) in our pajamas, first thing in the morning. 

Musically, we were also limited. In the recording process, I think it’s easy to adopt the “we can do anything and everything” mantra, which certainly can have great results.  In this case we were limited to the instruments we brought up with us and the skill sets of the four individuals.  In this way, the setting gave birth to the sound of the recordings - lots of synths, lots of programmed drums, similar musical voices playing lots of different instruments.  We continued on into more traditional studio settings in Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles in order to fill out the rest of the songs.  At the time it didn’t feel like our setting was really influencing the music we were making, but looking back it’s in the DNA of these recordings. 

Rococode just took the stage in New York for the CMJ Music Marathon. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in NY?

New York was amazing — as always.  There’s just something about being there that is immediately engaging.  This time our trip was probably about as Canadian as a trip to New York could be.  We played a Canadian Blast showcase, then we played an ANTI-HARPER rally in Brooklyn and squeezed in Blue Jays playoff games whenever possible.  

How did you come to be a part of that anti-Harper movement? Are you optimistic about the outcome of the election?

A good friend of ours is going to school over there and became involved in the organization of the event.  He asked and we immediately obliged. No Harper is/was a no brainer for us.  

We are feeling cautiously optimistic over here.  The results don’t necessarily align 100% with our personal beliefs, but this looks to be a swing in the right direction.  It feels great right now to be entering the next era of Canadian politics, but campaigning is much different than governing, political change is a slow thing and there is a long way to go.  

Vancouver's prolific electronic duo Humans are featured on your latest EP with a remix of the title track. What's your relationship with Peter and Robbie and why did you choose Humans for the remix?

Our relationship with Peter and Robbie is exclusively chance encounters.  We are rehearsal space neighbours with Gang Signs (Peter’s other band) so we see him there and we see Robbie on the street sometimes or at festivals or on VERY rare occasions that we find ourselves at a party somewhere.  We asked them to do a remix because we are big fans of the way they combine pop sensibility and club sensibility — we think.  We don’t really go to clubs.

What inspired you to cover INXS's 'Never tear us apart'?

I’ve loved that song since I was a kid and we have covered it in various situations over the years — I even played the sax solo one time.  We were just playing around and it started to turn into something that sounded like Rococode.  So we finished it up and it found its way on to this EP. 

What bands or new albums are currently on your radar? 

It’s VERY pop in our camp these days.  Mainstream pop is a pretty vibrant place these days and we’ve been listening to the Swifts, the Jepsons, the Biebers and Beyonces mixed with some less obvious pop choices like Chairlift or Grimes or Lion Babe.  Oh and lots of Massive Attack.    

It seems like your band is constantly announcing new tour dates; however, we want to know where we would find Rococode during a period of leisure?

We like to hit our local North Vancouver outdoor spots. We’ve got the forest, the mountains and the ocean at our doorstep, so that’s a pretty easy way to get off the computer.

Finally, with Halloween on the horizon, do you have any hilarious/politically incorrect costumes in the works?

Sexy Steve Harper.