Rococode rolls into Café
With dueling lead singers Andrew Braun and Laura Smith, Rococode will bring its odd style of pop rock to Communitea Café next Friday (Oct. 5).
Braun, who’s played the venue three times before – twice with Smith’s solo project and once with Hannah Georgas – spoke with the Outlook.
“It’s such a beautiful little town, we always have the best days there,” he said. “And Communitea has really good vibes in there too, the great rice bowls are enough to come back for.”
Following the release of their album last year, the band has been relentlessly touring.
“We had a slow start, because it took a long time to put out our record, and so we’ve been going full tilt for about a year,” said Braun. “We’ve been on the road – or preparing to go on the road – back and forth for most of this year.”
That album – Guns, Sex and Glory – is an interesting mix of keyboards and drums, guitars and two voices.
“It’s pop music that’s bent and twisted up a little bit – all the basic structural elements of a straight up pop song are all there – and we’ve done our best to disguise them and confuse them a little bit,” he said. “We play with contrasts, that’s our biggest thing – the loud and the soft, the harsh and the quiet – that’s our favourite thing to do, explore the contrasts in the music.”
Braun and Smith met at a music school in North Vancouver.
“We had some classes that overlapped and eventually I started playing guitar and singing background vocals in her solo project,” said Braun. “She’s (Smith) always been more of a go-getter in terms of making things happen and I’ve always been more of a write-songs-in-my-basement kind of guy.
“She had a whole lot of stuff she was doing with her band and gradually it became more and more collaborative between the two of us in terms of writing, and she didn’t really want to be pigeon-holed as the female singer-songwriter, so we ended up deciding to make a record together.”
When the recording started, the pair didn’t really have a sense of what the band was going to be, just a collection of songs.
“It worked out pretty well and since recording the record more than two years ago, we’ve discovered more of who we are as a band since then, and those songs have evolved with us,” he said.
The current tour, which began in early September, involves 21 shows over a one-month period, with Canmore being the second last date.
“I enjoy the studio more, but maybe actually playing is up there too,” said Braun. “There are so many other things that go along with playing live, like sitting around all day, the drudgery of the sound check and the 10-hour drive, you kinda feel like you don’t like it until you’re actually playing, and then you realize it is something that you really, really like to do.”
Also playing the show is the Cannon Bros, a band from Winnipeg.
“There’s two of them, a guy and a girl, and they both play guitar and both sing and play drums, and so they go back and forth,” said Braun. “I know they were on the long list for the Polaris Prize, so they’ve got some buzz going and I’m looking forward to playing with them.”
When it comes to Rococode’s set, don’t expect to hear exactly what’s on the album, said Braun.
“We try not to be locked into playing things exactly as they are on the record,” he explained. “That’s something I’ve always admired in bands that I aspire to, you can record a song and it’s not necessarily the definitive version of that song, it’s just where it was at that time.”
Once this tour’s over, the band hopes to get back into the studio.
“We’re playing a good handful of new songs live, and there’s all sorts of ideas kicking around, and once we get back from this tour the main focus will be getting into a writing routine and piecing together the next step.”
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