Hey! Welcome back to everyone’s favourite interview series, A Chat With. This fine morning we will be having a conversation with two of Ottawa’s favourite rockers, Double Experience. The nerd rockers just finished up a tour with Danko Jones and we are so happy they took the time to have a chat with us.
How would you describe your sound?
Brock: We’re a nerd rock band – the music and lyrics we create are directly inspired by video games and pop culture. Suppose that band members of Weezer, Danko Jones and Muse played Dungeons and Dragons with each other; if you were to imagine what their post-campaign jam sessions might sound like, that’s basically what Double Experience is.
Who are your influences?
Ian: I was raised on Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath, and then I look to more modern acts like Rise Against and Royal Blood.
Brock: My go-to bands would be The Police, Clutch and He is Legend.
What is your creative process?
Brock: Ian and I write all the time, even if we aren’t feeling particularly creative. The act or craft of songwriting itself inspires us to try different methods or approaches. Both Ian and I compose and write lyrics too, so we’re never want for fresh ideas. We used to exclusively write our songs a week before going into the studio, but now we take our time to develop each idea to the smallest details.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Ian: We both really engage in the “nerd” world – video games, comic books, and fan-franchises – as if it were religion. We try to incorporate a lot of those ideas into our music. A good example of that is our song Jet Black; we took from our influence in Danko Jones, Metallica, and our love for Game of Thrones and smashed them together into one song.
What’s on the horizon for your music in 2019/2020?
Brock: We just got back from a 30-day studio session in North Carolina.
Ian: The rest of the year is working on “what comes next” after our studio recordings are completed. So we’re in tour planning mode, working on a whole host of ancillary content to go along with that record, and we’re trying to max out our battle pass in Apex Legends.
How do you deal with nerves before a show?
Ian: Typically I try to clear my head of all the thoughts in it before we go on stage. I find I introduce chaos when my brain is working too hard thinking about non-show things and chaos breeds mistakes. I call it being too much “in my own head” when I should really be focussing on the helping the audience unplug from their cares and current situation.
Fave venue in Ottawa?
Ian: Ottawa’s weird in that there are more venues now than there were. When I was super young and starting to play shows the only “All Ages” shows happened at Mavericks and Cafe Deckuf, so they both have a special place in my heart. Otherwise, Live on Elgin has always felt like home, and then when in doubt House of TARG for a bit of rock and roll with a side of pinball.
Craziest thing you’ve seen at a show?
Brock: We played a festival at the apex of Italy and Germany, up in the mountains. The opening “band” were a bunch of aspiring DJs in Teletubby costumes who were equal parts infamous for getting wasted before their shows as well as beloved by the locals. So they biked straight over from their houses, set up on stage, blasted Rage Against the Machine remixes, made out with each other, threw their bikes into the audience, and generally destroyed the stage. Hardest act we’ve ever had to follow.
If you could tour/play a show with any line up who would it be?
Ian: We just finished a short run across Ontario with our dream artist in Danko Jones. Brock and I are huge Danko fans so we were like kids in Santa’s workshop every day at soundcheck watching the band run through songs. I guess we’ll have to reassess who our next dream line up would be, but we’re not ruling out a Danko Jones & Double Experience: Round Two!
Advice for new musicians and bands?
Brock: When it’s all said and done, any successful musician can hire anybody they want to tune their instruments, or manage their finances, or even write their songs on their behalf. Excelling at the songwriting part is your job security, so own your craft! Learn music theory. Soak up music and reverse engineer why you like the songs you like.
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