The Pack A.D Leave The Dollhouse
Vancouver's rock-powerhouse The Pack A.D. continue to get grittier and louder with each release. For their latest album Dollhouse the band sped up their writing process to short two months and are all the better for it. Evolving with a more personal and clean side as well on this album they're still packing distortion and commentary in hefty doses. We caught up with guitarist and vocalist Becky Black ahead of the band's October 13 show at The 27 Club to talk about their simplified production process, dealing with the real world and why they finally decided to let their more personal tracks on the record.
Ottawa Life: What appealed to you the most about the idea of everyone being stuck in a dollhouse instead of facing reality?
Becky Black: That's part of the idea. We had already written the album and we were trying to figure out what the theme was. "Dollhouse" was one of the last songs we recorded and it just seemed to sum everything up really well. Also I had an idea to take pictures of a dollhouse and take pictures of us and cut us into the house with Photoshop. So that's what I did, it was kind of an idea that arose from an aesthetic concept as well as a thematic one.
I understand your recording process was pretty concise this time around and you actually walked in with smaller set of songs you finished the album with?
Honestly with the last record, we'd just taken so much time off and then ended up recording three separate times. We also recorded a lot of material and then dialed it down to the album so it was good to have all that to know what would work the best. But this time we were so exhausted by the process that we wanted to go back to our usual style of just writing super quick, and we wrote everything in a month and then went to record it. We recorded and in less than two weeks it was an album. I think we just wanted to have an album quickly so we could start playing these songs.
In contrast to your vicious live shows, this album also has some of your most soft and tender songs to date, where did this direction come from?
We've recorded a lot of slower songs over the years and we always record more than what we put on the album. So we've had a lot of these songs left out over the years. We tend to not put them on the album because we prefer live to be a rocking band and play all the loud stuff, that's just how we are. It just seemed hard to insert some of those softer tunes with our rowdy stuff. This time we were happy with what we had. In fact this time we didn't even record any extra songs, so these are all the songs we had recorded. We didn't really have the option of not putting them on.
Looking at all your weird sci-fi and horror-inspired videos, what was the idea by behind the video for "Dollhouse" and how did you want it to add to the song ?
Honestly we were trying to come up with an idea that didn't cost too much because we had a very small budget. We met with Matt Leaf and Maya had the idea to make it one shot, kind of riffing off that Lorde video (Tennis Court). We thought "How hard could that be?" but then we had to make it more interesting and Matt came up with the idea of the blood. It was perfect, so we recorded it in one shot in his back yard.
For those coming to your live show, can we expect the softer tracks as well as the loud ones this tour?
Yes! Because our record is only nine songs, we're actually attempting to play every single in our set, as well as our old material because our new album is only 27 minutes. It's the shortest album we've ever done which I think is kind of great. We're living in a climate now where no one has an attention span for anything, it's just consume, consume, consume. So we may as well join in and make things quickly and that are short.