I was quite curious to find out a new band called "Capitol" were releasing their full-length vinyl release "Dream Noise" at the tail end of last year but I was more intrigued to learn that our paths had crossed as many times as the individual musicians have been playing together over the last fifteen years. This weekend, Capitol plays as part of a local showcase at the Casbah.
Back in 2004, a couple of pairs of brothers came together at Waterdown High, enlisting their singer while he was still in Grade 6. Their pop-punk inclinations betrayed their youth in the band More of Less but over the years, their musical muse would become darker as they investigated their parents record collection and formed UK Cinema. Josh Kemp (vocals), RJ Kemp (guitar/vocals), Wes Lintott (guitar/vocals), Matt Lintott (drums) and Chris Mclaughlin (bass) were still using the moniker as recently as December 2018, but during the galvanizing recording process, rechristened themselves to better reflect their more focused musical style and Capitol was born.
"We were young kids when we started jamming and I think I was about eleven years old," recalls Josh Kemp. "My older brother had some friends in high school in Grade 9 and we formed a band and played Waterdown High as More of Less. Looking back at it now, even I can't believe I was doing that in Grade 6 and maybe I had even more confidence than I do now fifteen years later.
"We're all friends and have always gotten along - we're lucky to have brothers and such close friends in the band. We enjoyed the creativity and its always something we always come back to even if genres change. It's a love of playing music that has kept us together. Music is something we've always enjoyed doing but it's more of a hobby that we like to keep going but now we're finding our paths musically, something we're happy and proud of and excited to explore further."
As the bandmates grew up, they took time off for post-secondary education but reconvened some three and a half years ago as UK Cinema to mine more mature music that had become their muse.
"We came back together after school and it became the project UK Cinema," says Kemp. "We had grown up listening to an array of music including the pop punk that defined us early on but it sort of grew towards indie. Even when we were young we were listening to our parents' '80s records and those seem to have stood the test of time. We've kind of gone backwards in the years of music being more heavily inspired by those sounds in the writing process.
"There's a timeless quality to those bands and sounds that inspires us," adds Kemp. "I appreciate a good sad song even if it doesn't sound sad. We experiment with sounds and explore darker or gloomier things, there is something so interesting about the paradox of being so positively inspired by something that might seem so negative."
The post punk or new wave, dark wave or shoegaze influences of Joy Division, the Cure or Slowdive offer historical touchstones while Kemp and company might seem fit nestled between your Interpol and the National records. Brooding, morose, atmospheric and dark - the band was exploring sounds that seemed to be natural from a band called UK Cinema but during the production process with producer Josh Korody (Dirty Nil, Weaves), the moniker seemed a little imperfect.
"Josh Korody liked where we were going with the songs but he thought the name was a little too on the nose for our style," says Kemp. "We were hoping for a name that was both fitting and broad that didn't explain too much about the music ahead of hearing the music. The one word seemed fitting and we haven't looked back from that. You think it'll define you forever but it is only one aspect of it so for the record, we felt it was time.
"Musically, the album title describes the music," adds Kemp. "Labeling it a little more accurately, inspired by the dream pop and new wave, it's there in the album title "Dream Noise"."
The new album from Capitol is available nationally and internationally via labels that approached the band after the release of their first single and video, "UK Girls" so fans around the world can get the album via Kingfisher Bluez in North America and Meritorio Records in Madrid. With their internet presence catching the attention of labels and media, this weekend offers a showcase with a group of locals ready to hint at what might be bigger names you'll be hearing more of in the New Year. Live, Capitol offers dramatic effect using sparse white light to offer a darker live presentation and for this Hamilton area showcase, you can expect more of the same.
"We hope to venture out of our Hamilton home space and hope the music gets around," says Kemp. "We're hungry to write new songs but we've waited as we just released an album so that's our focus. We're enjoying what we're doing and hope to do this our entire lives. We hope people like the music but we're enjoying just making the music for ourselves.
"We do like to experiment with ambiance - there is a lot more to a concert or a show than just the music playing so we like to add a bit of light show or visual projections to it," adds Kemp. "For this show, we'll have live visuals for every track and we like to make it more of an experience. I really like the other bands on this bill and we're expecting quite the night of music."
Capitol plays this Friday January 3 at the Casbah with Basement Revolver, Lisa and Dizzy Spells. Doors open at 9 pm and $10 gets you in. Click on capitol-band.bandcamp.com