Miscellaneous

the VAULT

News of 1997

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These are the original News taken from the official bands website back in 1997.

NOVEMBER

1996

Now that the band is officially off the road until 1997, the demos can be finished, and the album production can begin in January. As for the new material, I would describe it as 1/3 Heavy Music (read ‘Rock’) 1/3 World Influence and 1/3 Electronic Experimentation. It should a very interested album and year indeed… Stuart Chatwood Nov.1996

DECEMBER

1996

The band is taking a break over Christmas and will begin recording the record in January now that the demos are complete. Song titles include Transmission, Temptation, Alarum, Gyroscope, and Army Ants. For those of you lucky enough to be in Perth, Australia on January 2nd, Jeff Martin will be performing a solo performance. Next update will be in January when the recording gets on the way.

JANUARY

1997

Well a new year has arrived and the band has finally begun work on the album. The actual recording should take about four weeks, with the mixing being finished in the first week of March. Thing are starting to take shape with the drums sounding huge already. Working out of Jeff Martin’s home studio has it’s advantages, mainly, the lack of the dreaded clock that continually ticks in a normal studio(Read dollars), and tends to rush artists through there recordings. The record should consist of ten or eleven songs. For a preview, go to the music page and download two short demo versions. The band is also putting down the Alhambra tour versions of Save Me, Correspondences, Sister Awake, and The River. These songs will show up as B sides, or will be released in the future somehow. Please don’t Email concerning these songs, as no info will be available.

As for the web site, if you noticed above, you can check on the status of the site by checking “SITE UPDATE” above that will list the elements of change. Traffic for the site is low at the moment, around a thousand hits a week, but will pick up as the new record comes out, but email is still flooding in. Some of the most interesting mail is from the US, where people in backwater towns are discovering the Edges… and turning on entire communities to the music. Thanks for the letters and the interest, and remember to always question the world you live in…Stuart Chatwood Jan. 1997

FEBRUARY

1997

February has seen Transmission come to fruition. As I write this, we are in the process of finishing up the final vocals. I must say, this stuff sounds big, really big. After all is done here in Montreal, we are scheduled to head to Los Angeles to mix the beast. Should be interesting, very interesting. The record, which is ahead of schedule, should see a release around June 14th, with a first single appearing on radio stations around May 14th. To that end, the band has finally nailed down the US record contract that they have been looking for. It looks like the next few records in the US should be out under the Atlantic label. This creates a unique situation, with the Atlantic 50th anniversary show happening next year. As I said before, very interesting…Stuart Chatwood Feb. 1997

MARCH/APRIL

1997

The record is now finished, with Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering completing the mastering last Friday, April 26th. Mixing went as scheduled with three weeks in Los Angeles at NRG studios, and two weeks at Morin Heights, north of Montreal. The new record is an evolution. It’s a bringing together of all of the band’s influences. The world music aspect is seemlessly integrated with the rock side of the band and the new experiments into electronics, the last boundary for the group. Like all the prior ones, the disc is meant to be heard in a single listening session, in the sense that it is a collective whole, an album, not singles pieced together with filler. The band felt that it had explored it’s acoustic side fully, with the culmination being the Alhambra acoustic tour of Canada in the fall of ’96. The acoustic element will always be part of the band, and at any moment, we know we can return to these pieces whether it be at a concert or otherwise. The album release is set for June 24 in Canada, with US, and Australian release dates being at the end of July. The single should be available for airplay around the first week of June. A select number of Canadian dates have been announced so far, with more to come in the following weeks, including a possible big surprise for the bginning of June…Jeff Burrows April 1997

JUNE/JULY

1997

And so it begins yet again……The last few weeks have been spent talking to the press and introducing the band’s new effort. The record is being received by critics in a more positive light than the groups prior releases. Gone are the comparisons. I don’t know about post millennium rock, but the record is being understood, which, as artists, is all we ask for, communication. June finds the band in heavy rehearsals for the looming shows. If it’s possible, the songs are actually more powerful live than on the new record. We’ll be hitting Canada first, followed by Australia in August, and the States shortly after. As for the video for Temptation, it should be out at the end of June, once we finally shoot it. The band is working with Tryan George from NYC, on putting together an intense performance piece. See you at the live Transmission’s…..Staurt Chatwood June 1997

JULY

1997

Transmission has been received incredibly well from fans all the way up to the holy critic. The band finished it’s first dates without too much damage to the public impression of the band. On the contrary, the band relaxed and eventually found it’s groove, and rocked come the last Edgfest show in Ottawa. Edgefest was a great experience for all. Highlights from the tour included killer sets from other bands including Glueleg, which Jeff Burrows caught. Needless to say, the 70,000+ that caught the shows were not disappointed. For people out west, get ‘yer tickets soon, this show is not to be missed. This new show leaves the members with alot to think about. The band is set for it’s next ecounter with the country known as Australia. Following this, the band might be in Japan for a short while before returning to the west coast of Canada to begin the second leg of Edgefest…..John Spence July 1997

SUM UP OF

1997

Transmission was received incredibly well from fans all the way up to the holy critic. The record was received by critics in a more positive light than the groups prior releases. Gone were the comparisons. I don’t know about post millennium rock, but the record was understood, which, as artists, is all they ask for, communication. The record was an evolution. It’s a brought together of all of the band’s influences. The world music aspect was seemlessly integrated with the rock side and the new experiments into electronics, the last boundary for the group. Like all the prior ones, the disc was meant to be heard in a single listening session, in the sense that it is a collective whole, an album, not singles pieced together with filler. The band felt that it had explored it’s acoustic side fully, with the culmination being the Alhambra acoustic tour of Canada in the fall of ’96, and this evolution was a logical step.

The band jumped right into the frying pan, playing a festival tour throughout Canada, while still learning the new songs. Edgefest was a great experience for all. Highlights from the tour included killer sets from other bands including Glueleg. Needless to say, the 140,000+ that caught the shows were not disappointed. The band’s next encounter was with the country known as Australia. Incredible concerts were experienced by 35,000+ people at the Horden Pavilion, & Festival Hall among other venues. After this the band finished out the year with tours of the US and Canada again.

Videos for Temptation and Babylon were shot in Toronto with Director Tryan George from NYC. Overall the year was the most successful yet for the band, even if they went 0 for 3 at the MuchMusic Awards despite an interesting live version of Temptation.

SUM UP OF

1998

It was a year of firsts. The highlight was probably the MuchMusic “Intimate and Interactive”. When the band was beginning, and through it’s various stages, they always discussed what a interesting “I&I;” show they could put on. Capped off with a string section on “Psychopomp”, the band was very pleased with this captured piece of their history.

Other highs included two shows in one day, via private plane, in Ottawa then Toronto. The Toronto show was the biggest ever with the band headlining, with 41,000 people in attendance. This was the Toronto stop for the Edgefest, which the band finally headlined across Canada(with the exception of Eastern Canada) The band was joined by the Foo Fighters, Green Day and Sloan among others, giving Canadians most combustible and successful tour of the summer. In Australia, the two sold out shows at Selinas, supported by L7 in Sydney were certainly a blast. The shows were taped for a future release. As for awards, the band went o for 3 at the Juno’s(now 0 for 9), and 1 for 6 at the MuchMusic Awards.

The springtime saw the shooting of the video for “Release” with ULF, a director from Germany at the helm. Perhaps the most interesting detail of the year is the beginning of the recording of “Triptych”, which will hopefully be the bands most successful record to date.

Tour Dates 1997, 1998, 2017

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June 20 – Thorald, ON1st SHOW OF THE YEAR! At “Front 54” club
June 23 – Toronto, ONAutograph session at Tower Records
June 25 – Guelph, ONClub Denim
June 26 – London, ONSummersalt: a kindof warmup of the EdgeFest ’97 tour With Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth!
June 28 – Barrie, ONMolson Park hosts the 1st show of EdgeFest ’97 tour with Our Lady Peace!
June 29 – Montreal, QB2nd show of EdgeFest ’97 tour at the Blue Bonnett park.
June 30 – Ottawa ,ON3rd show of EdgeFest ’97 tour at Lansdowne Park.
July 30 – Auckland, New ZealandThe only show in NZ is at the Power Station
Aug. 1 – MelbourneMelbourne Festival Hall
Aug. 2 – HobartHobart University
Aug. 2 – AustraliaTea Party appearing on ABC’s “Recovery”!
Aug. 4 – NewcastleNewcastle Workers Club
Aug. 5 – Brisbane’s Skinny’s RecordsSpecial in-store appearance at 3pm
Aug. 5 – Brisbane,The Festival Hall
Aug. 6 – HMV in Pitt Street MallSpecial in-store appearance at 2pm!!
Aug. 6 – SydneyHorden Pavilion
Aug. 7 – WollongongWollongong University
Aug. 9 – AdelaideThebarton Theatre
Aug. 10 + 11 – PerthThe Metropolis
Aug. 12 – SydneyManly Leagues
Aug. 13 – SydneySt. George’s Leagues – ALL ACOUSTIC SHOW !!
Aug. 15 – SydneyRevesby Workers
Aug. 16 – CanberraAustralian National Uni. (ANU)
Aug. 25 – Vancouver, BCEdgeFest ’97 tour at Thunderbird Stadium
Aug. 27 – Calgary, ABEdgeFest ’97 at Race City Speedway
Aug. 28 – Edmonton, ABEdgeFest ’97 at Commenwealth Stadium
Aug. 30 – Saskatoon, SKEdgeFest ’97 at Saskatoon Place Festival Site
Sept. 1 – Winnipeg, MBEdgeFest ’97 at Winnipeg Stadium
Sept. 3 – North Bay, ONThe Wall
Sept. 4 – Waterloo, ONWilfred Laurier University
Sept. 10 – St. Catherines, ONBrock University
Sept. 11 – London, ONWestern University
Sept. 12 – Waterloo, ONFED Hall, University of Waterloo
Sept. 17 – Toronto, ONThe Orbit Room – Jeff Martin plays solo for a special radio show!
Sept. 18 – Toronto, ONMuch Music – One live song for the 1997 Much Video Awards!
Sept. 20 – Ottawa, ONMolson Canadian Rocks “Blind Date” at Barrymore’s
Canadian shows are all ages & feature Econoline Crush as opener.
Oct. 21 – Boston, MAParadise
Oct. 22 – New York, NYWestbeth Theatre
Oct. 24 – Buffalo, NYSpecial in-store acoustic performance at New World Records!
Oct. 24 – Buffalo, NYThe Ogden Theatre
Oct. 25 – Detroit, MISt. Andrew’s Hall
Oct. 26 – Toledo, OHThe Main Event
Oct. 28 – Cleveland, OHPeabody’s
Oct. 30 – Rochester, NYThe Milestone
Oct. 31 – Montreal, QBThe Metropolis
Nov. 3 – Quebec City, QBGrand Theatre
Nov. 4 – Kitchener, ONThe Lyric
Nov. 5 – London, ONCentennial Hall
Nov. 6 – Toronto, ONIn studio appearance 6pm EST at 102.1 The Edge at 204 Yonge St.
Nov. 6 – Toronto, ONThe Warehouse
Nov. 7 – Toronto, ONThe Warehouse
Nov. 8 – Ottawa, ONOttawa Congress Center
Nov. 21 – Winnipeg, MBThe Convention Center
Nov. 23 – Saskatoon, SKCentennial Hall
Nov. 24 – Calgary, ABMcEwan Hall, U. of Calgary
Nov. 25 – Calgary, AB2nd show at McEwan Hall!
Nov. 26 – Edmonton, ABThe Agricorn
Nov. 28 – Kelowna, BCThe Boardwalk
Nov. 29 – Vancouver, BCPNE Forum
Nov. 30 – Victoria, BCThe Royal Theatre
Feb. 24, 2017Town Ballroom, Buffalo, USA
Feb. 23, 2017Town Ballroom, Buffalo, USA
Feb. 21, 2017London Music Hall, London
Feb. 19, 2017Regent Theatre, Oshawa
Feb. 18, 2017Capitol Theatre, North Bay
Feb. 17, 2017Sanderson Centre, Brantford
Feb. 16, 2017Centre for the Performing Arts, Oakville
Feb. 11, 2017Richmond Hill Theatre, Richmond Hill
Feb. 10, 2017Grand Theatre, Kingston
Feb. 8, 2017Rose Theatre, Brampton
Feb. 4, 2017Chatham Capitol Theatre, Chatham
Feb. 3, 2017Partridge Hall, St Catharines, ON
April 5, 2017Hawthorne Theatre, Portland, (USA)
April 4, 2017Showbox in Seattle, Seattle, (USA)
April 1, 2017The Commodore, Vancouver
March 31, 2017The Commodore, Vancouver
March 29, 2017McPherson Playhouse, Victoria
March 28, 2017The Port Theatre, Nanaimo
March 27, 2017Kelowna Community Theatre, Kelowna
March 25, 2017Flames Central, Calgary
March 24, 2017River Cree Resort & Casino, Edmonton
March 23, 2017Red Deer Memorial Centre, Red Deer
March 21, 2017Better Than Fred’s, Grande Prairie
March 19, 2017O’Brians Event Centre, Saskatoon
March 18, 2017Casino Regina Show Lounge, Regina
March 17, 2017Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg
March 4, 2017Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
March 3, 2017Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
March 2, 2017Metropolis, Montreal
Feb. 28, 2017Impérial Bell, Québec
Feb. 27, 2017Algonquin Commons Theatre, Ottawa
Feb., 2017Maxwell’s, Waterloo, ON
April 8, 2017The Roxy, Los Angels (USA)
Nov. 10, 2017Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Nov. 9, 2017The Tivoli, Brisbane
Nov. 4, 2017The Forum Theatre, Melbourne
Nov. 3, 2017The Odeon, Hobart
Nov. 2, 2017Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Nov. 27, 2017The Astor Theatre, Perth

Tour Posters and Flyers

Miscellaneous

Press articles

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1997

Special Tea from: 1997/11/27, Edmonton Sun
Special Tea from: 1997/11/27, Edmonton Sun
Grand ol’ Party Time from: 1997/11/26, Edmonton Sun
Tea Party Packs Hi-Tech Punch from: 1997/11/08, Toronto Sun
Bigotry from: unknown
Tea Party Refuses To Play It Safe from: 1997/11/01, London Free Pres
Tea Party Open For Stones from: 1997/10/15, Jam Music
Transmission Review from: 1997/06/29, Jam Music
On The Cutting Edge from: 1997/06/29, Ottawa Sun
Recipe For 100-Proof Tea Party from: 1997/06/24, Toronto Sun
Tea Party Brewing from: 1997/06/22, Edmonton Sun
The Tea Party Finishes Album, Readies For Edgefest from: 1997/05/29, Jam! Showbiz
The Tea Party Out In Late June from: 1997/05/01, Jam! Showbiz

1996

Interview w/ Stuart Chatwood from: 1996/03/13, IN Press
The Tea Party from: 1996/03/13, Beat Magazine

Press scans

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Special Tea

from: 1997/11/27, Edmonton Sun, By Mike Ross

It’s kind of hard to talk about the concept of reincarnation when someone is heaving a full cup of Coke at you.

Them’s the breaks when you’re the Tea Party. You play these thought-provoking, complex, highly experimental tunes and your most ardent fans turn out to be rowdy teenagers. Oh, well …

Not that anyone in the band’s complaining. A healthy crowd of 3,400 turned up for the concert at the AgriCom last night – the last big rock ‘n’ roll show of the year. Frontman Jeff Martin complimented the fans on “keeping up with us.” If anything, keeping up with the crowd was the problem. The band couldn’t deliver enough of its exotic, Middle Eastern-flavored brand of hard rock to keep this audience satisfied. The mosh pit was furious from the start.

Aside from the aforementioned flying cup interrupting Martin during an intense version of Save Me, all was well. The show that was theatrical, sometimes self-indulgent, sometimes pretentious, but ultimately solid. A few flashes of brilliance made it worth the price of admission alone.

That’s the other thing about being a band like the Tea Party – they think they’re great and sometimes they are.

Martin seemed a bit insecure at first, reaching for approval by blowing his own horn shamelessly. Before a single note was played, he referred to the band’s Edgefest show this summer and said, “Do you know how much better this is going to be?” After the opening tune, The Bazaar, he said needlessly, “We’re just getting started!” After Fire in the Head, one of the first true headbangers of the show, he erased the spell by asking “Sound pretty good?” And he plugged the band’s new record, Transmission, by asking “You like it?”

Yes, yes, yes – now get on with it.

Band members freely admit that the Tea Party is a challenging band to enjoy. Last night’s crowd was clearly unconcerned with the Jim Morrison comparison, though many of them weren’t born when the Doors singer died.

Babylon, from the new album, was more of a mess than a challenge. With bassist Stuart Chatwood switching to keyboards (something he did about half the time), the song’s techno-dance feel added little to a bewildering array of parts that sounded tacked together. An acoustic revamp of Sister Awake worked much better. Martin showed remarkable skill singing while playing a intricate riff on a bulbous Egyptian guitar. The crowd seemed to like it – much to the singer’s surprise; “You know, that’s the best reaction we’re got to that song on this tour,” he said.

Most of the rest of the concert was power rock through and through. Save Me’s epic arrangement ran the full gamut of moods. Some older tunes hit the nail on the head. And the latest hit, Temptation, had the crowd leaping in rhythm as one entity. Kind of scary to watch, much less be in the midst of.

A Tea Party concert can encompass many things – some great, some not-so-great and some simply bizarre – but it’s not boring.

Neither was the opening act, Econoline Crush. The Vancouver band played what sounded like nice little pop songs dressed up to go to a hell party. Shades of Metallica and Depeche Mode could be heard. And while singer Trevor Hurst cavorted and preened around the stage like Mark Wahlberg trying out for Boogie Nights, he sang like a champ.

Grand ol’ Party Time

from: 1997/11/26, Edmonton Sun, By Mike Ross

Band signals a return to hard-edge rock

Bang your head and let’s sing along to the Tea Party’s latest single: “Frust-ra-tion! Frust-ra-tion!”

No, wait … that’s supposed to be Temptation, isn’t it?

“Frustration” is what many fans have experienced during the band’s last two appearances in Edmonton.

There was that “unplugged” show at the Rev in 1996, supporting the band’s EP/CD ROM album, Alhambra. The trio insisted on showing off their collection of weird musical instruments and explaining in detail how they worked, where the songs came from and yada yada yada. The crowd grew restless.

Then the band played at Edgefest this summer – too short and not nearly loud enough. Not their fault, really, but still an unsatisfying experience.

So it’s been more than two years since Tea Party delivered the kind of rock show they’re capable of – the kind of show that makes your blood boil, your nerves vibrate and the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Tonight’s concert at the AgriCom should do just that, promises bassist-keyboardist Stuart Chatwood.

“That will happen, I guarantee it,” he says. “We see the crowd reaction now and all the points you’ve made about the past two shows are valid. At the Edgefest thing, everyone has this dazed look on their faces. On Alhambra, it was like, ‘are you people open-minded enough?’ This one, I guess, is kind of a throwback to the concerts of old that we’ve put on in Edmonton.”

The Tea Party has long prided itself on challenging listeners. Adding to an already heady mix of hard rock, Middle Eastern melodies and dark, mystical subject matter, the latest album, Transmission, added the new wrinkle of electronica, or “disco,” as it used to be called.

Chatwood calls it an “evolution” that allows the band to go in any direction at all.

“I think on this tour our goal is to just illustrate as many sides of the band as possible,” he says. “We try and provoke thought at concerts and we want you to go somewhere.”

There is a danger. As one of the most musically intelligent bands in Canada, Tea Party faces the peril of assuming its fans are as smart as they are.

(This is the Tragically Hip Curse. Despite three esoteric art-rock records in a row, the Hip’s fan base has largely remained a horde of soccer hooligans. Rare is a Hip show where singer Gord Downie doesn’t have to chide them for some sort of unruly behavior.)

And it’s not just about brains. After thinking all day, the last thing a lot of concert-goers want from a rock show is for it to be “thought-provoking.”

Chatwood counters by saying he and his bandmates want to avoid being “circus performers.

“There’s got to be something in it for you,” he says. “I look back at the old Hendrix films and you’ve got to feel sorry for the guy sometimes. The crowd wants to see him burn his guitar every night. And he’s just, like, ‘I did this one night spontaneously and now I’ve got to do it every night?’ We don’t want to get trapped by those things.”

Besides, Tea Party fans do tend to be fiercely loyal. For example, they still have to put up with people who call singer Jeff Martin a Jim Morrison clone who plays guitar like Jimmy Page.

Says Chatwood, “Our fans really have to have a strong will, I think, because there are a lot of detractors out there and our fans have to say, ‘no, I like the band, and this is why.’ It’s a challenge to like us. I think some of the other bands in Canada, it’s maybe not such a challenge.”

Maybe so. Tea Party also has a big challenge ahead of them. They’ll be trying to win over a whole new horde of fans on Jan. 9 – when the band opens for the Rolling Stones in Toronto’s SkyDome.

They made good friends with the last major act they opened for: Page and Plant. According to Chatwood, Jimmy Page even invited Martin and his girlfriend to stay at his home. The former Led Zeppelin guitarist apparently loved demos for Transmission so much that he played the tape eight times in a row.

“Jeff had to leave the room,” Chatwood says. “He looked back and there was Jimmy Page playing air guitar to our demos.”

Funny how that old saying keeps coming back – what goes around comes around.

Tea Party Packs Hi-Tech Punch

from: 1997/11/08, Toronto Sun, By Kieran Grant

The Tea Party may have been caught between a rock and an arty place at the Warehouse Thursday, but they seemed to like it that way.

Put it like this: The Windsor-bred, Montreal-based band have spent half a decade slipping their ever-growing following a musical mickey — heavy-handed, heavy-duty retro rock spiked with traditional acoustic instruments culled from faraway ports.

Now, with their high-tech, beat-laden current album, Transmission, singer-guitarist Jeff Martin, bassist-keyboardist Stuart Chatwood, and drummer Jeff Burrows have thrown yet another ingredient into the concoction.

The band dutifully touched on each of the above over the course of Thursday’s nearly two-hour, sold-out show — the first of two nights at the Warehouse — but not all at once.

That made for an organized — if not exactly thorough — series of glimpses into The Tea Party’s broad sonic arsenal that seemed custom-fit for a crowd with Attention Deficit Disorder. Good thing they came armed with what Martin called “The loudest P.A. this club has ever had.

“You can’t escape us,” the singer deadpanned.

Granted, the band’s playing never dropped much below the excellent mark, from a fiery opening section that included The Bazaar and Fire In The Head, from 1995’s The Edges Of Twighlight album, and new tune Army Ants, to their final encore with electro-charged current single Babylon and their first-ever hit, The River.

The stark Psychopomp gained as much mood from Chatwood’s melancholic keyboard as it did kick from Burrow’s spot-on drumming.

Martin, a serious-looking guy characteristically prone to fits of lofty banter during and in between songs, toned down the high drama, even joking with the crowd as he picked out a striking acoustic version of Sister Awake on an Egyptian oud.

“Hey, relax,” he told the crowd as they broke into a premature round of cheering before the song’s end. “This is my big moment.”

It can’t be easy to have to coach a mosh pit through your higher-brow indulgences.

The band got their revenge later with a too-long run at Save Me. That dull 20-minute guitar jam was proof enough that the high-brow route might be best for The Tea Party.

Bigotery

from: unknown

In its adventurous music moves, Tea Party has gone to Middle Eastern sources. Some critics say this borrowing from other cultures is wrong because the original context can’t be reproduced by outsiders.

Martin doesn’t buy it. “That’s when you get into bigotry,” he says. “No matter how you mask it with high idealistic intentions, it’s still bigotry.

“Music being the first language, the primal language, the more musicians make the effort of integrating cultures and exposing cultures to other cultures, the more you’re going to break down the barriers of racism.”

Martin concedes this integration, if done haphazardly, can be disrespectful of cultures. But he says his own interest in Middle Eastern music dates back to when he was 12.

His first exposure was through later Beatles music. But soon, he sought out original sources of music from India, Turkey, Iran, Morocco and other countries in record stores in Windsor and Detroit.

Travels to some of those countries, and others has left Martin with a graphic view of the world.

“I’m into realism,” he says. “Because of (travelling), I have a pretty acute grasp of social conditions that exist. My responsibility is to relate that somehow in music and offer up opinions that people can digest if they want, or let it be poetry for poetry’s sake.

“But I just fear there’s a lot of non-substantial stuff going on in lyrics of rock music. I demand a lot in my listening and I would expect the same out of the audience listening to my music.”

Tea Party’s music has constantly evolved since 1991, when the band issued a self-titled independent album. That was followed by Splendor Solis in 1993 and the Edges of Twilight in 1995, as well as a short CD last year called Alhambra, which has six acoustic versions of songs from the Edges of Twilight.

To Martin, change is the essence of Tea Party.

“I think (predictability) is the climate of music right now,” he says. “Music is pretty much formulated now and it’s very safe and no one is trying to search things out.

“But we have to go around the world and play these songs night after night and go up on that stage and be inspired. The only way we can do that as artists is to put all our integrity into what we do.

“And to us, integrity means change and evolution.”

Tea Party Refuses To Play It Safe

from: 1997/11/01, London Free Press, By Sandra Coulson

Jeff Martin says Tea Party, the wildly experimental Windsor-born rock band, has finally found its voice.

“I think Transmission (the band’s new CD) is the record we could consider the matrix of where we will be in the future,” says the lead singer who also mixed the songs for the electronic-based sound.

Martin is one of the more thoughtful and artistic rock musicians around — the kind of person who would say “matrix” instead of something simple like “start.” He speaks in reflective, ponderous sentences about what he and the band are working on. And his words come with a certain amount of self-praise.

Transmission is a fusion of musical sounds — coming from east and west, rock and electronic.

As a three-member band — which includes Stuart Chatwood and Jeff Burrows — Tea Party depends on studio equipment to produce its sound.

In concerts, such as Wednesday’s at Centennial Hall in London, the band sticks to highlights, Martin says.

“Essentially, what we’re doing is idealizing our own music, bringing out the main points and letting the rest fade into the background,” he says. “What you get with a live show is much more raw; it’s naked. Because it’s so exposed, it’s much more aggressive and much more passionate and dynamic.”

In its fullness on recordings, Tea Party’s music is linked to the broader movement in art, Martin says.

“If you take a close look at art now in all its mediums, not just music, everything is embracing technology to a certain standard,” he says.

While Martin says he wants the band’s “organic rock ‘n’ roll base at the forefront,” he adds: “I think that’s what you’ll see in the coming years: Rock ‘n’ roll music, the music of youth, will seem more inundated (with technology).

“God is truly dead and technology is the new deity and we’re trying to come to grips with that. And one way you do that is through your arts. Artists have that responsibility of getting out that infinite background of emotion and distilling it into something that is perceivable for the public.”

So much for it being “only rock ‘n’ roll.”

Tea Party Open For Stones

from: 1997/10/15, Jam Music, By Karen Bliss

When The Tea Party’s singer-guitarist Jeff Martin did a self-possessed version of “Sympathy For The Devil” at the intimate Orbit Room in Toronto recently for a future radio broadcast, the song’s sympathetic vibrations must have reached The Rolling Stones, who were in town rehearsing for their Bridges To Babylon tour, but didn’t take up the invitation to the blues jam.

The next day, coincidentally, the Montreal-based rock trio received word it had been added to the Stones shows in Toronto and Montreal.

“In `95, we played with Led Zeppelin (Page & Plant), now we’re playing with the Stones. All we’re doing now is waiting for the Beatles to reform, and we’ll get asked to open for that gig hopefully,” jokes The Tea Party’s bassist and keyboardist Stuart Chatwood.

The Tea Party kept silent about the opening slot for several weeks, as it waited for final confirmation and announced its own headlining dates in the meantime. “We were rumoured to play with the Stones on the last tour,” says Chatwood. “We were supposed to do some dates with them in New Zealand actually, when they were there on Voodoo Lounge, but that never came through, so we didn’t want to spread any rumours”.

The Tea Party will join the Stones at Toronto’s Skydome, Jan. 9, and Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, Jan. 11. “The 10th, we’ll probably hop on their jet and just boot around North America,” quips Chatwood.

Until then, however, The Tea Party, which debuted a handful of songs from Transmission live at Edgefest, is preparing to “dig into” the album a bit more for its upcoming headlining gigs in eastern Canada.

Transmission - Review

from: 1997/06/29, Jam Music, By Karen Bliss

If The Tea Party’s tech-heavy new album, Transmission, has a darker caste, it’s no accident.

Singer-guitarist-lyricist Jeff Martin says the record is the product of experimentation — both in his music and in his life.

“Unfortunately I used the human body to experiment, and unfortunately it was my own,” he says cryptically.

What kind of body experiments are we talking about?

“Leave that up to the imagination,” he says.

“The intention behind this music is a hell of a lot more aggressive. We heard loops and distorted keyboards and really chaotic sounds,” he says.

“It’s almost like the three of us were helpless spectators to what was unfolding.”

The music was recorded in Martin’s Montreal home. Once that was done, he blasted the music, pounded back wine and scrawled down lyrics.

“There were a lot of things in my personal life that came out. Different purgings. Exorcism,” he says hesitantly.

Figuring out how to play the tech-heavy songs live has naturally proven to be a challenge.

“We’re trying to more or less distill the songs off Transmission into something that is more perceivable live. Transmission is very dense in sonic landscape,” he says.

And the result?

“It’s beyond fresh. It’s post-rock.”

On The Cutting Edge

from: 1997/06/29, Ottawa Sun, By Paul Cantin

We survey the hot bands playing at tomorrow’s Edgefest ’97

When Edgefest ’97 takes over Lansdowne Park tomorrow, it has all the makings of an epic.

Twelve bands spread across two stages for over 10 hours of rock n’ roll.

To edge up the stakes at Edgefest a little more, there’s no clearcut headliner. Many of the acts are of roughly comparable stature.

Take Our Lady Peace, The Tea Party, Collective Soul or I Mother Earth and virtually any one of the groups could be top dog on the bill.

If you think that kind of competition won’t result in attempts to upstage the other bands, guess again.

So will the show dissolve into a musical gunfight?

“Bring ’em on,” jokes The Tea Party’s Jeff Martin.

“Most of the bands on that bill, we’ve known them for a long time. From our perspective, nobody else on the bill sounds like us. So I’m not worried about it. It’s our own wave. Our own frequency. If everybody gets in tune, cool.”

Competition is a good thing, unless it gets out of hand, he adds.

“If that kind of thing goes, it’s bad for Canadian music. I don’t think there is and I don’t think there should be. If it is, I won’t be a part of it,” he says.

“With us and Our Lady Peace, the big draw is record sales, and I’m not sure I agree with that (way of ranking the bands).”

Although two attractions dropped off the Ottawa date due to illness — Cake and Kinnie Starr — the bill is packed with strong, young bands, many of whom will face a baptism of fire before a festival audience.

If there’s a wild card apt to steal the show, keep an eye on Holly McNarland. The diminutive singer is a riveting presence and an undeniably fine singer. At her best, on songs like Elmo, she can blow away all comers

She recently made the decision to dump backing tapes that had snarled her backing trio’s onstage chemistry, and the more free-flowing approach should serve her well before a festival audience.

Organizers want you to know that cans, bottles, coolers, blankets, umbrellas, lawn chairs and booze are not permitted in Frank Clair Stadium, and the show goes rain or shine. See you there.

Recipe For 100-Proof Tea Party

from: 1997/06/24, Toronto Sun, By Jane Stevenson

Jeff Martin is a Joy Division fan from way back.

That would be the same Jim Morrison-soundalike frontman for Canada’s platinum-selling, Middle Eastern-influenced rock outfit The Tea Party.

Not Led Zeppelin. Not Deep Purple. Joy Division. Really.

“For me Joy Division was kind of where it was at. And early Cure,” says Martin, who grew up in Windsor.

“I mean that’s what you did when you were in high school. You rebelled against all the rockers, ’cause all the rocker kids were still wearing their Deep Purple T-shirts and Led Zeppelin stuff. And then there’s a paradox too, because I was a closet Led Zeppelin fan because I wanted to play real guitar.”

Which all helps to explain why The Tea Party’s third album, Transmission, would be named after a Joy Division song and contain sampling and electronic sounds.

“It’s always made me laugh really, when the band first began, the comparisions to Morrison, because The Doors were never something I was really into,” says Martin.

“But (Joy Division frontman) Ian Curtis was actually compared to Morrison a lot, as well. And it was like, ‘Oh, okay. I’ll take it because of that.’ “

Transmission is in stores today, which doesn’t give fans much time to hear the new material prior to The Tea Party’s appearance at Saturday’s Edgefest at Molson Park in Barrie.

But Martin is just glad the album’s coming out at all.

“Our last record, The Edges Of Twilight, didn’t really even come out in the States,” says Martin. “In America, they were used to breaking pop acts like Vanilla Ice and s— like that.” Needless to say, The Tea Party — rounded out by bassist-keyboardist Stuart Chatwood and drummer Jeff Burrows — have changed their management and are now signed up with Toronto-based SRO, home to Rush and Van Halen.

The band, which is on EMI in Canada, has also switched to Atlantic in the U.S.

So when it came time to record the songs for Transmission — in Martin’s loft in Montreal — the music-making process had to be affected.

“It was a very complex time,” says Martin. “It was very chaotic. Very dark, very frightening, because we were just really unsure of where the band was going, where our place was. And the one thing that we decided to do in order to keep our sanity was just to keep writing. So essentially, we just quit the scene for a year and a half. We just buried our heads in the sand.”

Martin recently buried — or rather submerged — his entire body last week while filming the soon-to-be-released video for Transmission’s first single, Temptation.

The Toronto location was the old molasses tank at the Gooderham & Worts Distillery, closed down in 1990.

“The second day, a lot of it was shooting my vocal performance,” says Martin. “And what this director decided to do was put me way deep in these catacombs where the barrels used to be stored and he filled this thing with water and basically the funk of 1,000 years came off the walls.”

To make matters worse, Martin had to perform a surprise show in Thorold the day after his long, mucky and wet video shoot.

“We had an unannounced rehearsal show just to start working the bugs out for the live show,” says Martin with a laugh. “And literally I was working some bugs out of a lot of things.”

Tea Party Brewing

from: 1997/06/22, Edmonton Sun, By Mike Ross

If Jeff Martin got any deeper, he’d hit the Earth’s molten core and be burned to a cinder. As the vocalist and guitarist for the Tea Party, he’s not creating mere rock ‘n’ roll.

He’s delving into the depths of his own tortured soul, desperately trying to keep his “psychic equilibrium,” as he puts it, while still maintaining a career as a musician in Canada.

The brooding, well-read singer is clearly after something more than songs about “chicks and cars,” and he’s largely attained it. The potent seed that was planted on Tea Party’s Splendor Solis album in 1993 and germinated on The Edges of Twilight in 1995 has come to full bloom on the band’s new album, Transmission. It hits the stores tomorrow.

The album is an exotic, spooky mixture of hard rock, Middle eastern melodies and a new wrinkle of electronica (techno, trip-hop, call it what you will – et tu, Tea Party?), used as a “sonically abusive” outlet for Martin’s relentlessly deep thoughts.

Crucial therapy, he says.

“If I didn’t have this as an outlet, I think I would be an extremely unstable person,” he says, “… maybe dangerous – to myself and maybe to others.”

Does he ever worry about that? Has he ever sought professional help?

“Not yet. I think right now the music’s the therapy. And I’m fortunate enough to play in a band where I can express myself fully and freely. I think as long as I have my capacities about me, I’ll always be able to express myself in some way or other, in art, so in that way hopefully I’ll maintain that psychic equilibrium that we’re all trying to keep. That’s life. That’s the balance.”

With drummer Jeff Burrows and bassist-keyboardist Stuart Chatwood, Martin says he put everything he had into Transmission. In a way, he’s glad it’s over.

“Now I can just sit here and enjoy it and enjoy performing,” he says. “I put myself through a lot to get those performances out of myself and out of the band. And also, too, with the words backing up the music, I finally had to step up and be a bit more honest with myself and my audience, as well.

With the two previous Tea Party CDs, “I didn’t have as much life experience to draw upon as I did for Transmission. To be blatantly honest, it’s kind of like small-town boy in Windsor, Ont., who reads as much as he can. I can stack my bedroom full of Nietzsche and Huxley, but it’s really not going to make a dent in your psyche unless you have something to back it up with, as far as life experience goes. With me being in a very fortunate situation of travelling the world touring with the band, I’ve had a lot of things to draw from now – my experiences with other people and other cultures and within myself, just going through it.”

The theme of the album, this “psychic equilibrium” Martin speaks of, was inspired by a poet pal of his from Toronto, Christopher Dewdney.

“He wrote a book called The Secular Grail,” Martin says. “It’s basically a collection of aphorisms on the human condition and having to deal with the juxtaposition of the new deity being technology and the old ones, the organic ones. And also in this book, he equates a human being’s psychic equilibrium to something like a gyroscope and how the rate of spin in each particular individual is equal to their psychic energy. And like a spinning top, if outside forces affect it, it will incur a wobble and go off course. With human beings, forces like flattery or conversely, criticism, affect you in such a degree that you start to go off course and you start to shift.

“Those were things that I also went through with the past two records and having to deal with being an artist and having to deal with criticism and also flattery. And just trying to keep it under control and keep true to what you believe in. It’s a very difficult thing in these times.”

In other words, don’t trust your own press and you’ll be fine.

While Martin admits he often takes himself too seriously, he’s not above joking about what’s been said about him.

The fact that the Tea Party has become Canada’s pre-eminent power trio, with typically fanatical fans, is the band’s main flattery. And the fact that Martin looks and sings like the late Jim Morrison has been the Tea Party’s main criticism.

On turning 27 – the age at which the Doors singer was found dead – all Martin has to say is, “If I stay away from bathtubs, I’ll be OK.”

Tea Party will perform on the Edgefest tour this summer with I Mother Earth, Moist, Collective Soul and others. The show is being touted to hit Clarke Stadium on Aug. 29.

The Tea Party Finishes Album, Readies For Edgefest

from: 1997/05/29, Jam! Showbiz, By Karen Bliss

As with the completion of any new album, Montreal-based The Tea Party is holed up in a rehearsal space in Toronto working out the live arrangements for its third full-length EMI release, Transmission. Produced by singer-guitarist Jeff Martin, the album will hit the stores June 24. Four days later, the band plays the first of three Edgefest dates at Molson Park in Barrie, Ont.

An intense combination of hard rock, Middle Eastern melodies and electronica, the trio is using triggers to augment the harsher sounds on the album, says Martin, but as usual, the live versions will not replicate the studio tracks. The band is rehearsing the whole of Transmission, but will select only four new songs to play during its Edgefest set. “We’re just going to see at the end of rehearsals which particular songs bode best in a live situation,” says Martin.

The band, comprised of Martin, bassist/keyboardist Stuart Chatwood and drummer/percussionist Jeff Burrows, headlined Edgefest last summer at Molson Park, behind 1995’s The Edges of Twilight. For these Edgefest dates — Barrie, Montreal (29th) and Ottawa (30th) — fans will only have had time to get to know the first single, “Temptation” (out June 10), a sparking, pulsating mix of the foreboding and enticing, which sets the tone of Transmission.

Second-billed to Our Lady Peace, whose triple-platinum Clumsy album has already been out four months, Martin says , “All the bands that are playing on the main stage are headliners. We played Edgefest last year. Obviously, this year we’re not going to repeat ourselves, but the Edgefest concert is coming at a time which is very close to the release of the record, so people are going to know `Temptation,’ but that’s pretty much it. So we’ve gotta kind of ease them into everything.

“Our sets, we play 60, 70 minutes, and, for us, sometimes that was six songs in the past (laughs), so we’re trying to be a bit more concise now, to condense things while still keeping it very entertaining for ourselves and hopefully for the audience. We just worked out a killer version of `Temptation’ live. The song itself, on record, is very heavy but this is just over the top.”

While in Toronto,The Tea Party will be shooting the video for “Temptation” with Tryan George (Moist, I Mother Earth, jale), who just completed the video for the new Econoline Crush single, “Home”. “If you read the lyrics of `Temptation’, that’s what the concept is,” says Martin, revealing only that the band will be performing inside a giant oil drum. “Obviously, there’s no molasses in there,” he quips. “It’s empty. It’ll be cool.”

After the Edgefest dates, The Tea Party will head to the U.S. “to do some things,” says Martin, not specifying if that means shows or promotion. Transmission is scheduled for release on Atlantic there in mid-August, preceded by the single, “Temptation”, at the end of July, according to Martin. On July 27, the band flies to New Zealand and Australia for a 12-date tour until August 10, where it has built a sizable following since its 1993 EMI debut, Splendor Solis. “After that, essentially it’s back into the United States until whenever,” says Martin. The band will likely tour Canada in November or December.

The Tea Party Out In Late June

from: 1997/05/01, Jam! Showbiz, By Karen Bliss

The Tea Party’s third EMI album, Transmission, will hit the streets June 24, preceded by the first single, “Temptation”, the first or second week of June. A U.S. release on Atlantic is slated for July 1.

The album, produced entirely by singer-guitarist Jeff Martin at his loft studio in old Montreal, is a hybrid of rock, ethnic and electronic music. Four of the tracks were co-mixed with Adam Kasper at NRG Studios in Los Angeles; the rest Martin mixed alone at Morin Height, PQ., during which the band banged off a new track, “Babylon”, in one day, which may become the second single.

The organic and mechanic foils on Transmission began when Martin’s friend, English folk musician Roy Harper, gave him an old 80’s emulator and Martin began messing around with it, beginning with a loop sampled from a piece of Lebanese funeral music. “It was the first loop I ever did,” he says of the song that would become “Transmission”.

With only a vision for what it would become, Martin played this “electronic mush” for his bandmates, drummer/percussionist Jeff Burrows and bassist/keyboardist Stuart Chatwood, and some the record company execs at the EMI Music Canada headquarters. Martin laughs about it now, but muses that they must have thought he’d lost his mind. He knew in his head where this “electronic mush” was going, and with the input of Burrows and Chatwood, the songs grew into a fierce juxtaposition of old-world and new-world.

The band is currently rehearsing the new material for the upcoming Edgefest tour.

Interview with Stuart Chatwood

from: 1996/03/13, IN Press, by Klaire McLean

“…We realise that a re-interpretation of rock or intense music was needed. We felt that going beyond the standard was the key. The instruments brought with them a new intangible way of seeing and expressing how we felt. It’s an untapped colour in the musical rainbow” Stuart Chatwood on instrumentation.

The Canadian Tea Party habe always strived to obliterate the categories tha their music has been inevitably placed in. In exploring North African percussion and eastern unstruments like the Sitar, they were able to challenge the perceptions of the public and media. From a rich tapestry of tribal rhythms and 70’s infused rock they have looked to new
technology to expand their musical scope. Embracing synthesizers, sampling and digital recording techniques the trio are abandoning their previous musical prejudices, and revitalising their evocative and intensely emotional sound with a modern approach. I spoke the The Tea Party’s bassist Stuart Chatwood about the influence of British dance and trip hop,
and the elements that come into play when pursuing a new direction.

“I think that right now the most interestion kinds of music are coming out of England.” Stuart explains. “Dance music, like jungle and trip hop, Tricky and Massive Attack probably were my favourite albums
of last year.

“There’s so many great ideas there and it’s expediently fostered. It just seems like the American rock world is just a dinosaur. We felt as a band that electro music is the last boundary we had to cross. When we started the band we were purists, we were like naturalists who believed in human expression, human emotion. We felt that up to that point electronic bands hadn’t really grasped that.

“We haven’t really been scared to express ourselves in the past. I hope people appreciate bands that have evovled. I always have, I don’t enjoy it when bands put out seven albums where it sounds like the seventh
album came before the first. It’s negative evolution based on a formula.”

Artists that have earnt Stuart’s respect are the likes of U2 and David Bowie, performers who continue to reasses and reinvent their style and approach to music and in doing so continue to challange and interest their
audiences. By incorporating new influences, The Tea Party are able to avoid the pigeon holes so prevalent in the media, but still retain a tangible familiarity.

“It’s not a case of dropping all of our past influences. It’s just people have never heard keyboard lines like the ones that exist on some of the songs we’re recording right now. There are some trademarks that exist in our sound, we’re always interested in powerful music. We’ve always shied away from being a rock band, and preferred to be entitled a heavy band, just heavy music.”

Unlike many of their American contemporaries The Tea Party often address more spiritual and darker aspects of the psyche. Delving deep into mythology The Tea Party have engaged a third dimension in their music.
Like bands such as Grant Lee Buffalo, The Tea Party have an affinity with the emotional aspects of the universe.

“I would agree with some of the comparisons,” states Stuart. “There is more depth to their (Grant Lee Buffalo) album than the typical band. I could go through a long list of American bands who are two dimensional. There’s a certain three dimensionality to their music, which is what we’ve always strived for, whether it be from the emotions or sort of trance
aspects of the music or lyrical references. I think there are some contemporary gothic elements. I think perhaps Grant Lee Buffalo are interested in the quirkier aspects of lie as well, the darker aspects. We’re
always a lot more entranced by the darker elements.”

And the satisfaction gained by a meaningful performance?
“For a while bands like Green Day have really stripped down music to it’s bare bones and perhaps it’s as two dimensional as you can get.”

Stuart continues. “That’s the whole meaning behind it. There’s not enough in that to satisfy us, to keep us content really. I don’t think we could play two dimensional music night after night. We couldn’t play it one night and really be passionate. It’s good to do when you’ve had lot’s to drink,” he laughs.

The Tea Party’s music often explores the dualities of the masculine and the feminine. Whether it be the female muse or the masculine energies behind an intense performance. I asked Stuart if it was the masculine or feminine aspects that he believes the band draw on most.

“I would say the feminine when we’re writing and the masculine when we’re performing, or actually playing the song. There’s an aggression that existswhen you’re performing and I would definitely peg that as masculine. The writing side is a more sensitive side, it’s a more thoughful side, introspective.

“I think on the last album Jeff was really obsessed with the muse and the whole mystery of creativity. That’s the angle he approached over a lot of songs. Hence you get a lot of ‘shes’, and we all se the muse as a
female character, not like a lover, but as a sister. That was the whole concept behind the song Sister Awake, arise muse.”

This year Stuart plans to continue work on the new Tea Party album, and also contribute his own piano compositions to the soundtrack of a small Canadian film. But his main focus still remains on The Tea Party
and their exciting new excursions into digital technology and it’s limitless possibilities.

The Tea Party

from: 1996/03/13, Beat Magazine, by TimO’Shannassy

Globally celebrated for their powerful rock ethic and forays into Eastern Mysticism, The Tea Party, are pressing some new musical buttons. Sounds
like?

Well the new album is about finished and will be out late ’96 – and if the word from iconic frontman Jeff Martin is any measure, the Tea Party could soon outsize Britpop, the Bristol Scene and the Punk Revial.

This ain’t hyperbole. The Tea Party are heavy. Like loud, dense, sonically rich and all – but the way Jeff Martin speaks, the structure of his though makes you listen, y’know, be antiflippant, articulate with care.

Together four or so years now, the Canadian three piece have help mold some impressive 90s niches.

Note the plural. The Tea Party’s debut album Splendor Solis, went platinum, glueing 70s bluesrock and indigenous textures.

The Edges of Twilight followed in ’95, distinctively non-retro, an ambitious mandate to master world music and Jung in one go. An anthropological mussion across postmodern landscape, the album sits as ‘original’ (save the Jim Morrison intonations) – really a mute term in today’s vacuous Britpop and Punk-revived environment.

Now comes phase three for the Tea Party. While the three piece will be doing their emotional rock’n’roll serenade at the Corner next week, Jeff Martin explained the band’s new musical hankering – a techno/rock duplex distant from the genres of today.

His home studio in Canada is probably the most illuminating statement of the Tea Party’s new direction. This is where they did pre- preproduction for their much awaited third album. But suprise, suprise the
demo’s soon became the real thing.

“What’s happened now”, Martin says organising his thoughts, “like here in Montreal I have a recording studio in my house, so we thought that these were going to be demos, when in fact, they’ve turned out to be the record.”

He continues “You know the material has ended up sounding twice as good as the stuff on The Edges of Twilight.”

So, what then. is this studio which magically turns a demo into a full blown release?

“It’s kind of a hybrid of digital equipment and analogue equipment. Give or take on any-day it can be 24 to 48 track. Some of it’s on hard disk and some is on analogue. The whole point with the circuit is to make a
marriage between the two, a happy medium.”

“What this material is turning out to be is like, you know the whole motif of Middle Eastern music that was in Edges of Twilight is much stronger now on this new record,” he says.

Hybridity sure, but which bit goes where? “We’re just working with sounds, making out own sounds right.” Martin confidently says, “through whatever traditional noises and not and then we started experimenting with rhythms as well, breaks and things like that, to see how we play.”

“Things I’ve done before with my guitars I’m still doing, but I’m also putting my guitars through samplers and fuckin’ it up that way, you know.”
It’s amazing how the Tea Party have leapt from a 90s cultural canon – eastern mysticism, world music and poetic orthodoxies – into this virtual playground somewhere in French Canada.

What gives with the temporal – cultural rollercoaster? “Yeah I mean, I think what it is, in retrospect, Martin says opening into an extended narrative, “when we started out, the three of us wanted to be good
musicians, you know what I mean, with the three instruments we play – guitar bass and drums.”

He continues. “On Splendor Solis we wanted to get good at doing those three things.”

“With Edges of Twilight, it was like ‘Okay, let’s experiment with this music from the part of the world we are so influenced by, lets actually get the instruments, get the percussion’, right.”

“And now”, pausing, Martin heads into a slight tangent, “I would explain it like this; I’ve seen so many bands, like the industrial bands or what not, right, where technology is a crutch. What I mean when I say that is, I’ve gone to so many concerts to see these bands – and I enjoy them – but at the moment when the sequencer goes down, the concert is over.
You know what I mean.”

Yeah. “And I think the thing was, even when Splendor Solis was made – way back that far – I had in my record collection, Stuart and Jeff, you know, we’d listen to things like early Aphex Twin and Brian Eno and things like that. But it was kind of ‘no, no, not just yet, we’re not ready’.” he recalls.

Still on this lengthy explanation of the Tea Party’s technological departure, Martin explains. “We just wanted to be sure that we could do it all. We just wanted to get good at those three things first (the traditional format of guitar, bass and drums). So that now we are venturing into the other arena, we’ve got the other ones secured behind us.”

Which must give greater depth in the long run. “Exactly. And if for some reason technology did fail, at least we know we could pull off a show.”

And what about implementing this new format live? ” We don’t know yet.” Martin replies, ” the thing is that this stuff is so, I don’t want to use ‘complex’ too much, because it’s not Wagner”, he reluctantly chuckles. But it is so dense.”

“We are going to have to, when the recording is done, sit down and figure out, you know – ‘are we going to rearrange what Tea Party is, are we going to strip down this, make an addition here’. So it’s kind of all new and in front of us now.”

The album should be out in September. So we just have to wait, like the Herculean vocalist, for the fruits of the Tea Party’s jaunt with the digital age. But hey, as Martin told me “time is short, art is long.”

What can you say, but open your ears to a band in cultural transit.

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