I am personally very grateful for the opening acts : they allow you to discover bands that you would have otherwise looked pass, leaving a vivid impression. Just like love at first sight, I fell for with the music of C T Z N S H P the first time I heard them live. A constant repeat of EP Swan dive (available for free on Bandcamp) has turned this instant fling into a long-term infatuation. These «darling of magic hour» as they accurately describe themselves, have something different to offer with their unique sound, dark and ardent, accompagnied by heart-rending singing and engaging melodies. Here’s a glimpse of a conversation with the mystical power-trio.
IX: CTZNSHP is relatively new. How did you come with the idea of forming this band ?
Jesse Le Gallais : Scott (Scott Delaney, guitarist) and I grew up together in the suburbs of Toronto. We have been in Montreal in various formations then got the the point where we were really psyched, we cut out and went by the two of us. We were recording and we knew we needed a drummer; we had our head against the wall but we were really going to be specific, it was either going to be drum machines or the exact drummer we wanted. I was just having drinks with a friend of mine in a band called Valleys and they referred Florent. So we met on a very snowy night back in January of last year, then he was one of us. And since, we kind of just started really strong, having a similar connect and doing as much as possible.
Florent Clavel : So, we did a few practice and it all begun. The first show was actually on my birthday, which was March 25 and that was the start. We were four at the time for some reason, we decided to go as a three piece with Jesse on vocals and bass. Then, we played at the Fringe Festival for first time as a trio, we were opening for Here We Go g Magic at Club Lambi - a strange night. It was the official unveiling of the band, and we are still sorting it out.
IX: Can you tell me a bit about your debut EP, titled Swan Dive?
J: What we did is that we quickly recorded a few songs the best we could, it became an EP and we put it on Bandcamp for free. We were supposed to do an album right next but the EP did pretty well, people seemed to like it. We attempted to record an album about two times then it failed, so we finally decided to do it right. It should be finished this summer, and I think we are going to try a February release. We have only been playing the full year on three songs, but it worked. It’s exiting, I just feel positive vibes.
IX: Your music can be a quit hard to describe. How would you best define your sound ?
J : It has got roots it new-wave and stuff from the 80’s, kind of dark no-wave, cold wave. I feel that a lot of bands we might be compare are about retrain, we kind of enjoy all the explosion about the emotion and energies and ravel in the crazy part of it. There is this dynamic, then its also all kind of space-y. It all comes there, I’m an over emotional person while Scott on the other hand is very restrained and pragmatic ; I’m always spilling over the edges and drawing out of the lines, he’s always absolutely is perfect. Flo is somewhere in the middle, that’s why he’s so important to us.
F : I was actually shipped from France in a box for that purpose. (laughs)
IX: Jesse, you have a pretty powerful voice. Where did you pick up with singing?
J: I’ve been singing since I was a teenager, but I was told everyday not to because I could not sing. I still can’t sing, but I am so stubborn, I wanted to do it so badly. I kept doing it and doing it and I kept getting better. And it’s only recently that I started to get better at it.
F: In a year, he really drastically improved. It sounds nothing from the first demo he had, there is a huge difference and its only a year apart.
J: I guess I really found my voice - I could never understood what it meant and thought it was cheesy and then suddenly I got it, its how you learn how to be you and it sounds so different, it sound like yourself. Plus, there’s a lot of singer who cannot sing. Take Pavement for example, he could never sing but still does it perfectly and it’s awesome.
Sawn Dive EP
Available for download on Bandcamp