Follow Friday: Imaginary Cities
  • FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

  • Posted by: Baeble Staff

As we noted earlier this week in our Top 10 Male-Female Bands post, there's a palpable charm in the musical creations emanating from dynamic duos. Whether it's the variance of their vocal harmonies, or more simply a subconscious appreciation of the companionship's consistency, we all tend to love them. This lure adheres to the music being made by Winnipeg-based Imaginary Cities, who recently released their sophomore LP Fall of Rome. The combination of singer Marti Sarbit's soulful voice and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Rusty Matyas' experimental textures illustrates a blissful sonic mosaic.

We recently shot a few Q's over to Rusty who happily supplied an equal amount of A's telling us how the duo constructed their new album, what it was like to play with Pixies, and more.

How does the Canadian touring circuit compare to the US's? What are some venues you've enjoyed playing in the States?

The major difference is the distance between cities. There's a lot of space in canada so drives can be up to 8 hours between shows, making for some early mornings! Other than that, touring is pretty much the same anywhere you go. We've enjoyed playing the 7th Street Entry a number of times in Minneaoplis. The staff and crowd always treat us right.

Which Motown artists influenced how Marti sings on the new album, Fall of Romance?

I know Marti is a big fan of classics like Aretha Franklin, Mavis Staples and Sam Cooke. As am I.

What is your songwriting process? Something about your harmonies makes it seem like the band is very tight-knit.

We approach writing in all kinds of ways, and usually start with something simple like a lyric or melody or chord progression, and build on that. We work pretty hard on picking apart the harmonies and making sure they provide a specific function without getting in the way, so thanks for noticing!

For such uplifting music, why Fall of Romance for the title of the album? Do you feel that it's just harder to be romantic these days?

I suppose it's a bit of a comment on the lack of true romance and connection in our modern, technology driven times, but mostly it's just a sweet play on words - as in the Fall of Rome.

Watch the new music video for "Bells Of Cologne", off Fall of Romance.



I know you opened for The Pixies two years ago. Were you surprised to hear of Kim Deal's departure from the band?

We were really excited to open for the Pixies. It was a busy tour and we didn't really have time to get to know the inner workings of their band dynamics, but all good things come to an end at some point. Am I right? Am I right?

Exactly how many instruments did you play on Fall of Romance, and did you enlist any instrumental or production collaborators to help put the finishing touches on the album?

I co-produced the record with Howard Redekopp, renowned canadian producer extraordinaire. While I did play most of the instruments, we had some esteemed guests join us on a few songs. Andrew Scott from legendary canadian band Sloan played drums on a couple songs, and members of Mother Mother played a substantial role as well. Molly Guldemond from the band designed our artwork and packaging, Ryan Guldemond sang on a few songs, and Jeremy Page played saxomophone.

Obviously adding three members can change an entire band's dynamic. How has this altered the band's overall sound?

At the core, Imaginary Cities is just Marti and myself, writing the songs and recording them in studio, so our sound hasn't changed in that regard. However we have naturally grown and evolved and discovered different parts of music and songwriting that work for us, perhaps even define our sound in a way. After songs are written and recorded we have a team of musicians we can pick from to tour with us. Great talents and wonderful people to be around too, so we are very lucky for that! The songs have perhaps a bit more edge to them in a live setting.


Fall of Romance is out now on Votiv. Get your copy here.

And of course, in Follow Friday tradition, here are your portals to follow Rusty and Marti on Twitter and like them on Facebook.



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