Constantines Celebrate Surviving Ten Years Together
Considering the tendency for married couples, business partners and bandmates to pull the plug when times get tough, it's cause for celebration when five distinct personalities can maintain a creative collaboration for over a decade. Constantines, arguably Canada's fiercest live act, recently passed that 10-year milestone.
"It's all about sustainability. You need to figure out a healthy balance between home life and band life," Constantines' modest frontman Bry Webb tells Spinner.
Sounds simple right? But the Cons learned that lesson the hard way.
The band, which includes drummer Doug MacGregor, bassist Dallas Werhle, multi-instrumentalist Will Kidman, and guitarist Steve Lambke, formed in 1999 and released their self-titled debut on Canada's late, lamented indie Three Gut Records in 2001. Their genuine Bruce Springsteen-meets-Fugazi sound and transcendental live shows attracted a steadfast following and soon Sub Pop came a-calling.
The band followed-up with 2003's 'Shine a Light.' Often considered the quintessential Cons album, it captured the immediacy of the band's live show and elicited rave reviews from the finicky alt-rock press. With an American label on board, the band was making waves outside of Canada and spent the next two years crisscrossing Europe and North America on a seemingly endless tour.
"Early on, we figured out that we needed to tour. We had plenty of low-attendance gigs, but we just kept doing it and eventually we found an audience," Webb says.
Constantines took a short break from touring to record 'Tournament of Hearts.' The record was a bit of a departure for the band -- it was their most produced offering to date, and while it matched the power of its predecessors, the album revealed the band's tender side.
"On other records,