Go-karting as a team-building exercise.
Don't knock it; bassist Frankie Figliomeni of The Elwins says the indie band channelled their inner baby drivers for the sake of band togetherness — and to let off a little steam.
"We get together every day around 9:30 a.m. in general, as often as we can, and treat it as a job almost," Figliomeni says.
"I was really excited about the go-karting. We're going to do some axe throwing, too!"
Figliomeni is one bubbly guy; an interview with him is like casting a net into the Cheakamus River, he just flows through the conversation.
"We are back in Toronto, a little north, recording some new tunes. It's super fun, we're working with the same producer we did on our last record, Derek Hoffman (2014's Play for Keeps). We've written a bunch of new songs, I think over 50 songs altogether," he says.
"So there's lots to choose from. We've been messing around with some new sounds, there's a Juno synthesizer at the studio that we've been really getting into so we used it a lot.
"We're super excited to be playing this live."
The Elwins started out in Keswick, Ont., as a duo of high school buddies, singer-guitarist Matthew Sweeney and drummer Travis Stokl, who released their first EP in 2008.
Guitarist-keyboardist Feurd then came on board, followed by Figliomeni in 2012.
Their first single, "So Down Low" reached No. 12 on the alternative charts and has been used for a Fido commercial.
A steady rise in popularity followed.
Figliomeni says the band were pleased by how Play for Keeps was received.
He says: "Going into this new record, our idea was to take it to the next level and keep a strong focus on the songwriting, making sure they were the best. When it came to the arrangements, we wanted to try new things and not be afraid of it. No rules, whatever was the best treatment for the song. That's our mindset."
Part of the process was listening to their work already out there, getting a sense of its (high) energy.
"Now we are trying to have more of a mix, with some slow songs, with different tones," Figliomeni says.
They are about halfway through the process and hope to have it done later this year.
The Elwins perform at the Pemberton Music Festival on Thursday, July 14.
"We're super excited for festival season, we love it. We get to watch a bunch of bands and hang out in the sun," he says.
"We're been taking a look at our live show and incorporating some new songs, that is the big thing right now. We're also doing some new merch(andise)."
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