Photograph by Chris Gergley

Photograph by Chris Gergley

Call them shoegaze, call them progressive rock, call them what you will, the Besnard Lakes specialize in creating a hazy atmosphere that gives way to soaring vocals and majestic soundscapes. Revolving around the core duo of husband and wife Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, the band is set to release the follow-up to their breakthrough album The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse, entitled The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night. If lead single ‘Albatross’ is any indication, we are in for a treat. Jace Lasek was kind enough to answer a few questions ahead of the album’s release.

The Besnard Lakes – Albatross
The Besnard Lakes – For Agent 13
The Besnard Lakes – Disaster

Kevin: Why call yourselves the Besnard Lakes?

Jace Lasek: I grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan and in 1995 I started traveling up to Besnard Lake as a summer trip with my friend. We loved it so much we made a promise to return every year to clear our heads. Olga and I had our honeymoon at Besnard Lake. It’s a very secluded place, and very hard to get to. You really feel like you are the only people there.

Kevin: With …Are the Dark Horse receiving critical acclaim, including being short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize, did you feel pressure to top it with …Are the Roaring Night?

Jace: We tried very consciously to forget about Dark Horse. We made our first two albums without any preconceived notions of anyone wanting to hear them. We wanted to approach this record in the same way – to close ourselves off from the outside world and write without distractions.

Kevin: ‘Albatross’, the lead single from your new album, seems to be more immediate and direct than much of …Are the Dark Horse. Was this a conscious decision?

Jace: It’s just what we were feeling at the time. ‘Albatross’ was a really old song that we resurrected and rearranged. It was actually the first song we completed for Roaring Night. It came together quite quickly.

Kevin: The press release for …Are the Roaring Night name-drops bands like Electric Light Orchestra, Fleetwood Mac and the Alan Parsons Project. Do you have a particular affinity for 70s music?

Jace: Olga and I collect mostly 60s and 70s vinyl. There’s so much great music from that era. I also find it a great time for recording experimentation. The techniques we use today are still fresh and being developed.

Kevin: How did you get involved with Young Galaxy and working on their albums?

Jace: I met Steve Ramsay when he first moved to Montreal. He was one of the only people who had heard our first record, Volume I, and he was intrigued by it. He was planning on making the first Young Galaxy record and asked me if I wanted to help out.

Kevin: Are there any particular artists you’d like to work with in the future?

Jace: There’s this really amazing band from America called the Swirlies. I’d love to work with them.

Kevin: The Besnard Lakes were the dark horse, now they are the roaring night. Do you see yourselves continuing this naming scheme?

Jace: We might continue the scheme. It makes it easier to come up with album titles if it’s already partially spelled out for us!

Kevin: What’s next for the band?

Jace: Lots of touring.

You can see the Besnard Lakes play the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on March 11.

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— , February 18, 2010    Comments Off on The Besnard Lakes
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