The Stanfields rock the Gateway
Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Stanfields are a punk rock quintet with a Celtic twist. This week, The Weal had a chance to chat with lead singer-guitarist Jon Landry about the band’s latest album Death & Taxes, the Canadian music scene and the nation-wide tour they are about to embark on.
The Weal: When did you guys form the band, and how did that come about?
Landry: We started in 2008. We all knew each other from the Halifax music scene, played in a few bands together.
The Weal: You guys were voted Best Band to Get Trashed To [by Coast Magazine]. What are some of your favourite bands to get drunk to?
Landry: Yeah, they had this poll here six months out the gate and we’ve held the title for four years running. As far as [drinking] influences, Springsteen, AC/DC, Planxty and Neil Young. Our guitar player [Jason MacIsaac] likes The National, finger-style acoustic music. Our bass player [Craig Eugene Harris] is in a stoner-rock band—he’s into that.
The Weal: How did the recording process for Death & Taxes differ from Vanguard?
Landry: This album is a lot more focused on our rock ‘n’ roll influences—probably not as much country. We recorded Vanguard three months in. We were still trying to figure out what we were doing —find direction—so that record reflected that I think.
With Death & Taxes we knew we wanted to do a big, loud, fast, rock record. We knew the guy that we wanted to do it, and the songs that we wanted. We’re really excited to get out and share this record with everyone.
The Weal: I’ve read you guys put on an amazing live show.
Landry: We’ve been tied to our set for so long; we’re comfortable on stage. We’ve kind of got this ESP thing going on. Some of the best advice I got was ‘you guys are tight as a drum now loosen the fuck up.’ We work pretty hard on our show, play as long as we can, as hard as we can. We shoot for a one-and-a-half to two hour show every night. I don’t expect that to happen this tour; it’s kind of like a co-tour with Gloryhound.
The Weal: Is there any significance to the title Death & Taxes?
Landry: It’s funny, the short answer is I just thought it sounded bad ass – it’s a cool imagery. Liberation is a loose theme. Trying to reflect where we are at as people; watching the way of life we’ve come accustomed to slowly changing, the separation of rich and poor. I think there’s a lot of frustration and the working class is getting angry. Death & Taxes is a way to package that – a release. At the end of the day, I can say I think it’s going to be alright.
The Stanfields perform at the Gateway on Oct. 17. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16, visit www.ticketmaster.com.