Call & Response: The Postage Stamps

V Fest is here. In addition to the huge names performing on Toronto Island this weekend, there are plenty of local bands proudly flying the Toronto flag.

One of the most notable Day 2 local acts is The Postage Stamps. Combining sweet indie rock with ambient splender, these Toronto vets should set a great early-afternoon mood this Sunday (they're on at 1:40pm).

I spoke with Postage Stamp/Pitter Patter founder Keith Hamilton about his band, his successful indie music concert series, and Billy Corgan.

Keep reading for the complete interview.

blogTO: How would you describe the music your band makes?

Keith Hamilton: We try to lose ourselves in the music we write. We stray from pop formula singles and aim more for epic journeys that hold our audience captive. Our music is dense; there's always a lot going on, but no one steps on each others toes. We don't scream our lyrics, but the passion within them is equal.

I heard about some band name confusion that happened when you opened some shows for the Dears?

We've been a band for quite a while now...and as it so happens, a very decent pop project called The Postal Service surfaced via the internet and college radio and gained a significant level of success. I suppose it rubbed off on us a bit; people were coming out to our shows thinking that the promoter must have made a mistake with the name, and that we were in fact The Postal Service. They were wrong. Thankfully many of them became our fans.

You're playing V Fest this weekend. How does it feel to be on the same bill as Bjork and The Smashing Pumpkins?

This is a very surreal experience for us. Our drummer, Mike Duffield, and lead singer, Jordan Walsh met in 1996 at a Pumpkins concert, and have been making music together ever since. I was there too, but wouldn't meet them for another 5 years. The V Fest line up is so completely full of bands we admire and respect. It's a true honour to be a part of this festival. I went as a patron last year and had an amazing time. While walking around, listening and taking the whole experience in, I couldn't help but feel that THIS was what I needed to be doing with the Stamps. I made it my one goal for the year...playing this festival when it came back. Some times things fall into place.

Do you think there will be any Billy Corgan drama?

I certainly hope so. I keep thinking - snakes...somehow it's gonna get weird.

Do you have a porta potty strategy?

I hope you don't put your beer down and turn away....

You are also the man behind Pitter Patter nights. How many shows have you done so far? How did it start?

I used to co-run a record label called Suck My Disc!...as the label was beginning to wrap up, I began hosting concerts under the banner of Pitter Patter. The series will be 3 years old on October 20th and we'll be celebrating with our 300th show. We hosted our first festival this March past where we had 29 shows over 5 days in 3 cities featuring 88 bands. It's been a rapid pace, but it's been full of quality acts and performances.

What's next for the Postage Stamps and Pitter Patter?

The Stamps have a few shows lined up for the fall, and we're hoping some good things pan out from our participation in the festival. We've begun writing material for our next release, but still have lots of touring ahead for our current record, This Ugly Arrangement.

Pitter Patter will be running a festival again this spring, and I'm working on plans to host an outdoor festival in June 2008.

Call & Response is a weekly series of Q&A's with bands/artists from or playing in Toronto. Photo by Tim Okura.

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