Call & Response: Dance Electric

Call & Response: Dance Electric

Don't let Mississauga band Dance Electric fool you. They look like any other young, suburban indie pop band hoping to make the world a better place one harmony at a time. Well, looks can be deceiving. Listen to their songs and you'll know instantly that this band wants to blow every eardrum that comes near their dance metal thrash.

The fiery foursome just self-released their first record We Are Dance Electric and have a bunch of shows coming up, including this Friday's 2nd annual installment of RAMeN (the Reel Asian Film Festival's music night). I spoke with guitarist NJ about false appearances, Mississauga and consumerism.

Keep reading for the complete interview.

blogTO: Why are you called Dance Electric?

NJ: We are called so because we are a physical embodiment of those two elements comprising that name: DANCE and ELECTRICITY. It's our creed and call to give everything we've got and make it as lively and energetic as possible - be it with our recordings or live performances. It's like Vanilla Ice said, "anything less than the best is a felony."

How would you describe your sound?

We're a sassy, pop-punk band that celebrates life's trials and tribulations, the strengths of friendship, and the unwaivering belief that a steadfast attitude is what keeps us unique as individuals. Then you take all that and put it in a molotov cocktail and run!

I was a bit surprised when I heard your music for the first time after first seeing a picture of you. Your music is more aggressive than your appearances suggest. Is it just me, or do you get that a lot?

Yeah. I suppose it's because some of us in the band have poor bone structures and we smile a lot. But there's too many things going on to get all wrapped up about osteoporosis, so we just keep it positive.

You just released a new record. How did you get it made, being an independent band?

We're lucky enough to have certain resources that we've acquired over years being in other bands, thus we were able to put the record together without a label. The recording and production was done by our friend, Collin Young (who plays in Mississauga metal band The Love and Terror Cult) and the mastering was done by Drive Entertainment, who recorded and produced the Flatliners and Shotgun Rules. We're friends with the people who helped put together the record, so it was rad and easy-going.

Did growing up in Mississauga influence your songs in any way?

In a way yes, and in a way no. Yes, in the sense that there's almost always a natural tendency to lean towards disenfranchisement as youth when you grow up in a suburban community. I think that disenfranchisement drives the aggressiveness in our songs. Mississauga also influenced our songs because it is where our friends and loved ones are. It's that unity and strength that we emulate and sing about. However, the members of this band are also eclectically different people from each other, and that amalgamation of unique identities is a prevalent factor in making our music interesting not just to ourselves, but hopefully to our listeners.

What are some things in the 905 that Torontonians should check out?

Square One. The inefficient transit system. The Condos by Square One. In terms of music, I would definitely recommend checking out The Love and Terror Cult, who are born-and-raised Mississaugans that play technical and crushing metal. In the folk spectrum of things, there's also folk artist Andre Theriault aka Ghost Hands, and he's putting out a record soon via the We Are Busy Bodies label. Both are super pals of ours, and we love seeing/playing with them.

blogTO covered a story this week related to the 15th annual "Buy Nothing Day", taking place on Nov 23. It's an international day of non-consumption to protest "aimless, rampant consumerism". Do you agree that our society consumes needlessly?

"Need" is a very subjective word to interpret. If one "wants" something enough, it can easily transcend to a "need", and no other person in the world can truly decide what another's needs or wants truly are. Do I think people waste their money on meaningless things? Sure, but that's only because those things are meaningless to me. Get my flow, dogg?

You're playing a show at the Courthouse this Friday night. What is your band "guilty" of?

We're guilty of "breaking and entering"...YOUR HEART!

RAMeN: Reel Asian Music Night
w/ These Electric Lives, Dance Electric, The Flashboyz
Friday, November 16
The Courthouse
57 Adelaide Street East
Tickets $15 at Ticketmaster, Soundscapes, Rotate This, Ukula

Call & Response is a weekly series of Q&A's with bands from or playing in Toronto. Photo by Christina Cassaro.

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