Birthdays plays host to Canadian Rock Band this month
‘We are the city’ are a 4-man rock band from Vancouver, Canada. Playing at Birthdays in Dalston on the 22nd of this month, one of Dalston’s peek places for live music and an all-round good time with good vibes. One of the things that enraptures you about this band, besides their music, is their mind set. The guys decided to play a social experiment as they found social media today to be ‘destructive if overused’ which is a refreshing thing to hear these days. They completely cut themselves from social media, got rid of all accounts.. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and disappeared. They wanted to make it as artistic as possible, so everything was strategically done. They streamed 24 hours a day of a pre-recorded set in which they played their music for their album ‘Above Club’. Why go through all of this trouble might you ask? For them, the mainstream social media conveys fiction only of an individuals life, of one that only shows the best parts of their lives and not the worst, which in-fact isn’t the reality in which we live. They created a new experience for the religious followers who follow the band. DLN caught up with the boys in Dalston to hear the results of their social experiment and to hear about the gig at Birthdays.
How did you guys all meet?
Andrew: I met Cayne in high school film class. We bonded over silly things and serious things and eventually started talking about playing music together. Him and David were already playing together, so I kind of forced myself in there. This was so long ago now, almost ten years. Wow, that’s crazy to think about.
How would you describe what your band represents?
I would say that we represent sincere exploration. We play music together because we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Of course, because we’ve been together for so long, our opinions on many things have changed and evolved, so it’s hard to find certain constants. But we’ve always explored.
You described in your documentary that you found social media to be destructive if overused, do you still feel that way and why?
That whole experience was really fun and liberating for us. I still think social media has massive potential to be destructive. It’s really a new problem for our existence, this idea of constant mental stimulation and, to be honest, I’m not sure how it’s going to play out for us. We have to discipline ourselves to not rely on social media to make ourselves stimulated. Boredom is good. We should be bored far more often!
What was the reason behind this whole social experiment and did it benefit you in anyway?
We wanted to make an experience for the “viewer”, whoever that turned out to be. We did have fantasies at certain points about maybe gaining some sort of notoriety or popularity from publicity or something, but that had quickly faded. I mean, it was a true experiment. The only thing we were sure of was that it would be a wild ride. So the ride itself was the benefit.
How did it feel to completely disappear from the media for two weeks?
Deleting all of our social media accounts was really freeing. We had discussed with our labels beforehand and settled on two weeks being the sweet spot for how long to disappear for. But, for only selfish reasons, we could have been away for longer. Don’t get me wrong, I love making posts for the band’s social media accounts, it’s a creative process for me. But changing gears, taking breaks, reassessing things, that’s important to me with other creative outputs like music or visuals. That was an opportunity to take a step back.
How was your gig at Birthdays in Dalston? Did you get the chance to explore the area at all?
The show itself was a lot of fun-everything that I hoped it would be. We didn’t get to visit many places apart from ‘Voodoo Ray’s’. Such good pizza!
For more information on “We are the city”