Toronto based rock band The Spiral Theory chat to Edward Burnett about how they formed together, their plans for the rest of 2021 and their music’s subject matter and how overused concepts such as the theme of love are becoming outdated in modern music!
RNRR: Hi The Spiral Theory! How are you doing, would you mind introducing yourselves, who’s on what and what kind of music you play!
TST: Hey Ed, we are doing well thanks, how are you? We are The Spiral Theory, a Toronto-based rock band. We are super stoked to inform you that our debut album ‘Turn of the Tide’ is out now and is currently streaming on major streaming platforms. The Spiral Theory is an interesting DIY blend of multi-cultural artists. We have myself aka Sandeep Swaminathan on vocals, Joe Liranzo on guitars, Alan Dennis on drums, and Clarence Poirier on bass.
RNRR: I’m great thanks, it’s a pleasure to have you here. Before we get on to talking ‘Turn of the Tide’, let’s get the backstory on the band for our readers. How did you guys all get together to form the band? Were you friends before or did you meet musically?
TST: Sure! We formed the whole band in 2018 when I moved from India to Canada. Joe and Alan played together under a different name with their previous singer for several years until he decided to quit one day. Clarence joined the band sometime before I did. We were auditioning for that "right" singer and we had our share of fun doing it. I auditioned and then after I sang that first time, we definitely knew then it was a fit! From there we just booked a rehearsal space and started jamming our way through!
RNRR: An interesting background story for sure leaving my next question for just lead singer Sandeep. How did you find the music scene different upon arriving in Canada? Did you find more opportunities to go professional there?
TST: Thank you! Oh, it was great, right off the bat! I started exploring the city immediately after I landed here, pre-pandemic times of course, and did a ton of Open Mics! Everyone's so welcoming here in Toronto and people are always excited to hear your story! I received some fabulous feedback! People instantly connected with my singing and that's when I knew it that I should step up the game and take it professionally from then onwards.
RNRR: How has Covid affecting your own personal experience of Toronto having only been there for a short time before it hitting? To the rest of the band, how was Covid affected your recording and performing schedules?
TST: Oh! Coronavirus has ruined many things for many people including my plans and our roadmap as a band! Personally, I was cozying up with Toronto and had a great schedule going on with an unlimited-we-are-sorry-for-everything TTC annual pass to commute around to reach on-time (locals will get that one!). But, an amazing takeaway from a neighborhood joint would offset that misery [laughs]. Jokes apart, I really miss meeting people as I just started networking and making new friends. That to me is a major blow! From the band's perspective, we had almost 20 gigs lined up for 2020 in and around the GTA. We had to let go our monthly rehearsal space and our debut album release took a hit too as the last 3 to 4 sessions went over several months.
RNRR: So where does that all leave you now and what are the band currently working on right now? Of course you have just released your debut album so would you tell the readers more about what 'Turn of the Tide' sounds like? Have you had chance to regroup yet and proceed with recording?
TST: Oh yeah! Despite the tough times, we went ahead and released our debut album, ‘Turn of the Tide’, on all major streaming platforms! The songs of ‘Turn of the Tide’ sound like a cross between The Police and Gin Blossoms - classic in feel, modern in execution! Also, Joe and I (Sandeep) are currently remotely working on releasing the acoustic versions of a few songs from the album. Almost ready to hit the studios yet again whenever it's likely to do so!
RNRR: So aside from the music, what have you all been up to with the new found spare time due to lockdowns? Have you discovered any other hobbies or interests? Or has it been more of a film and television binge session?
TST: Interesting question! Our drummer, Alan, unfortunately had an incident that broke his arm at the beginning of the pandemic. He is alright now, in fact so much so that he won a virtual drumming contest! Also, he golfs...like a lot! Our guitarist, Joe, was really into playing Tennis at his neighbourhood club! I remember him boasting about how he has fans for his Tennis skills now [laughs]! As for me, I’m singing a lot at home these days, poor neighbours! Yeah, I’m into movies and television too with Disney Pixar’s ‘Soul’ and ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ being my two new recent favourites!
RNRR: I also watched Disney’s ‘Soul’ over the winter break and really enjoyed it. I wonder what you make of the subject matter with it being a children’s film but with strong topics of death and afterlife? Do these topics ever offer themselves up to you as musicians to be used in your work rather than the more obvious subject of love which features more predominantly in music? How important is the song’s theme and overall message to you when making music?
TST: I like this question, thank you for asking! We love to write songs that inspire people! In fact, that's one of the main reasons why we wanted to write songs touching different subjects and not just the overly used and abused subject: love! To us, it is about taking what is in the past and evolving towards something better. It makes sense on two levels. It relates to bridging doing covers from the past with the original music we are making now. It also relates to our lyrics and videos often dealing with negative emotions but evolving to end on a positive note. The simple yet elusive idea that tomorrow will be better which is something that we all need right here right now!
RNRR: In the same way that we have just covered the substance of a song thematically, I’d like to ask the band the same question but regarding the sound this time instead. Do you ever feel like you’ll wish to deviate from your usual indie/rock style or are you quite rigid with what the music you release sounds like?
TST: There's one thing common - all band members love “rock” as a genre. Guitarist Joe is all about The Police, U2, and The Smiths. Fenders and clean vintage amps all the way. Drummer Alan is a disciple of Rush. Clarence’s influence of bass is mostly from Blue Rodeo. I grew up listening to the 90s and 00s music and I am always on the lookout for the current hits as well. So, to piece them together, the band definitely loves to stick to that indie/rock style and probably collab with other artists with some eclectic sounds as we are always fans of fresh production ideas!
RNRR: So what’s next for the band? What do you hope to have achieved by the time 2021 comes to a close and the pandemic is hopefully a distant memory? New releases and possible live shows on the menu?
TST: You betcha! New releases are definitely in the plan and can't wait to get back to those live gig days! I'm also recently hearing a lot about live music going hybrid aka both live and live-streaming going forward and that's also something to consider!
RNRR: Finally, we ask the same end question to all our guests and it’s undoubtedly the most important. If you were going to be stranded on a desert island for the rest of your days with the choice of only one album to bring with you, what do you pick? One album per group member to keep it fair!
TST: [Laughs] Only one album, eh? I feel like I know the guys too well to answer on behalf of everyone! Easy pick for Joe. Give Joe the final and the fifth album, ‘Synchronicity’ by The Police, and he is set. Clarence might pick ‘Nowhere to Here’ by the Blue Rodeo and then make a witty remark about it - something like aren’t we already here and nowhere to go?! [Laughs] Alan would pick ‘Moving Pictures’ by Rush and then start jamming out with percussions made out of coconuts and sticks! As for me, I will take the ‘Greatest Hits’ album by Guns N’ Roses and I’ll happily strand myself with that for the rest of my days!
RNRR: Some very varied picks there which we always love to see! Well, The Spiral Theory, it’s been a pleasure having you on Spotlight this week and everyone at Rock N Roll Reports wishes you the best for the 2021 creative and professional year!
If you would like to find out more about The Spiral Theory and keep up to date with their latest releases, the links to all their socials can be found below via the icons: