TOPS – The WL14 Interview

Purveyors of: Soft-rock meets synth-pop
File Next To: Fleetwood Mac, Grimes
Playing: WL14
Thursday, February 13th @ The Silver Dollar Room

TOPS is a four-piece band based out of Montreal. Their music artfully bridges the melodies and complexities of ‘70s pop rock and ‘80s synth-pop, all whilst maintaining a freshness indicative of their time and place of creation. TOPS’ collaborative sound is mastered through extensive performance and close friendships. They released a full-length album on Arbutus Records (also featuring Wavelength alumni Doldrums, Braids, and Grimes) in 2012. David Carriere answers a few of Marissa Janes’ questions about the band’s roots, travels, and creative growth.

How did the four of you meet?

We all became friends hanging out in Montreal: going to parties, the same shows and whatever. The real first connection goes way back, though. Maddie and Jane went to elementary school together in Edmonton. I know both of them from there, too. Riley joined up in Montreal.

You are part of Arbutus Records, a label that prides itself as a creative collective or “scene” in Montreal. Can you tell me about how this has allowed you to grow as artists?

Being in Montreal has given us the space and time to really work on our music without feeling the need to compete. The other artists on the label do their own thing and it’s like we’re just friends or something.

What is your favourite venue to perform in?

The last show we did in 2013 was at the [Henry] Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. They drew the curtains up and down, so I felt like a movie star for a minute. I guess the appropriate response is that all places are cool and it’s fun if the crowd is into it.

I see you are heading to my home state, Texas, in a few weeks. What brings you to McAllen?

Yeah! I am excited for that. We are playing a festival in McAllen and then will be in Austin for SXSW. Before that we have some time, so the plan is to check out some desert monuments and White Sands in New Mexico, maybe Area 51. Truth is out there.

TOPS plays night one of Wavelength FOURTEEN, Thursday February 13 @ The Silver Dollar Room (486 Spadina Ave.).

Photo credit: Maya Fuhr