my so- CALLed Life
For most bands a complete restructure of the personnel a fortnight before recording would seem obscene – but as Andrew McEnaney explains, it was precisely what Structures needed. By dave drayton.
McEnaney takes the phone call from on his first day off in months – there was a tour with Texas In July giving fans a taste of what to expect on their upcoming second album, Life Through A Window, before driving on to Boston to film a video for a song from it, “Earth Gazer”.
Finally back in Toronto, Canada, McEnaney is giddy gearing up to let the new album out into the wider world – and in doing so, formally introducing Structures’ guitarist-cum-vocalist Brendon Padjasek as
“We kneW We Were making a change and people Were going to have an issue With it.” andreW mcenaney
frontman after some drastic line-up changes, namely the departure of original vocalist Nick Xourafas.
“When it was all happening, we were like, ‘Man, what is going on with our band right now?’ It’s strange because we were all frightened at the same time as being the most excited we’ve ever been about playing and writing music. We knew we were making a change and people were going to have an issue with it, but we knew that the change was a strong one, and we knew that Brendan could do all the things that we wanted him to do, plus more.”
Before it became official, Padjasek was simply filling in for a flu-ridden Xourafas on the demo for new song “Aliens”, laying down some vocal patterns – the results blew McEnaney’s mind, and solidified a decision to push forward in the studio as a three-piece.
While the change meant long hours of last minute lyrics for Padjasek, the task – and general overhaul of the band – was made infinitely easier by the far lengthier process of pre-pro this time around, compared to their last album Divided By. Having guitarist Spyros Georgiou’s laptop on tour gave the band the opportunity to pre-pro on the road for the first time.
“It made it easier to get our ideas together while being on the road and being influenced by all the different things that come with touring. The song ‘Requiem’, off the new record, that started with the drums. I’d drive and Spy would be in the front seat with me and we’d plug in the laptop to the van speakers and we started by figuring out the drums for the song,” McEnaney explains, his dashboard drumming laying the rhythmic foundation for new songs that came to life during soundchecks on the extensive touring they did in support of Divided By. “That was a song that was worked on in Canada, in Australia during the tour with Northlane, America – it was cool to work on something right when you have the inspiration to do it.”
Structures and Northlane have become tight tour friends over the last few years – McEnaney even drove Northlane around in Structures’ van and trailer when they first visited Canada – and as fitting as it was to be able to work on songs while touring with them, capturing that inspiration, the icing on the cake came when both bands were touring together somewhere between their far-flung homelands.
Before a sold out New York City show the bands rerouted briefly to New Jersey, location of The Machine Shop studio, where both Life Through A Window and Northlane’s Singularity had been recorded so that Adrian Fitipaldes could leave his mark on “Follower”.
It was a fitting close to a record conceived and created on the road, for and with the friends that also travel it.