Stars shine on

Nearly 20 years in, all the Mon­treal love-pop­pers are look­ing for is con­nec­tion.

The Coast - - ARTS - BY MOR­GAN MULLIN

singing more than she ever has on past records (a wel­come ad­di­tion)—and it also marked the first time the band handed a set of songs over to a pro­ducer, rather than co-pro­duc­ing.

“We’ve been a band for com­ing up on 20 years. I think it’s im­por­tant for us to be chal­lenged by some­one out­side our cir­cle. It’s like a fam­ily, right? You sort of fall into the same roles and regress,” says Mil­lan. “When there’s some­one else in the room, they de­mand more from you and you’re not al­lowed to fall into your same pat­terns.”

Pro­ducer Pe­ter Katis was the sound al­chemist of choice. “Pe­ter has this kind of mag­i­cal hand. He’s able to mas­sage a song into a place of un­be­liev­able depth with these very small move­ments,” Mil­lan says.

“I re­ally like the sad­der side of Stars,” says Katis. It’s an un­sur­pris­ing state­ment from the long­time In­ter­pol col­lab­o­ra­tor who also crafted a num­ber of records with The Na­tional, in­clud­ing High Vi­o­let. Katis adds he was given a lot of cre­ative room, some­times even looping a scrap of song un­til he built the perfect base.

“Some­times young bands are just harder to work with be­cause they’re less ad­ven­tur­ous. Some­times, bands can just care too much, while a band that’s been around for awhile [like Stars] has al­ready gone through all those emo­tions and all those things and they’re more open-minded,” he says of the year-long record­ing process.

“Our un­der­lin­ing mantra has always been about find­ing con­nec­tion—about how peo­ple con­nect and how they dis­con­nect—and I think with the process of be­com­ing older...we don’t re­ally have all the answers anymore,” Mil­lan says. “Mostly I just feel a sense of pride of the longevity of my friend­ships and the mu­sic with my band.”

SHERVIN LAINEZ

Stars will visit Hal­i­fax for the first time in a cou­ple years.

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