Alt-country band Cuff The Duke released part one of a two-part album, Morning Comes. The band’s fifth album navigates the loss of a loved one. As the 10 tracks come to an end, there is a sense of closure — in preparation for the second part which embraces loss and new opportunities. Wayne Petti, the band’s lead vocalist, guitarist, organist and pianist talks to the Journal over email about the album’s upcoming American release and the band’s love for Kingston.
1. What caused you to make your new release, Morning Comes, a two part-album?
We had a lot of songs. We thought about making a double record, but instead thought it would be more interesting if we made two records in a series. Double records can be a little overwhelming to both the band making it and the listener. We thought it would be better for us to put out two records within a shorter period of time.
2. The album deals with so many emotional turns. Is it emotionally exhausting for you to sing the songs every night?
I guess it can be. It’s probably more physically exhausting than it is emotionally exhausting though.
3. How were you able to tie together ideas of loss with such an upbeat sound?
I’ve always enjoyed music that juxtaposed an upbeat song with dark or sad lyrics. When we were writing the record, the songs were turning out pretty upbeat but I knew that the words would not be so upbeat. I decided to embrace that.
4. Were there specific events that provided inspiration for the album?
There was no one moment that happened to inspire the music on this record, but there were a lot of little things. It was all the same things that happen to everybody which is why I felt the need to address it.
5. What inspired the amazing album art?
Paul Lowman, who of course plays bass in Cuff The Duke, drew the album artwork. I can’t say for sure what inspired it but we all certainly liked it when he showed it to us for the first time.
6. What was it like having the album produced by Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo?
Working with Greg is a lot of fun. He’s really on the same page as us musically so the process of recording is very enjoyable. He’s also able to push us in ways that we could not push ourselves in order to get the end result. It’s safe to say that we all really look up to him as a musician and as a person. I think it’s important to work with someone you respect.
7. How are you feeling about the American release of the album on Feb. 28? Do you feel Canadian and American fan bases differ?
We’re excited about the U.S. release of the record. I don’t think that there is a difference between U.S. fans and Canadian fans. People just want to be entertained.
8. How is the completion of the second part of the album going? What are your hopes for the second album?
We will start recording the second record in the new year. It’s all written. I hope that the second album will help complete the vision we had for this when we started recording the first album. I’m confident that it will.
9. You tweeted on Nov. 15 that “exciting news is on the way.” Any hints on what that news is?
If I give you a hint then it will ruin the surprise. We can’t have that ...
10. You’re playing two Grad Club shows, does that mean you have double the love for Kingston?
Cuff The Duke plays the Grad Club tonight and tomorrow with Hooded Fang. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m.