Despite a decade-long career that includes three albums and numerous appearances at high-profile festivals, the Reason’s lead singer Adam White says he prefers to play on the floor in the corner of a small, crowded pub.
“It’s good to be able to play whatever you want, as long you want, as short as you want, and just interact with the crowd and know that everybody is there for you,” he said. “Most people [at festivals] just know that one popular song, they don’t know the story of our band.”
It’s probably for this reason that the Reason is booked at the Mansion this weekend, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a city White calls “pretty epic.” The seasoned frontman praised Kingston for its atmosphere and loyal fans — fans who aren’t only looking forward to hearing the band play live, but anxious to reaffirm an emotional connection with the songs.
Connecting with people emotionally is what made White want to become a musician.
“The thought of touching someone else’s life that you don’t know as a person — when someone gets something out of your songs — you can’t get that doing anything else,” he said. “During the recording process it’s amazing to think that one song that means so much to me can touch someone else and mean a lot to them.”
Honest, working-class rock ‘n’ roll is what the Reason is all about. Hailing from Hamilton, Ont., a fiery punk-like angst dominated the band’s musical style in 2003, when they first started out as a post-hardcore/emo quintent.
White said the band’s style has grown over the years, by letting the hard-edge and passion of rock ‘n’ roll infiltrate their writing. More recently, he said, they’ve featured catchier hooks and up-beat tempos.
“From 2003 to 2008 we were trying to find ourselves, going through different members and growing up,” White said. “But recently, it’s just honest rock music. We’re just trying to honestly create something, you know, there’s no gimmicks.”
He said the band always aims to produce an authentic sound when recording, shying away from an “overproduced” quality that can prevent listeners from delving into the emotions of a song and the raw intensity behind the music-making process.
“We try and record our songs to get that sort of feel and live element,” White said. “Our live show is more what we are and we just hope to emulate that.”
White said the Reason’s more mature music style mirrors his own personal growth.
“We’ve always made honest music, but our songs in our earlier days were just a lot heavier,” he said. “We were coming out of punk-rock bands and full of angst and really jaded and had a lot of shit to say about a lot of stuff and a lot of it was negative. Going through your twenties you tend to grow up and figure out who you are as a person and who you are as a musician and a songwriter.”
Experience and time have given the singer a more introspective take on the world, the ability to empathize with other’s problems and emotions serves as the inspiration for his writing.
“I try to put myself in other’s position and what they go through and I go ‘fuck, there’s some lyrics.’” The Reason recently recorded 10 songs that will be included in a series of EPs which the band hopes to release in the upcoming months, all produced by different producers. White said the band opted to release a series of EPs instead of recording a full-length album to give fans new material more often.
“Every three or four months we want to come out with a full batch of new songs with a different feel for each EP based on the fact that it’s a different guy producing it,” he said. “You’re getting fresh music out every four months as opposed to every two years. The songs [we’ve recorded] are fucking great, we’ll be playing three or four of them this weekend.”
The Reason plays the Mansion tomorrow at 9 p.m.
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