Switching traffic lanes

Two Hours Traffic’s new setlist is ‘just fun songs for the crowd’

New bassist Nathan Gill was added to Two Hours Traffic’s lineup in December and hasn’t had a chance to take any promotional shots with the band yet. They played their first show together on St. Patrick’s Day in their hometown of Charlottetown, P.E.I.
New bassist Nathan Gill was added to Two Hours Traffic’s lineup in December and hasn’t had a chance to take any promotional shots with the band yet. They played their first show together on St. Patrick’s Day in their hometown of Charlottetown, P.E.I.

With a new bassist and an album’s worth of new songs, the road ahead is clear for pop quartet Two Hours Traffic.

The band is scheduled to play a gig in Toronto this weekend as part of Canadian Music Week, but lead singer Liam Corcoran said when they heard about the opportunity to play in Kingston the night before, they couldn’t pass it up.

“Kingston has to be one of our best cities with a consistent crowd coming to see us,” he said. “It should be a fun night for us.”

The band’s show at the Mansion on Friday night will be their second time performing with new bassist Nathan Gill after a performance in their hometown of Charlottetown, P.E.I.

“We had our first gig in our hometown in a club called Baba’s Lounge, which is where we started out playing years ago,” he said.

But adding Gill to the trio’s dynamic was an easy decision.

“When you’re in a band that’s just trying to make your living at it, you need to find someone that is going to work musically, but almost as important is someone who’s willing to go out on the road and someone you’re gonna get along with,” Corcoran said. “In Nathan, we found all those things.”

Gill replaced band member Alec O’Hanley who now plays in the indie rock band the Danks.

Their lineup isn’t the only thing the band has switched up. Corcoran said the band’s new material is different from their last album Territory.

“With our last album, we wanted to tackle tougher issues that weren’t just boy-girl love issues,” he said. “This time around, we made a conscious effort to write just fun songs for the crowd. We wanted to write songs that we’d be excited to play every night.”

Corcoran said when the band first started in 2003, they thought of their music in a different way.

“In the beginning, we were taking folk songs and dressing them up as a full band,” he said, adding that with the new music they’re creating, the core rhythm of the songs has become more important.

“This time around, we wrote the drums, bass and rhythm guitar first,” he said. “We learned to make the song strong in a rhythmic sense and afterwards there’s time to dress it up.”

Even though the band has written enough material to create an album, Corcoran said they have no plans for a release date.

Music from Two Hours Traffic has been featured in CW shows including Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. Corcoran said while it’s nice to be recognized in the American market, it’s not the group’s biggest priority.

“It’s a nice source of income for us, it’s a way to make money and keep some money in the bank account,” he said. “But I think we feel fulfilled playing in front of a packed house that wants to hear your tunes.”

Two Hours Traffic plays the Mansion tonight at 9 p.m.

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