One man, two sounds

Lead singer of Operators Dan Boeckner juggles two bands, each with new music in the works

Operators’ newest album Blue Wave is set to release April 1.
Operators’ newest album Blue Wave is set to release April 1.

Operators and Wolf Parade songwriter and performer Dan Boeckner has been busy. Both bands have new music in the works, and he says his newest Operators album will have a “trippier and heavier” sound. 

Throughout his career working with 

many bands (Wolf Parade, Divine Fits, Handsome Furs), Boeckner’s sound has continued to develop a more experimental vibe, which will likely be featured in Operator’s newest album Blue Wave which is slated for release on April 1.

“The EP,  was cleaner and less guitar-centric. The album is kind of a result of touring with the band and sort of reintroducing guitar into the mix,” 

Boeckner said. “Sonically, it’s a lot more aggressive than the EP.” 

Operators is Boeckner’s latest project. The band includes a more electronic sound than his previous musical ventures.

“Between the time that Handsome Furs broke up and when the Divine Fits record was released, I really pushed myself to get better at programming and sequencing,” he said. “I could use this as a tool to paint a picture that I wanted to.”

Boeckner says the new Operators album is a painting of “a dread-filled psychedelic world.” Although still hailing from the genre of indie rock, Boeckner’s songwriting and performing for Wolf Parade is quite different.

Wolf Parade recently announced that they were returning from their hiatus with new music and plenty of shows. It’ll be a busy time for Boeckner, but he says it’s just a way to “flex different muscles”. 

“[Wolf Parade and Operators] are just two different expressions of what I want to get out artistically,” Boeckner said. “With Operators, I sing all the songs. With Wolf Parade, 50 per cent of the set, I get to lay back and just shred on guitar.”

There’s also a large difference in the venues the bands frequent. Wolf Parade has already been confirmed for many 

large-scale music festivals this summer, including Wayhome and Osheaga. It’s quite a different atmosphere than the intimate bar settings that often host Operators.

“Operators is a new band, so we have to do boots on the ground kind of work. You go and play every club and you play right on the floor in front of people and you just play your ass off,” Boeckner said. “It’s almost like trench warfare.”

Despite these differences, Boeckner has the same goal while performing with all of his musical ventures.

“First and foremost, you’re an entertainer. But you want people to come and feel something and enjoy themselves and have an experience they can’t consuming music in any other way,” he said. “But then also, you want to transmit a feeling to them and hopefully they get that and hopefully they react to it.”

Boeckner’s projects can attract different crowds. But no matter what types of people are in the audience, Boeckner believes the best shows are the ones where he can share his art and incite a reaction.

“When you feel an intangible sense that the audience is on the same wavelength as you. It kind of goes beyond just you talking to people and have everybody agree with you. It’s more tangible and organic,” he said.

“I feel pretty lucky that I get to do it.” 


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