Q&A by Martha Beach
Photo by Mike Ford
Three boys form this rock-pop band with simple, upbeat melodies and romantic lyrics. The three boys, guitarist Dan Joseph Cohen, bassist Aaron Zack and drummer Edward Kingsley, are based in Toronto. Attagirl is releasing their new EP, The Cruelest Month, on May 25 with a show at The Silver Dollar.
dandyhorse magazine wanted to find out if they were going to bike to the show.
Your newest album is out on May 25. How does it feel to be done EP?
E: It's been a long time coming and it's something we've worked really hard on. We're really proud of what we've accomplished collectively and we hope people enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it.
Are you guys biking to the show?
A: Only Dan will be biking to the release. There are only two seats in the van and ever since 'the incident' he's not allowed to ride up front. It's either a breezy bike ride or a rough roll around with the gear in the back. He opted for the former.
Have you ever shown up to a gig on a bike...?
E: Definitely, at all of our shows in Toronto one or all of us ends up biking to the show.
…or carried instruments by bike?
D: Our instruments, like our egos, are very fragile, plus Aaron's bass rig weighs a ton, so no.
Why do you choose to cycle in the city?
E: It's simply the easiest, fastest, and most fun way to get around.
Tell us about your bikes.
A: I ride an aluminium frame neon green and black Inverness from Marin. I'm pretty sure the green makes it go faster.
E: I built my summer ride from the frame of my old bike. It's all brushed and then clear-coated steel. His name is Norrin Radd.
D: I got a sweet rickety red cruiser, her name is Lady and she squeaks when I ride her. (Update: Lady recently lost her seat, but Dan is already hunting for a new one)
What’s your favourite ride/route?
A: I love to ride along Harbord. It's pretty much my daily commute to and from work.
D: Harbord is the best for biking, wide lanes, cuts across the downtown core.
E: Now that Dundas is repaved it's also awesome to cruise along.
What do you think the city could do to make it safer for cyclists?
E: Corporal punishment for those who steal bikes. I honestly don't know if I'm joking or serious.
A: They could make bike lanes more of a priority, especially in the downtown core, not to mention educating both drivers and cyclists on how to share the road.
D: ...and have things like just biking days [ciclovias] where main streets are open for cyclists and pedestrians only.
What did you learn while recording The Cruelest Month?
D: We worked Mitch Girio at Slaughterhouse studio. We've worked with him before and he's great, so we knew what we were getting into. But a lot of the percussive and other sounds were recorded outside the studio and that was definitely fun and a new experience... to weave that into the album when we were mixing it.
E: I learned how to do proper vocal warm ups!
A: I learned the ins and outs of the east end of the city, especially where the best jerk chicken is at 3 in the morning.
The album artwork is a very cool mix of carefully drawn images and solid coloured cut outs. Who did the poster and/or how did you choose that image?
D: Mike Ellis is the very talented artist and friend who made our artwork. We love his use of simple imagery to tell a well layered story.
A: We all felt his art was a really accurate visual representation of our music. At first glance, it's sweet, simple and poignant, but it's stitched together with a certain roughness.
E: It's the innocence of love and that certain and inevitable aching that goes with it. I think it's captured beautifully in the artwork that Mike created.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done on a bike?
E: I often go biking even when the conditions really aren't permitting it...like blizzards.
A: I once biked down Grouse Mountain in B.C. It's got an elevation of something like 4,000 feet and it was my first time doing something like that. One of my buddies who'd had some experience in mountain biking shot down the hill and finished like 30 minutes before me, but ended up breaking his nose on the way down. In retrospect, we probably should have hit up a smaller hill first. Oh well.
What’s your favourite thing about summer?
There are lots of bikes, babes, and beer in our upcoming fashion spread by Mike Ford shot with the band at Steamwhistle during our video shoot. Attagirl donated the soundtrack for our dandy 'love your ride' video due in June along with our new issue.
Great photo of the band Attagirl by Mike Ford. fordphoto.ca
Attagirl provides the sound track for our dandy video, shot at Steamwhistle this spring -- stay tuned to dandyhorsemagazine.com for the video launch.
SNEAK PEAK BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE DANDY VIDEO SHOOT WITH HIEP VU!
Mike Ford shooting Attagirl on the set of our dandy video shoot at Steamwhistle with Hiep Vu.