Following their artistic vision to the end

The Liptonians escape the sophomore slump with Let’s All March Back into the Sea

The Liptonians, minus bass player Levi Penner, are: Bucky Driedger (vocals, guitar), Mitch Braun (guitar, keyboards), Matt Schellenberg (vocals, keyboards) and Michael Jordan (drums). Killbeat Music

While no longer a part of the house that bore the name Liptonia, the creativity derived from it has stayed with local musicians The Liptonians.

In a conversation with singer-guitarist Bucky Driedger, who founded the band with singer-keyboardist Matt Schellenberg, he explained the process behind their new album, Let’s All March Back into the Sea.

It was a process that focused very much on the song.

“We wrote demos and put more focus into what (each song) was about: what it was saying, what production it needed, what instrumentation was important,” Driedger said.

“We wanted everything to sound great before it went into the computer.”

“Our approach was that the song comes first,” he continued. “We’ve had more practice at songwriting (since the first album). This is more thoughtful work.”

On the whole, this album shows how much The Liptonians have matured since their 2008 self-titled debut, which earned them a Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Pop Recording.

“(Let’s All March Back into the Sea) is sonically packed with instrumentation and hooks,” Driedger said. “It’s something that is dense for a reason. Whatever serves the song the best was added.”

The pair worked with Matt Peters of Royal Canoe and Waking Eyes fame, as well as Mike Petkau Falk of Les Jupes, for production.

“Matt and Mike work very well together,” Driedger said. “Matt has an ear for hooks, tones. He’s a songwriter I really trust. And Mike has a great knowledge of the tech side. He tries new things and isn’t afraid to experiment.”

Their growth is evident on the album.

The Liptonians have had different lineups to this point, with ample collaboration with local musicians that Driedger uses to his advantage.

“I’m inspired by my collaborators. The Head in the Sand community is full of friends who make good records,” he said of the record label The Liptonians are a part of.

As part of the tour for the new album, the band is going as far south as Austin, Texas, after being invited to play the South by Southwest festival (SXSW).

“We weren’t sure about getting into SXSW or Canadian Music Week (in Toronto),” Driedger said. “But we’re lucky because we get to do both.

“Playing live brings an energy into an album. We owe it to (fans) to bring our music to them. Touring is an opportunity to build a connection in other cities. It’s always great seeing a familiar face in a crowd, and Winnipeg has great connectivity for that.”

After the six-week tour, which kicks off with the band’s album release show on Sunday, Feb. 13 at the West End Cultural Centre, the band is unsure of what the rest of the year holds for them.

“The successes and failures of a tour dictate the outcome for the next tour,” Driedger explained. “After the tour we put focus back to our other projects. Some things will depend on doors opening or staying shut.”

In regards to the album and the time spent with it on the whole, Driedger has an uncompromising attitude that is quite evident, and something that he’s most proud of.

“We didn’t compromise anything. We had an artistic vision (and) we followed through to the end of it.”

Published in Volume 65, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 10, 2011)

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