Hammering out The Details

On the heels of their new release, The Details find the balance between playing music for fun and to pay the bills

Winnipeg’s The Details decided to build their third jam space using bricks after the big, bad wolf blew down their first two. COURTESY KILLBEAT

We’ve all been warned of the dangers of mixing business with pleasure. Fortunately for music fans everywhere, Winnipeg’s own The Details have found a way to successfully balance the two.

With a new EP, The Original Mark, to be released this coming Tuesday, Nov. 16, the band is ready to get back to doing what they love best – hitting the road to broaden their business horizons and play some beautiful music.

“It’s been hard, I think, to be home for so long but it’s been necessary for us to get everything we needed packaged together all at once,” said Keli Martin, the band’s bass player, over drinks at Lo Pub.

“Now that we have the EP and the album coming out we’re ready to rock and roll again,” added singer-guitarist Jon Plett.

After putting out the EP “with time to tour before the roads became undrivable” (as Martin explained), their sophomore album produced by Stephen Carroll (of The Weakerthans) and Brandon Reid (The National) will drop after the snow melts, giving fans a double dose of The Details’ carefully crafted brand of indie rock to look forward to.

The quartet, which also includes guitarist Sean Vidal and drummer Shaun Gibson, have worked the road pretty hard since the release of their first full-length album, 2007’s Draw a Distance. Draw a Border. and are looking forward to doing it again in the coming year.

“There’s nothing that beats an awesome show in a city that is not your own,” said Plett.

For a band that cites “a mix-tape” of influences, it’s clear that a shared passion for making music is an inescapable factor.

“If you’re still doing it at the point that we are, and for this many years – because all of us have played in various projects for so long – it’s just you don’t really know how to stop. Something drives you to do it,” said Martin.

“It’s like the Mafia, you can’t get out,” joked Plett.

Even with music as an intrinsic part of their lives, the band is well aware of the reality of succeeding in the music industry.

“We’re always going to have fun. Fun’s easy, I can plug in and play with anyone and have fun. But we criss-cross the country not just for fun. It’s also that we have a goal,” said Plett.

“Success for me would probably be a functioning business on top of a band that I like. Like, the band itself is a business that is actually paying bills.”

“It doesn’t matter what level you are at. You need money to pay the gas, you need money for everything from patch cords to hotel rooms to food,” said Martin.

So looking down that well-travelled road, where would this band like to be in the years to come?

“In 10 years I hope we have an extremely successful business,” said Martin.

Plett gave it some more thought, and landed on a distinctly less industrious choice.

“In 10 years I plan on being in rehab,” he quipped.

Published in Volume 65, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 11, 2010)

Related Reads