Listeners to Marianas Trench’s latest album release, Phantoms, shouldn’t be surprised by a strong and obvious musical connection to Queen. Especially on the opening track “Eleonora” and “Wish You Were Here”, both numbers boast strong multi-track vocal harmonies which are the hallmarks of Queen’s distinctive sound.
“Anyone familiar with Marianas Trench knows we are strongly influenced by Queen” acknowledges guitarist Matt Webb on the phone to promote the March 1st launch of the band’s fifth album, five days prior to the launch of a 15-date Canadian tour which kicks off March 6th at Windsor’s Caesars Casino and concludes March 29th at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. “Queen’s music has strongly impacted our sound, especially our vocal harmonies. They’ve always been one of our favourite bands.”
And yes, while the success of the box-office movie smash Bohemian Rhapsody has put Queen back in the spotlight, Mariana’s Trench is aiming to capture some of that spotlight on their own when they hit the stage in March. Accustomed to performing in large arenas, Mariana’s Trench has selected a number of more intimate venues on this Suspended Gravity tour (opening artists; Elijah Woods and Jamie Fine).
“We’ve done the hockey arena thing before, and we’re still doing a few areas but we have chosen more intimate venues (like Toronto’s Sony Centre) this time around,” Webb explained. “It’s always great when you can connect with your audience and some of these venues are the nicest places we could possibly play.”
Webb notes there’s a kind of sinister feel about their new “Phantoms” album, a creepiness that came about during a recent tour stop-over In New Orleans where they became aware of that city’s voodoo origins
“We like to create themes for our albums and this theme allowed us to do some fun things around the recording of the album,” Webb noted. “It allows us to be creative with our tour set design, our costumes, our posters. Elements that we like to have fun with.”
Launched in Vancouver in 2001, group members; lead vocalist Josh Ramsey, guitarist Matt Webb, bassist Mike Ayley and drummer Ian Casselman have been together since day one evolving a sound which has progressed from punk to pop while possessing those trademark vocal harmonies and pop sensibility in their lyrics.
Marianas Trench established themselves with their second “Masterpiece Theatre” and third “Ever After” albums, winning Juno Band Of The Year plaudits in 2013. Ramsey also earned recognition (and a few bucks in the bank) for co-writing Carly Rae Jepson’s Grammy-nominated “Call Me Maybe” track also in 2013.
“We’ve purposely spun our albums out with three or four-year intervals,” noted Webb, the band’s last album,`Astoria’ released in 2015. “It takes time to record an album, tour with it and play it out but our fans have always been patient and supportive. We’ve taken almost a year to record this one.”
The band has kept their fans sated by pre-releasing three tracks off the current record, the latest single being “I Know You When” and Webb thinks it’s a great idea for the band’s fan base to get an advance taste of the record to decide if they like the new album and whether they are interested in supporting the new tour. “Hey, it allows them to learn the songs and sing along with us,” cracks Webb.
As for the tour, Webb promises a full production with lots of special effects, new tricks and other surprises as the band gets to mix new material with their proven hits. “It’s always great to get back out on tour” he allows. “We’ve been together since the beginning. We get to crack the same old jokes and we love to perform together. It’s something we never get tired of doing.”
Suspended Gravity Tour Dates:
03/06 Windsor Caesars Place
03/08 Barrie Molson Centre
03/09 Kitchener Memorial Auditorium
03/11 Oshawa Tribute Community Centre
03/12 Hamilton First Ontario Concert Hall
03/13 Toronto Sony Centre
03/15 St Catherines Meridian Centre
03/16 Ottawa TD Place Arena
03/18 Montreal Corona Theatre
03/19 Sudbury Community Arena
03/22 Winnipeg Bell MTS Place
03/23 Regina Conexus Arts Centre
03/25 Calgary SAIT
03/26 Edmonton NAIT
03/28 Vancouver Orpheum Theatre
For ticket information or other information on the band, please link to https://www.marianastrench.net
By Keith Sharp