Creating Beats with Krista Loewen of You Say Party! We Say Die!

Vancouver’s ownYou  Say Party! We Say Die! has certainly been gaining attention ever since their first release, Hit the Floor (Sound Document) graced audience’s ears in 2005. The band has been on the rise from day one and recently released their newest and third record titled XXXX (Paper Bag Records). This has proven to be a charming album filled with infectious vocals, and dance beats that will only leave you wanting more. We had the chance to talk to keyboardist Krista Loewen who just got back from playing her first Olympics show. Here’s what she had to say….

Modern Mystery: From the start, the band has gained a good deal of attention. Did you ever think you would take off as quickly as you did?

Krista Loewen: It took us all by surprise quite a bit. The reason for starting the band was finding something to do in a boring suburb. Our goal was to get a show in Vancouver. We thank and praise our fans all the time.

MM: You’re about to head out on a lengthy tour. What is your favorite part about being on the road? Are you excited to get out there?

Loewen: I’m looking forward to coming back to the states. It’s been several years since we’ve been there. I do enjoy it and I love spending time with the band, enjoying their company. You wouldn’t think we’d enjoy each other’s company after being in a van for so long. Also meeting people and our fans while on the road is the best!

MM: What’s your favorite city to play a show in?

Loewen: I have a lot of favorite cities, I can’t just pick one. I cant have a favorite if it’s several, right?! In Canada I like Winnipeg, Montreal, and Halifax a lot. In the states I don’t have enough of a reference since it’s been several years since we’ve been there. We didn’t spend much time in the first place. I want to spend more time in nyc. The first time we played there we in and out for the show. We didn’t get a chance to look around.

MM:  What is the main inspiration behind the songs on XXXX?Loewen: The five of us coming to a new place in our friendship, and our love for our music after running ourself ragged. Mostly the renewed love of those two things.

MM: Do you find it hard to bring to the stage what you created in the studio?

Loewen: In some elements, yes. There’s certain types of gear you can’t take on stage. I can’t bring my Hammond organ on tour. It’s too big. There’s certain elements in the studio that we find it hard to do live. We don’t make the live show like the recording, we make it a different experience. We’re a different kind of animal than we are on the albuim . We embrace it and go with it.

MM: What is your favorite song to play live and why?

Loewen: It’s consistently changing especially when you’re on tour every night. ”There Is Love (Within My Heart)” is my favorite right now. We’ve been starting our set with that song and it puts me in the perfect headspace to play. It’s a g ood starting song. It’s also the first song on the new record.

MM: When you’re not touring and recording, what do you spend your time doing?

Loewen: Working! Especially when we’re not on the road. I live in a house with a bunch of other women in Vancouver. It’s a whole house, with five of us living there with a bunch of animals. I like to hang out in the beach in Vancouver, and I like to garden. I’m not sure what to do for work when I come back. I just quit my job to go on tour. Luckily we’re on the road for a while!

MM: How did you get involved with playing the Olympic shows?

Loewen: We actually did one this morning! We played this morning at the ladies ski event at Cypress Mountain between the finals. Its been interesting! A lot of local bands were asked to take parts in the events. They have quite an extensive, cultural side Olympics. It’s a big CanCon festival.

MM:  How have fans embraced the songs on the new record? What has their overall reaction been?

Loewen: Overall the reaction is pretty positive. There’s always going to be people who like the older stuff better. It’s been a pretty well received album. We definetly get a lot of good feedback from a lot of our fans.

MM: How does the songwriting process occur for the band?
It’s fairly collaborative. It usually happens when someone develops a song on their own and it evolves in the group. Sometimes someone comes in with a whole thing and tells us what to play. We spend a lot of hours down in the jam space. We have a rehearsal space/mini storage in downtown Vancouver.

MM:  Who inspired you to play music?

Loewen: It goes back to when I’m younger and I was really inspired by Blondie, The Go-Gos, and Joan Jett. I got into a lot of those bands in high school. Especially Debbie and Joan Jett…I loved them to pieces when I was 16 and 17years old. I still do but not in the same way.

MM: Are the The Smoking Spokes still around? If not, do you plan on ever reuniting them?

Loewen: Stephen actually posted on our Twitter yesterday something about going out for a bike ride and that “The Smoking Spokes Ride Again!” We had some fun times with it. Its another thing we did to get away from being bored in the suburbs. We actually talked about getting a bike rack on the back of the van, but 6 or7 bikes wouldn’t really work.

Check out the offical new video for “There is XXXX (Within My Heart”

You Say Party! We Say Die! Tour Dates

24-Feb – Cypress Mountain, British Columbia – Olympic Show
27-Feb – Surrey, British Columbia – Olympic 2010 Celebration Site/Holland Park (w/ Tokyo Police Club)
09-Mar – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
10-Mar – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
12-Mar – San Fran, CA – Bottom Of the Hill
13-Mar – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
15-Mar – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room
17-Mar – Austin, TX – Canadian Blast Party @ SXSW
17-Mar – Austin, TX – Pure Volume Showcase @ SXSW
18-Mar – Austin, TX – Casablanca Publishing / Maggie Mae’s @ SXSW
18-Mar – Austin, TX – Paper Bag Records Party / Speakeasy @ SXSW
19-Mar – Austin, TX – Consequence of Sound Party / Black Sheep Lodge @ SXSW
19-Mar – Austin, TX – Lose Control 2010 Party / Vice @ SXSW
21-Mar – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone
22-Mar – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
23-Mar – Charlotte, NC – Snug Harbor
24-Mar – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
26-Mar – New York, NY – Knitting Factory
27-Mar – Boston, MA – TT The Bears
29-Mar – New York, NY – Piano’s
30-Mar – Detroit, MI – Pike Room
31-Mar – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle