“Pins and Needles” by People on Pause

People on Pause burst onto the St. John’s music scene in 2010 as a collaboration between AE Bridger and Justin Guswell. The duo released their killer eponymous RPM debut that year and have since relocated to Montreal and put out two more records, Hard Company (2011) and their RPM 2012 gem Look Lady. The band has also evolved into a larger, tighter live unit which is making a name for itself on the Montreal music scene these days. I recently checked in with AE Bridger for an update on the band.

How did the writing and recording process go for Look Lady? Was it still primarily a collaboration between you and Justin?
Guzzy and myself played all the instruments and more or less split up the songwriting. Because it is hard to find cheap rehearsal and recording space in Montreal, we ended up doing each “loud” instrument in one session. We did all the drums in one afternoon at a big loft where a friend of mine lived, and did all the electric guitar at a friend’s house as well in one session. All the vocals were also recorded in one marathon session that went from about 7:00 PM to 6:00 AM the following morning.

You guys are still playing live in Montreal, right? Who’s currently in the band?
People on Pause are playing live and we have had a few changes in our lineup. Presently, Guzzy and myself do lead vocals, with him on piano and me on guitar. Adam Tiller (Narrows) plays bass, Steve Cowan (Narrows, AE Bridger, Surgeon and classical guitarist extraordinaire) plays drums, Chang Ling (Ye-Yeti, Vicar) plays synthesizer, auxillary percussion and vocals. Deidre Driscoll handles the coolest role — she sings and plays auxillary percussion while also doing live projections on to the band using an old T-Rex style projector. We get some psychadelic liquid swirls going, it’s pretty fun.

How is the music being received at live shows?
We are getting better and better all the time and the audience reception has reflected that. We are starting to really know what we do well in a live setting. Last night, we actually came first place in a cool battle of the bands showcase put off by a local event promotion group, so we will go on to play at the finals for that.

Any new recordings or material in the works?
We are starting a new album in October, hopefully we can wrap it up by Christmas. We are lucky to have Tiller in the band because he did his Masters in sound recording at McGill so we are doing a more “off the floor” album at the McGill studio with the current lineup. The material is going to be a lot of the stuff we do live that isn’t included on our other three albums. It’s definitely going to be a lighter, friendlier album than the others. It’s a very exciting time for us actually.

Any plans for shows back home in St. John’s any time soon?
We are going to be opening up for Thee Internet at their CD release show on Decembr 28th at the Ship. Know anyone that has one of those old projectors in St. John’s?