No seance just badass pop for Spirits

Spirits Live By: Sheena Lyonnais
July 7, 2009

Toronto’s Spirits first caught my attention during Canadian Music Week when they were added last minute to the opening slot of the sold-out Ting Tings show. Instantly I was captivated by their charismatic energy, not to mention the caliber of their musicianship. 

Having recently been signed to Sonic Unyon, the band is eager to talk about their excitement, their upcoming album and how shamelessly awesome they think they are. 

“We believe in our band, we really believe in this band.  We love playing in it.  We love the songs.  You shouldn’t be in a band if you don’t think you’re better than everyone else or you don’t think you can do better than everyone else.  That’s what we honestly think,” vocalist Brad Germain said after their North By Northeast gig at the Reverb.

“We think that we actually have something to contribute.  I think why we’re so good is because we play a show like we’re actually trying to connect.  We’re not worried about it or nervous because we don’t think we’re very good.  We know we have something and we’re just trying to get people to pay attention to it.  It’s hard to get people to pay attention to music because there are so many bands, but we believe in our music, we believe in our band.  I’ll be damned if someone fuckin’ told us we’re not good, because I think we are.”

Germain and guitarist/mac operator/vocalist Ian Smith have been writing together for a couple of years and were later joined by drummer Nick Skalkos.  Spirits’ unabashed love of a good pop hook combined with their desire to have fun is partially responsible for the great response they have received thus far. 

While they may appear cocky, they have the talent and ambition to back it up.  They are not ashamed to write what they call potentially ‘fluffy’ songs because these are tracks they believe in. 

“At the end of the day, we’re not into music to make music that people like necessarily, but we think it’s music people will like that’s why we’re behind it. It’s really accessible, but we’re not making it just to make it because we decided we wanted to make money.  It’s for the sheer love,” Germain said.

“Pop music is underrated.  It’s underrated that someone can write a really cool hook that you will remember forever.  You don’t have to hide behind anything; you can just put it out there.  So hopefully it will do well, but the idea for us is playing.  We want to play.  If people get it they get it, if they don’t they don’t.  It’s not really up to us.”

“We’re not writing songs that match up, we’re writing songs because we want the songs to sound like that.  It’s what we enjoy,” Smith added.

Spirits Live NXNEThe pop brand that Spirits have become synonymous with possesses a very European vibe.  With only three members, the band manages to produce a largely professional sound that would be at home with bands like Friendly Fires and Glasvegas. 

While this foreign sound is unintentional, it shows the potential this music has to translate.  It could be heard and accepted everywhere from the Mod Club to Dance Cave. 

“Playing on stage with this band is the raddest thing ever.  It’s fun.  We dance around.  We laugh.  We smile.  Bands don’t smile enough. Bands hate each other. They hate it because they’re so frustrated at the fact they’re not successes, like ultra success.  We just wanna be buds.  We wanna hang around, love music and play good music. If you can live off it, that’s a bonus,” Germain said.

Their self-produced debut album is set for release on September 19.  They will be playing several CD release dates including one at the Hideout on September 18.  To see if they’re hitting you’re city and to check out their music visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *