Canadian Rock band Sights & Sounds have completed work on their latest release Monolith which was out in stores on May 26th. The band will also be touring extensively this summer as part of the Weight Of The World Tour that is crisscrossing the country. I recently caught up with guitarist Adrian Mottram who answered a few questions about the band and the recording process for the CD, Monolith.

Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Adrian: We have all grown up from different backgrounds so as a whole we have record collections that go in every direction. To sum it up currently, Dinosaur JR, Greg Dulli, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Mew would be a short list. We are always digging up new bands, searching out old records and exchanging collections every chance we get.

The name of the band Sights & Sounds is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
Adrian: Sights & Sounds was a name that best describes the band with not only our musical approach but our ideas for eventually incorporating projections and images behind us. When we first met, we were hanging out in Matt’s apartment just talking about music and the aspirations we have as musicians, writers and performers. The conversations snowballed and still continues to take off in directions about where we would like to take styles and textures musically and visually, with backgrounds and moving projections. Eventually, when we have more time to set up and play longer sets we will be bringing all of our ideas out, but for the shorter sets like on this tour we have our own small light set up that I control with foot switches.

Your brand new CD titled Monolith was released on May 26th. Now that it is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Adrian: Yes! Satisfied may be an understatement. In some respects, we have been writing and refining all of the work on this record since the insemination of this band. Even the last touches came at the right time to tie it all together. It is very inspiring watching the music grow at the same time as the dynamic of all of us as friends (or brothers). I’m looking forward to the next one.

What was the writing process like for Monolith? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Adrian: Being so spread apart it would seem difficult to be a band but I think it is quite the opposite. We are really lucky that everyone writes on their own. When we come together we have tons of music to jam and arrange as well. Our time is so focused we end up accomplishing what we seek out when we are together. Monolith came together in hotel rooms, studio space in Toronto, apartments on the side of a mountain and over the telephone singing melodies and drumbeats. Even in the van driving across the country, we were able to arrange a song. I find once you meet other musicians who can enter the same mind space musically you don’t need your guitars.

Give us some insight into Monolith and the meaning behind its title?
Adrian: Monolith is an ideal word to use when describing the formation and culmination of this band and the music that we create. It is towering and vast and the word represents our first full length well. Having that statue as the cover… it just had to be called “Monolith”. I also watched 2001 Space Odyssey about seven times while we were recording it.

You worked with Devin Townsend, (Darkest Hour, Misery Signals, Bleeding Through) a well-known, well-respected producer. How did you get in touch with him and what was it like working with him?
Adrian: When Misery Signals were recording their latest record, Controller, I was invited to the studio in Vancouver to hangout and spend a day watching them work. I knew within minutes that he was the right producer. Devin adds so much to all of his productions it was such an honor to work with him.

The band keeps things interesting thematically. Can you talk about some of the subjects you tackle on this record?
Adrian: There are a lot of personal situations on this record from disaster and loss to awakenings and new light. As well as pulling back as the observers and watching the world turn even about this experience we are in as this band. It’s a reflection of what we have seen and done.

What can fans expect when they pick up a copy of Monolith?
Adrian: It’s equally loud and intense as it is melodic and introspective. It is a true Rock and Roll record. Ideal for any situation and it goes well with a road trip.

The band is about to embark on The Weight Of The World Tour. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
Adrian: Well some of us like to bring our chin up bar and free weights. Some of us make sure they have lots of smokes and enough guitar strings. We rehearse for a few days before the tour starts and work out the set with the samples and lights.

What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Adrian: Never plug your bass amp into the light switcher. We have blown up several stages in the process of refining our live show.  [ END ]