“This album is more united than our previous work. We have different moods throughout but it works better as a whole. Of course we’re outdated because we still have the mentality of making an album when most kids now just care about a song.” Secret And Whisper vocalist Charles Finn talks about the band’s upcoming second long player titled Teenage Fantasy. “We put up the new song Edge Of Wilderness today and 80% of the comments were positive but the negative one’s stuck out to me because the kids were like it’s good but it’s not as powerful as our other new song Warrior (Southern Arrowwood) and I’m thinking did you think we’re a metal band? We write songs.” Bassist Jordan Chase chips in “we work with a lot of young bands but we don’t come from the same place they do. They just do one song or one sound over and over again for an album, I think does anyone remember when there was bands like Smashing Pumpkins who could play a soft song or come in with a heavy song and both were just as captivating?”
Finn, Chase and their bandmates Jason Ciolli (guitar), Ryan Loerke (drums) and newest addition Dave Ecker (guitar) previously released 2008’s debut Great White Whale also on Tooth & Nail Records. The album was as epic as it’s title with spacey but aggressive guitars, melodic and powerful vocals and ethereal rock with post-hardcore technicality. The album went on to sell over 25,000 copies in the U.S. and earned praise from media outlets such as Absolute Punk.net who said “Great White Whale has some incredible high points which make the rest of the album worth any amount of money or energy you spend acquiring it worth your effort” and that the band “deserve every accolade they receive.” Revolver Magazine was also forthcoming in it’s praise saying “The band equally channels Saosin and Tool, successfully bridging the gap between prog metal and emo.”
In that same year the band played over 270 shows touring the U.S. relentlessly with bands such as Emery, Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster, A Static Lullaby, Still Remains, Dance Gavin Dance and Emarosa culminating in an appearance in Japan at Loud Park alongside Meshuggah and Slipknot playing to over 26,000 people. This was not without it’s tolls as original guitarist Bradyn Byron left and the road left many new obstacles including a member of the band being assaulted at random outside of a show by a gang of men taping the assault. Finn relates “I called it Teenage Fantasy because we all had a dream when we were young to be rock stars, famous and making millions. However at this age and being the music industry as a whole is in a state of depression, we’re coming to the thought maybe it was just a hollow fantasy. We come from a small town in Canada (Kelowna) and we are signed to a U.S. label so we’re not really played on Canadian radio or TV. Our parents and friends don’t see the U.S. fans, the album sales, the press coverage. All they see is us leave our homes for months on end and then come back and not be able to pay the rent without working side jobs. To them it’s like, ‘guys give up the Teenage Fantasy’.”
Retaining the same dense yet airy element to their music, the new songs have a thicker and aggressive rhythm section, giving a bombastic rock crunch to their shoe-gazing explorations and giving Finn the propulsion needed to take his vocals into arena sized choruses. Chase comments on the development of the new songs by saying “we all have a hand in the writing, we have never bickered over a song, it’s pretty ego-less with all of us more concerned with what works best than star time. Me and Ryan have been listening to a lot of drum and bass lately and that aggressive, heavy hitting sound worked it’s way into a lot of our new ideas.” Producer Jeff Schneeweis (Hawthorne Heights, Number One Gun) also had a hand in it’s development. “The new album sounds really polished but the parts are actually pretty raw sounding, no sampling. Jeff was really good at making us pull it back and stripping down parts so we could make the melodies really ring out.”
While the band may have realistic outlooks on a music career, their music is as dreamlike and surreal as always. Finn ends by saying “We’re really inspired by films, the song I’m proudest of is after we watched “Dune” (sci-fi classic saga) I wrote the song Silver Mountain and to me it conveys that feeling of watching the movie. We like how movies can convey a feeling that stays with you after it’s done and that’s what we aim for in our music. It’s always exciting when we play shows and we meet with fans who really connect with that.” The fantasy lives on!