Sights & Sounds Reflect on "No Virtue" & Discuss Future Plans: "This Feels like the Peak of Our Creative Outlets"
Canadian based rock band Sights & Sounds just celebrated the release of their second full-length album, No Virtue this month. The follow-up to the band’s 2013 massive breakout record, Monolith, No Virtue has been a long time in the making but certainly worth waiting for. In the six years between albums, the band has grown immensely, and according to vocalist, Andrew Neufeld, they are in a much different, more focused place this time around.
With No Virtue marking a fresh start for Sights & Sounds, we caught up with the band to chat about their new music, their growth over the past few years and plans for the future. Read the full interview and stream the album now below.
Can you tell us a little bit about Sights & Sounds for anyone who might be listening for the first time?
Andrew: S&S is an atmospheric rock band from Toronto Canada. A melodic band with electronic elements with punk / hardcore roots. It started as a side project to my other band Comeback Kid.
You guys just released your new album, No Virtue this month! What are you most excited for fans to hear on the album?
We just released the album a couple days ago! Honestly it's such a relief. We have been working on the record for the last 2-3 years. Demo after demo. Pealing back the layers. This is a body of work that really captures where we are at musically and we its like a purging of sorts getting this out. It's a lot like a fresh start for the band as our last EP we put out about 4 years ago ( and that was kind of just demos we ended up putting out because we got offered a tour with Bring Me The Horizon ). So its been a labour of love that we put our whole worlds into.
No Virtue is the follow-up to your debut album Monolith and there is a gap of a few years between the albums - how do you feel you’ve grown as musicians, songwriters or even just as people between the two albums?
I've released 3 Comeback Kid records and produced about 10 other bands records since the last Sights full length. We are in a much different place musically this time around than last time in taste, experience, and how we want to execute our vision. Bringing in our keyboard / production man Dave in has been a huge step for us incorporating the electronic elements and have really expanded our sound. Where as before would be the more stoner, long drawn out heavy atmospheric vibe we were going for... this time around is a more focused and to the point songs with maybe more pop sensibilities.
Did you have any major goals in mind when you first started working on No Virtue? Anything that you wanted to accomplish that you maybe didn’t have the chance to do last time?
Music is all time and place. There are a couple of songs that we workshopped for our previous releases that just didn't feel right at the time, but when we had access to a few more tools over the last couple years bringing some of more unconventional instrumentation to life, that's when it ended up making sense. We had some skeletons that were pretty much done, but we weren't able to execute them until now. This feels like the peak of our creative outlets, and that's why it took so long to make.
You also self-produced the new album - what was that process like?
It's a lot of writing / demoing / and re writing the tracks. Some of the time the demo vibe and performances because they were recorded at home studios were hard to replace with the ACTUAL recordings. The demoitis was a real obstacle on this one. We were able to listen back to tracks and really critique them from a bit of an outside perspective so that was cool.
What self producing helped with was allowing us to track in multiple studios and though our engineer in Toronto ( Chris Creglia ) was a co- producer on the project we didn't really have to rely on anyone outside of the band to track and were able to move and float around between recording environments. We mixed down in California and Dave from the band and I were able to go down and really tweak a lot of it. Having some experience working on a lot of records outside of necessarily my own, it was a challenge but an absolute pleasure to be working on MY OWN baby project.
What would you like for listeners to take away from No Virtue?
I hope they take away from it a really interesting and diverse group of songs that come from a place of real vulnerability and my take on my surroundings.
What was the most challenging part of the writing and recording process? The most rewarding?
Most challenging is filtering all the ideas through the funnel and dialing in what works the best. The most rewarding is 2 parts. First is the initial creative spurts that ignite the song ideas in right away. These moments come when you least expect them. The second most rewarding part is where we are at now. Having the finished product. Listening back the mixes with all the candy and soundscapes weaving in and out, and being able to share it with our peers and whoever is able to listen to it!
With the album out now, do you have any other big plans for the rest of 2019 or beginning of 2020?
We have a few shows up here in Canada later this month for the album release, then we will round off the year touring Europe in support of the album. US dates will be early 2020.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything you’d like to add?
Everyone can check out the album now here: https://sightsandsounds.ffm.to/novirtue