“This record is back to a comfort zone for me. It’s me writing the songs. It’s me sharing my opinion,” Canada says in an interview, explaining how the band’s sound has evolved since the amicable departure of vocalist/guitarist Seth James last year.
“I think some of the things we did on the last record were a little out of my element. I wasn’t leading,” he says. “When the Departed started, it was me and Seth sharing that role. We both got tired of that situation, and I think we were both ready to lead again.”
Read the rest of his interview with Rolling Stone HERE. (And y’all actually click there and read it cause it’s a great article!)
Canada’s return to vintage form comes as welcome news for longtime fans of his work, including the years he spent as the front man for Cross Canadian Ragweed.
A country-rock nonconformist known for boundary-pushing songwriting, Canada has never been one to pull punches with his lyrics. But on ‘HippieLovePunk,’ one thing has changed since his days with Ragweed: “the maturity of the songs,” he says. “I think we grew up a little bit.”
Now married for almost twenty years and a proud parent of two young children, Canada’s priorities, and consequently his songwriting, have evolved. “Having kids has a lot to do with it,” he says, describing the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy as an emotional turning point that changed his perspective.
“I was watching the news, which I hardly do because it makes me sad. That day, I thought, how can we live in a country where we send our kids to school and we have to worry about it? My parents didnt worry when they sent me to school. I walked to school, and they didnt worry about it one bit. That’s really what started this thing. There’s a few of those ‘take care of each other’ hippie songs, you know.”
“But the punk’s always gonna be there. Anger is one thing that always fuels my fire,” says Canada. “If I get pissed off about something, I write lyrics about it.”
The idea behind ‘HippieLovePunk’ fully came together when Canada was trying to explain the music to a friend, Mattson Rainer, at the New Braunfels, TX-based radio station KNBT. “Mattson asked me what the theme of the new record was and I said, ‘it’s love songs, and don’t-back-me-in-a-corner songs, and take-care-of each-other music. And he said ‘oh, like a hippie-love-punk thing?’ And I said ‘there it is, that’s the title.’”
Recorded at the historic Arlyn Studios in Austin, TX, ‘HippieLovePunk’ features Cody Canada on lead vocals and guitar, along with bassist Jeremy Plato, drummer Chris Doege and keyboard player Steve Littleton.
‘HippieLovePunk’ will be released on January 13, with a special early release show taking place at this year’s MusicFest in Steamboat Springs, CO.
^^”Inbetweener By The Departed^^