The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: “A man never crosses the same river twice because it’s not the same river and he is not the same man.”
The same can be said for the Toronto-based indie band Fast Romantics when they perform at the Algonquin Observatory Nov. 30.
Other than its name, the only thing Fast Romantics has in common with the band that formed in 2009 is the lead vocalist Matthew Angus and bass player Jeffrey Lewis.
“I feel like since the last record we’re a new band,” Angus said in a recent interview with the Algonquin Times. “We almost gave up after two different versions didn’t work out.”
Their last album, American Love, released in 2017, was the first album of the current six-piece band.
“If you’re into pop songs and high energy, Julie is the track that everyone seems to love,” Angus said about the records lead single. “Plus it’s a blast to play.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the band, Angus suggests one of the “deeper cuts” from the previous album.
“My favourite song on the last record is Heavens Alright,” he said, “but I don’t know how many people listened to it because it’s at the end.”
The band’s current roster includes four new members alongside Angus and Lewis.
“Kirty was the first new addition before American Love, she’s an awesome songwriter,” Angus said. “She started to infiltrate my process a little bit, in a really great way.”
Kevin Black, formerly of Toronto band Hands and Teeth, joined on guitar and vocals.
“Kevin brings such a super-deep well of amazing ideas on the guitar,” said Angus. “He’s our guitar-scientist.”
Nick McKinlay was added on drums in 2014 as the fifth member.
“Nick is a wealth of musical information,” he said. “He probably knows every band that’s ever existed.”
Even at five members, in 2015 there was still something missing.
“A lot of bands use tracks and we’ve always been against doing it for a few different reasons,” Angus said. “There came a time for us as a five-piece band that there were parts that we can’t play”
So the band had to decide whether or not to use a backing track or add yet another member.
They chose keyboardist Lisa Lorenz.
“She can just instantly play something on a keyboard,” said Angus. “She can just hear it and do it.”
If you’re already a fan of the Fast Romantics and are hoping for some new music, you are in luck.
“This tour we’re doing is the start of something fresh for us,” Angus said. “Half the set is new songs that no one has really heard yet.”
The set list will include the bands newest single Mexico, released Nov. 2, co-written by Angus and Kirty, and the first song the band completely self-produced and recorded.
Check out Fast Romantics when they perform at the Algonquin Observatory on Nov. 30, and look out for event coverage online and in print after the show.