Northern Roots act Jubilee Riots is a band that is very much centered around telling stories that resonate with truth and authenticity, as is evidenced by their latest outing, Penny Black. Inspired by years of touring, meeting people and sharing stories over late night drinks at the bar with fans, the band put out the call for people around the world to submit their stories as inspiration for their upcoming album. Letters came from across the globe – from the band’s native Canada to locales as far away as Japan and Australia – each carrying the weight of one fan’s emotional tale.
“There were all sorts of letters,” shares bass player, Mark Abraham. “Some were dark and anonymous and difficult to read but many were funny or embarrassing; the kind of life events that happen to all of us.”
Bandmate Brian Buchanan adds, “It’s really humbling, but it’s also amazing to remember that all of those anonymous faces in the crowd – every single one of them – has a battle that they’re fighting and their own secret histories. All it takes sometimes is being an ear for people to talk to.”
“There were a lot of common themes,” vocalist and songwriter Trevor Lewington shares. “You start to see that not only does everyone have their own stories but there are some common themes that run through all of our lives and sometimes those similarities can actually connect people who wouldn’t have guessed they had anything in common.”
Beyond the challenge of taking 500 pages of letters and turning them into an album of songs, the band had another vision: to create a collection of tracks that they could perform start to finish on a late night dance tent stage at festivals; an album with an energetic pulse that would be impossible to sit still and listen to. It was that juxtaposition of upbeat party grooves with meaningful lyrics based on very personal stories that became the focus of the project.
Jubilee Riots on the web: