When a band picks a venue that’s maybe a bit off the beaten path, you can usually figure they’re looking for the wild, the unimaginable, the semi-logical if not the predictably insane stop that will brand their music both individual and creative.
Then there is The Provincial Archive.
Seven months of preparation have brought these seasoned indie musicians out of Edmonton and into a series of provincial archives—as in the literal archive of important historical information stored by each province—in a, well lets face it, very, very off the beaten path bordering on weird decision to play up their own name.
Asked how they earned such a privilege, lead singer Craig Schram of the oft-quirky crew, admitted they “did a lot of sweet talking,” but said it was ultimately worth it.
Odd choices are a calling card for The Provincial Archive. Look at the cover of their last album and you’ll find it features an historic Louis Hine photo used in the sociologist’s campaign to transform child labour laws. The four boys appear to be children with their eyes closed, but if you look hard, one is likely dead.
Schram told the Capital News, when interviewed before their Western Canadian Music Awards stop last fall, that the first album was all about coming to terms with the fact the world isn’t what one thinks in childhood.
The group hasn’t produced an album since, but have picked up a new drummer, R. Bramwell Smith, who has just penned “Drive”-available on the website www.provincialarchive.com.
Songwriting for the group has typically been handled by Schram, but he’s enjoying the new collaborative role. The pair have started a “songwriting club,” as he puts it, to push each other in new directions.
“It’s not really a club, it’s just the two of us,” he said, joking anyone else gets rejected. “Sometimes it can be very easy to write songs about nothing, so this way you know you’re actually writing something.”
Just what the next something will be is undecided. While they’ve talked about themes in their long trips in the van, the true meaning of an album never really emerges for them until the product is complete.
The next one is expected to be complete by year-end.
In the meantime, Provincial Archive have picked the next best thing to a provincial archive venue in Kelowna—one of our oldest community halls to play their gig here.
Built in 1940, East Kelowna Community Hall should set the perfect stage, with Oh Susanna and Matthew Barber, June 10. Show starts 8 p.m., tickets $20 at the door, $15 from The Tickle Trunk or Beadiful Arts.