Vancouver Landscapes and Johnny Ramone’s Book: Band Booking With White Lung

Listening to White Lung’s fantastic second album Sorry, you might be tempted to speak in rapturous terms about their music, and to make unexpected connections between their sound and that of their punk rock forebears. The bands in which Rick Froberg has played — Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes in particular– come to mind, but so does the sorely-missed Scottish postpunk group Life Without Buildings. It’s visceral yet complex stuff, and it doesn’t hurt that vocalist Mish Way is also a smart, perceptive writer about music. I chatted with bassist Grady Mackintosh about their new album, their home city, and more.

The title of the new album is Sorry — for what is it intended as an apology (tongue-in-cheek, I assume)?

Anne Marie [Vassiliou, drums] came up with the idea to name the album Sorry when we were still writing songs the night before going into the studio to record the album. Like ‘well, we ran out of time so this is what you get, sorry’. It was intended as a joke, but Mish found it related to her lyrics as well, so we went with it.

Has having a member who also writes regularly about music had any effect on the band’s music?

No, it hasn’t had a direct effect on the music itself, but she’s been invaluable when it comes to press and stuff like that. Her experience is obviously extre mely helpful.

Where did the cover artwork for Sorry come from? 

The cover art is a collage made by a friend of ours, Justin Gradin (who also made the cover art for the first LP). He was going to use it for an art book, but we loved it and he thankfully allowed us use it. It looks great.

How much do you find that the landscape of Vancouver affects the music that you make?

We’ve been asked this before and honestly, I don’t know what influence the city has on our music. I’m sure it does on some level, but it’s just what we know.

What have you been reading lately?

I just finished Commando by Johnny Ramone. I had no idea how business-savvy he was. Really good book.

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