Note to the good folks at Pitchfork: Relax, people, Woodhands is only kidding you.
The Toronto-based indie electro-rock duo of keytarist Dan Werb and drummer Paul Banwatt has gained a bit of attention lately for track P’iss off of their Z-Side release, a hip-hop-style track that declares that the music media site “doesn’t care about black people” and claims it has “content so thin it needs to eat a sandwich.” Scandalous at first listen, but nothing but a goof, claims Werb.
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“It’s not a hate thing,” he says during a phone interview from his native town of Vancouver. “We love diss albums and wanted an excuse to sample Kanye West on something and that seemed to be the easiest way.”
“Though they do tend to not pay enough attention to underground hip-hop,” adds Banwatt. “They have all this extensive coverage of indie rock but whenever they cover rap, it’s all the mainstream stuff.”
Point taken, but the pair argues that P’iss is far too jokey to be included on their latest release, Remorsecapade. The third full-length in the canon aggressively picks up where 2008’s critically acclaimed Heart Attack left off, this time with a balance of coked-up (just an adjective!) momentum of gritty synths, relentless, sweaty drumming and emotionally invasive balladeering.
“We were trying to push it that much further than we did before,” says Werb, a jazz-trained pianist. “We got to a particular place with Heart Attack where we gained a lot of confidence and we could really put ourselves out there musically. So we decided on something a lot more intense, vulnerable and real. But it’s still a dance album, after all.”
Though they still keep it light when they can, as evidenced on their video CP24, which spoofs the local news ticker. “Every town’s got that really budget kind of news channel,” Werb says.
One of the blurbs under the footage of robots storming the city declares Prime Minister Stephen Harper will resign from government (if only, some might argue), but his eyes will stick around.
“Have you ever seen that guy’s eyes? He’s got the crazy eyes,” argues Werb. “He looks like a young Emperor Palpatine. They should become a national symbol, like beavers or Tim Hortons or something.”
On the subject of eyes, fans should keep theirs on Woodhands’ Twitter feed for details about a secret late night party after their Opera House gig with k-os on Thursday for Canadian Music Week.
“We’ll basically drive around downtown in a van with our equipment until we find a parking lot that’s big enough,” says Banwatt. “And when we find it we’ll tell you on Twitter. So stay tuned.”