Story by Karen Paton-Evans
Photography by Karolina Turek
“Time to dust off the shiny pants and stretch out the glutes, the Trench is back,” says Matt Webb.
The lead guitarist of Marianas Trench is eager to get on the road and reconnect with fans during the band’s Suspending Gravity tour traveling throughout North America. The show for all ages kicks off at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor at 8 pm on Wed., Mar. 6th.
With 15 years’ worth of band hits and fan favourites to select for their playlist, the Vancouver quartet will also be revealing a sheaf of new songs from their upcoming album while on tour.
Comprised of Matt, drummer Ian Casselman, bassist Mike Ayley and frontman Josh Ramsay, Marianas Trench is known for its clever lyrics and catchy tunes. The sound originates with Josh, who was a teenager when he founded the band, named after a trench in the Pacific Ocean, the deepest natural point in the world.
Starting out, Josh had the DNA and access to professional equipment to evolve as a singer, guitarist, producer and lyricist. His father, Miles Ramsay, co-founded Little Mountain Sound recording studio in Vancouver and wrote the A&W root beer theme and other jingles. Josh’s mother sang backup for Leonard Cohen and was a vocal coach to Bryan Adams, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and other superstars.
Marianas Trench grabbed Canada’s attention in 2006 with their debut album, Fix Me. It scored hit singles with Say Anything and Shake Tramp.
Chart toppers kept on coming with the release of singles Rhythm Of Your Heart, Haven’t Had Enough and Who Do You Love.
Sales of their records, Masterpiece Theatre and Ever After, went certified double platinum. An impressive number of their singles have gone gold and platinum-certified, such as Cross My Heart, All to Myself, Desperate Measures and Stutter.
Recognized as true Canadian stars, Marianas Trench has received several JUNO Award nominations and won the 2013 JUNO Award for Group of the Year.
Their bold look and dynamic showmanship prompt fans to wonder what the band will do next. Several of their standout videos have ranked number one on MuchMusic and won multiple Much Music Video Awards.
While they love creating new music in studio, the hard-working band thrives on touring, headlining in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Matt paused in his preparations to chat with Windsor Life.
WL: You will be on the road with your Suspending Gravity Tour in North America from this March to May. The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor is your first stop. When you hit the stage on Wed., Mar. 6, what do you have in store for your audience?
MW: “Well, after a year of hibernating in the studio, we’re thrilled to be getting back on the road. March 6th in Windsor marks the live debut of Phantoms, the beginning of the touring cycle. We’ll be playing a whole bunch of new songs from the new record, as well as all the ol’ standards. I can’t wait. I guess we better start rehearsing ;)”
WL: A lot of your time in 2018 was spent in studio, working on your forthcoming album, Phantoms. Fans got a taste of your hard work with the release of your new single and accompanying video, I Knew You When. Is there a unifying theme or message that weaves through Phantoms?
MW: “Phantoms is ‘set’ in a haunted house and is about being haunted by the ghost of a former love. Spoooky.”
WL: Progressive pop, punk-pop, pop-rock – all of these genres have been attributed to Marianas Trench. How do you define your style of music?
MW: “I don't know, we just play songs. We try to make pop songs with real instruments. And if you know our band, you can count on some wacky tracks with beautiful orchestral and vocal arrangements, choirs, crazy percussion, shredding guitars, adequate bass playing and vocals for days.”
WL: Band founder and lead vocalist Josh Ramsay knows how to put on a show and fascinate the audience. Yet, as a singer-songwriter, he is also comfortable behind the scenes. After collaborating with Carly Rae Jepsen, co-writing and producing her 2012 smash hit, Call Me Maybe, the catchy song was on nearly everyone’s lips. YouTube was awash with people’s homemade music videos. Did Josh anticipate such a reaction?
MW: “No way, how could anyone expect to co-write one of the biggest songs in the world? Josh lets me borrow his Porsche sometimes so I’m definitely not jealous.”
WL: With two certified, double platinum-selling records (Masterpiece Theatre and Ever After), your band clearly knows how to generate its own big hits. Tongue in cheek, Josh even laid out his formula for writing pop music in his song, Pop 101. Since creativity begets creativity, what do you do outside of music to replenish your well of inspiration?
MW: “Take in the arts whenever possible, be it at a museum or gallery, a live show, through a wonderful book, always be open to inspiration. Listen to the greats and learn from the best. Take a walk with the dog. Cook Sunday dinner for the family.”
WL: Your flare for drama is evident in your showmanship; however, the four of you also seem to revel in being goofy. Does having a laugh together keep you all grounded in the music business?
MW: “There is no way we would continue to do this 15 years later if we were not enjoying ourselves along the way. Laughter has certainly been a vital ingredient in our success and longevity.”
WL: Touring has taken you all over the globe. Have there been moments when you said or did something that indicated you are definitely Canadians abroad?
MW: “Yep. Like, rock a custom maple leaf guitar across the land! We are proud Canadians, happy to drizzle maple syrup upon the buttered pancakes of the world.”
Tickets for the all ages Marianas Trench concert at The Colosseum start at $28 and are on sale now at caesarswindsor.com.