The Strumbellas have been taking the world by storm over the past few months. The six-piece Canadian band have just dropped their third studio album ‘Hope’ which was met with positive reviews from critics around the world. Their new single ‘Spirits’ is doing phenomenal things on the chart and I caught up with lead singer Simon Ward and chat about the hit single, the new album and what they’ll be getting up to in the next few months.

How did The Strumbellas come about?

The Strumbellas came about by a Craigslist ad believe it or not. I had been writing music for a long time by myself but was always scared to start a band, until one day I decided to put a demo up on the internet to see if anyone wanted to play some songs with me and, well, the rest is history.

‘Spirits’ became a massive hit all around the world. What inspired the track?

Spirits was the result of me being in a hard time in my life. I was living on the road, feeling alone and down, and one day I wrote ‘Spirits’ to make myself feel better. I guess I was just trying to tell myself that things will get better and I just have to wait and get through this troubled time.

What do you think it is about the song that people identify with?

I think maybe it’s just nice for people to know that someone else goes through a lot of struggles too. When I was going through hard times I would often listen to artists talking about their pain because it made me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling.

You just dropped your new album ‘Hope’. How different is this album from your first two records?

I think it’s a simpler record. We really tried to write this record without our instruments in our hands so we could choose only the instruments that we felt really needed to be in each song. On the first two records it was a lot more of a busy record with all of us playing a lot on all the songs, while ‘Hope’ is less busy and tries to be as simple as possible.

What was the album recording process like?

‘Hope’ was what I would call a ‘studio’ record. In that I mean the record was basically made on my computer, and then almost directly to the studio. We even went as far as just uploading the computer sessions we had into the studio computer and just built off of them. We didn’t actually play any of the songs before we made the record! It was basically a bedroom to studio record with no live practice. It was super fun doing it this way because I’m really lazy and hate to jam!

Which song off the album means the most to you guys?

That’s like asking me to pick my favourite child! Well, ok maybe not that crazy. I think my favourite song on the record is ‘We Don’t Know’. I feel that way because it came out exactly as I envisioned it in my head. The hardest part about making a record is making the songs sound exactly as you envision them and I think ‘We don’t know’ came out just like it was supposed to.

What is the best part of performing live?

When everyone sings along! It’s a very cool people when thousands of people are singing the words you wrote. It’s totally humbling and a huge honour for me.

What does the rest of the year hold for The Strumbellas?

We are touring a lot. Lots of planes, trains and automobiles. To be honest, we want to come to South Africa! I’ve heard such great things.

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