Above all, Weaves are here to disrupt. A fourpiece from Toronto, the band create irrepressible guitar-driven pop that’s as frenetic as it’s utterly infectious, merging looping guitars with an incomparable vocal lead. Latest single “One More”, heading up their forthcoming self-titled debut album, exemplifies their joyous sonic maelstrom.
The band originated as the solo project of lead singer Jasmyn Burke, who was later joined by guitarist Morgan Waters, bassist Zach Bines and Spencer Cole on drums. Their first release, an EP also titled “Weaves”, initiated a swelling critical hum around the quartet; if “One More” is anything to go by, we’re confidently predicting an adulatory racket come June.
Accompanying “One More” is an equally ebullient video. Filmed in the desert of the Southwest, in the midst of the band’s first American tour – “we didn’t know if we were going to kill each other, being stuck in a van together the whole time”, says Waters – it features Burke here brandishing pompoms in a vintage robe, there fixing the camera with an impassive gaze as her bandmates frolic behind her. In short, it’s an absolute riot.
Weaves are on the brink of a cross-continental tour, spanning Europe and North America; there’s a comprehensive set of UK dates, including a London show at Dingwalls on the 8th June. We’d strongly advise you to nab a ticket and absorb some of that boundless energy in person – but before you do, read our chat with electric lead singer Jasmyn below.
How did you come together as a band? And how did you choose your name?
The project started as a solo experiment where I would create sounds with the looping of guitar and vocals, and it was called Weaves from the beginning. I played two solo shows, the second of which Morgan attended after a friend had said he should come check it out. He came up to me after the set and we discussed working together. A week later we started demoing some of my recorded voice memos and essentially building the EP. About 5 months later Spence joined the band and soon after he brought Zach.
Explain the composition process behind your songs – how do you create that rip-roaring sonic tumult?
Usually I start by looping! I’ll figure out some sort of chord progression and then start writing lyrics and a melody. I then send voice memos one by one as they are completed in a day. Then Morgan listens and picks the ones he likes most. He is sort of like my Rosetta Stone where he then goes into the files and pick them apart and figures out what I’ve played, because I don’t really write down what I’ve done. Then we develop them together. Figuring out what voice the song might have before we incorporate the boys. It becomes a whole other element when the full band gets together and lets loose essentially. We try and push one another when we’re live, never playing a song the same. Each song is always on edge and hopefully it makes for an exciting show for the audience.
What inspired the lyrics for “One More”?
I mean everything sort of inspired the lyrics. Life’s tough but I try and be pretty real and honest in my personal relationships I suppose.
Tell us what inspired the video; how did the “disgruntled cheerleader” character come about?
We were under a bit of a time crunch because we had to shoot a video ASAP but were also heading out on a month long American tour. It seemed like the only way to complete it was to borrow a camera and shoot it ourselves somewhere in the States. We had a few days off between SXSW and the beginning of the tour so we researched the landscape down South and thought let’s go to the desert – let the beauty of the earth do the talking. The desert is so dry and untouched; there was something about that feeling that lent itself to the video. It was just us in the middle of nowhere that’s somewhere. I mean, we were driving our van up and down these hills while I strut across the sand in Timbalands and a pink robe, and there was something captivating that was happening in every direction we looked. That type of landscape is so powerful that I feel like it filled my insides with sass – that and Spencer driving too fast that I was getting angry while Morgan was shooting because I couldn’t keep up with the van.
We’re concluding you didn’t kill each other during the tour as you say you feared, but was anyone at least lightly maimed? Emotionally wounded?
I think every musician that has ever toured is not necessarily emotionally wounded at all times, but you most definitely get overwhelmed. You’re meeting all these people around the world who for some reason have chosen to like your music and are cheering you on and sharing their stories which is incredible. But then you’re also sitting in the van all day and wishing you could see humans at home. So there’s this continual teeter totter effect that you have to try to keep balanced as an entire band. Imagine four musicians on one side and the earth on the other. It’s a lot to take in, but it’s all important and helps you hopefully grow and appreciate where you are, where you’ve been and where you might end up.
Do you feel like you’re another facet to the Toronto music scene – currently primarily associated with Drake and The Weeknd – or do you identify with elements other than your city?
Sure, we’d love to be included with that list of musicians. They’re all making incredible pop music, which is the goal, right?
How about your label, Buzz Records? Has that shaped your sound?
Buzz and our other labels, Kanine and Memphis Industries, have all allowed us to make the music we want to make and present it in the way in which we would like it to be presented. We shaped our sound but as labels they have allowed us complete artistic control, but helped us find a voice in the huge soup that is the music industry. From the beginning Buzz was really championing us. I mean, we’re artists and they’re the business people so we’re forever grateful for the hard work put into organizing releases, setting up tours etc – the stuff no one asks us about in interviews but works hand in hand with us creating the music.
Who are your primary influences as a band?
So many influences. We love all kinds of music. Lots of stuff, both contemporary and older. Ummm, hmmmm, PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Bjork, Ween, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, The Beatles, Bob Dylan. There is a real precision with their work but also an element of poking fun at “rock music” and not settling on one specific sound that always seems to feature in artists we all agree on.
Talk to us about your LP, which will be released on the 17th June.
We made the record over the course of two years and we’re so excited for its release. We worked really hard on this album and don’t have any regrets about taking our time to create something we are really proud of and excited to share.
You’re touring the UK in June and July, then playing End of the Road Festival in September – what can we expect from your live act?