The Rudy Huxtable Project was one of the more popular and travelled bands to come out of Sydney’s underground scene in the last couple of years. Their debut recording with demonstrative objectives attracted a lot of attention and “For Sale Signs”, the song they contributed to the Out Of Touch Records compilation Volume One this past year, is arguably the best on the 7 inch record they share with Rock Ranger, The Burdocks and The Confidence band. The band, now called I Was A Spy, are scheduled for a few shows around Sydney during the holidays, so WGO got in touch with drummer Albert Lionais to get caught up.
WGO: Why the name change and where did the new name come from?
AL: The name change came after two or more long years of belly-aching from me. The Rudy Huxtable Project was only going to be a temporary name until we found something that we could all agree upon. We changed the name around the end of the summer after our stint of shows with One Day Late and Arusha in Newfoundland. The new name is shortened from the phrase “I was a spy, until I was ten”. I guess it just deals with how when you’re a kid you have all these wonderful ideas that eventually get crushed as you “grow up” We just feel that we really don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations except our own. In a way I think we are all just pretending to be something. It might as well be a spy or a fireperson or anything.
WGO: Is the new record ready?
AL: No the new record is not yet ready. It gets a little closer all the time. We were up at Radiotron for a number of weekends this fall recording and it has been awesome. We are very pleased with the results so far. We had hoped to finish it up over last weekend but we bit off more than we could chew. We probably could have rushed it and had it out by now but none of us wanted to compromise anything so we could get it out quicker. We were hoping to have it ready by the ECMA weekend which usually happens around the first few weeks of February but it may be pushed back a couple weeks or more.
WGO: How is it different from with demonstrative objectives?
AL: Um, well for sure our playing has gotten a lot better over the past few years and our song writing has definitely matured a lot. People will probably be surprised that we have chosen to include a few of the tracks from with demonstrative objectives on the new disc as well. We felt that those songs really needed to be accurately documented and we felt that the original recording didn’t do the songs justice. Other than that, working in a studio with people who know what they are doing when it comes to recording is definitely a step up from a low budget home recording. Not to belittle that. It was a lot of fun. But sound quality on this one is going to be a lot better. Seth Smith (The Burdocks) and Sean MacGillivray (Nothing to Say, The Burdocks, The Small Stories) have been handling the recording. Sean kinda holds the reigns, and Seth is a big help. I can’t get over how much these guys know about recording bands. Sharing the stage with them on a number of occasions has helped a lot too. They both know the sound of our band and are trying very hard to capture it. They are super professional to work with but really relaxed at the same time. We really couldn’t have asked for better people to work with. Radiotron is a great place to record.
WGO: It says on your website (www.iwas.cjb.net) that this new recording will be distributed by Organ of Hope Records out of Banff, Alberta? How did ya hook up with them? How do you expect to benefit from this connection in terms of what they can do for you that can’t do for yourself?
AL: Organ of Hope is an independent record label run by Mark Black (Asscribed, Inspired). He has just started to put out records from his home base in Banff, Alberta. All of us have been friends with Mark and played in bands with him for a number of years. When he began to put out records he called us up and suggested that maybe he could release our new record when it was ready. We were pretty excited about this idea because although we could afford to record, money for the production was way out of our league. Mark is providing us with an opportunity to have a nationally distributed cd with a fair amount of advertising. We really would have no way to do this by ourselves.
WGO: Any plans to tour or for a big release party?
AL: I am currently collecting contacts from all across Canada. Hopefully we will be touring this spring. We have previously been all over Atlantic Canada and would really like to head across Canada this spring but we would probably settle for a smaller scale tour into Quebec and Ontario. As for a release party it would be really nice, but we all go to school in different provinces so it’s hard to organize. There will be at least a show to mark the occasion however.
WGO:: I read this post on your website in October: We’re all working on getting a little more serious about being a band. Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether you want to eat for the next two weeks or do another day of recording. By saying we are getting more serious. I mean that we are also getting a little more hungry. Does this still hold true? I mean, have you managed to get more serious about being a band and what does that really mean? Are you worried at all about getting so serious about being a band that you’ll actually starve to death or are you looking forward to starving? And what about scurvy?
AB: Yeah I think it still holds true. There have been a number of times when it would have been a good idea to call it quits, but we all care about this band way to much for that. We are kinda in a sink or swim situation right now. We really need to work hard to keep this going, especially because we don’t find a lot of time for jamming and playing shows during the school year. However if you compare us to other local bands I think we are doing ok. We’ve played a couple shows in Halifax over the school year and one at home. We’ve had to hitch-hike a number of times to gigs and recording sessions. We’re heading over to PEI for a show later in the holiday vacation. So yeah I would say that my comments about getting a little more serious do hold true. As for getting hungry, let’s just say we’ve probably all added some extra holes to our belts, but we don’t need medical attention yet.
I Was A Spy will be playing at the Maple Leaf Lounge on Charlotte Street in Sydney Friday night (December 20) and at Stoked For The Holidays (December 23) at St. Theresa’s Hall.