By: Vanessa Polojac
Matthew Angus is a Calgary native who moved to Toronto over a decade ago in hopes of becoming a Canadian household name. Being a part of many projects before his latest indie act, Angus made connections with various local musicians, who eventually came to form his most cohesive project yet: the Fast Romantics.
Matthew Angus (lead vocals), Kirty (guitar & synthesizer), Kevin Black (lead guitar), Jeffery Lewis (bass), Nick McKinlay (drums) and Lisa Lorenz (keyboardist). The Fast Romantics is the product of every band member’s separate musical journey.
All the band members have been heavily involved in the Toronto music scene for the past decade.
“We all admire each other’s talents as musicians and knew each other socially through performing alongside each other while apart of different bands,” explained Angus. “The current line-up of musicians for the Fast Romantics really happened organically. Over the course of six months, each person came into my life and made it apart that they shared similar views in music as myself, so they came along the journey that is the Fast Romantics.”
Released in April 2017, American Love is the first record for this specific set of members. In 2009, with a different line-up the first self-titled LP was released. In the eight-year time span, the band has been through vast different member and sounds.
“I think since 2009 we have evolved a lot as a band and I can confidently say that this this line-up of musicians that play on American Love are here to stay,” said Angus.
This album is personal project for each member of the band. Over three years the album was made and was predicted to be a success from the beginning starting with the first single “Julia” that came out in 2014.
‘“Julia’ got a lot of attention on radio and that had never happened to us before. It has been a very long but rewarding journey with this band. I am very happy with this album and this group of people,” explained Angus.
“We have these van rides that we take because we’re on tour and it’s crazy that out of the six of us we all bring elements of different musical styles into the band. But one group of musicians that are a major influence on the band is Arcade Fire. We’re inspired by their rise to Canadian music fame and then their international level of success,” said Angus.
Gus Van Gough, a popular Canadian producer, mixed American Love. In the past he has worked with famous Canadian bands such as Arkells, White Horse and Said The Whale.
“He’s our musical soulmate currently,” said Angus. “We collaborate with him well and he really inspires us. The most important quality within a producer is a connection between the producer and the musician. Gus understood us right away. All of the group members agree that American Love is the first and best representation of The Fast Romantics.”
American Love was almost finished during the height of the American election, a time when the band was playing many tour dates in the United States. The album was initially written as a collection of love songs and the hardships within romantic relationships but there was not yet a title. The American political situation effected the band in a direct way.
“When we arrived back to Canada, that’s when we realized our message with this album is not finished yet. A few months before the rerecorded was released we ended up going back to the studio re-writing and adding elements to the songs about the American political reality,” said Angus.
American Love is written context of Canada’s view on American politics with a lot of American imagery. The political climate became the backdrop for the stories and lyrical inspiration for the songs on the record.
The Fast Romantics are rising to Canadian fame, getting much attention since the release of their current album; American Love. Being featured on CBC radio and the Toronto Sun. While they make their way through a cross-country tour alongside the Elwins, the band plans to release new music in the near future.