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Vancouver fans set to climb City Walls

By Joe Leary

Louder Than Love is now known as City Walls. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Louder Than Love is now known as City Walls. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Having changed their name from Louder Than Love, the former CFOX Seeds winners are now known as City Walls and will be performing Friday, April 11 at The Imperial. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with singer-guitarist Paul Lambert.

24: What inspired the name change to City Walls?

PL: With our upcoming release and recent signing to Cordova Bay Records we felt it was time for a change. We wanted a name that was reflective of where we were musically and where we could see ourselves being musically in 10 years. Too many people thought we were a Soundgarden cover band. We felt City Walls really tied in to the themes that our new album Engines had to offer. It also felt right representing our older material too.

24: Seeing as how you’ve made the name transition, does this also allow you to perhaps push your musical boundaries or genres as well?

PL: We've always had a love for a wide range of musical styles. We are rockers at heart. I listen to Led Zeppelin, Muse, Radiohead, but also have a huge love of the acoustic/folk side of music — artists like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Neil Young. City Walls seemed like an open-ended name that wouldn't give the listener any preconceived notions about who we are as a band. l definitely think that the name transition has allowed us to push our musical boundaries and that’s reflected on our new album.

24: What have you learned as a songwriter that you applied to your latest album, Engines?

PL: I've really made a conscious effort to be as personal with my lyrics as possible. It can be a daunting feeling wearing your emotions on the outside for the world to see but in the end, some of the most successful songs in history have been the ones where people get a real glimpse of how the artist is truly feeling — even if it's something negative like John Lennon's Jealous Guy.

24: How did the direction and production of it come about?

PL: We never sat down and decided on an exact direction. We've never been a band that's been happy settling on "one sound" and preferred to let our moods/experiences dictate the flow and direction of the songs. Some of the tunes were work-shopped for half a year while others were byproducts of that frustration and came together instantaneously. I remember writing These 4 Walls and Before We Go in about 45 minutes to an hour. In terms of production, we favoured a really organic approach to these ones — vintage amplifiers, 12-string acoustics and mandolin (a la Led Zeppelin 3). That sound seems to capture the most realistic portrayal of how we sound live and what works for us as a band.

24: How has the road treated you guys in the past?

PL: It has left us scarred and weathered (laughs) it's been great. I think playing your songs to an "away" crowd is the best way to test the quality of your material. We have a consistently good response when we're playing on tour. I think that's where having a diverse array of material is really helpful for a band.

24: How does the whole band dynamic work?

PL: It's a well-oiled machine. Tony chops the tomatoes, Nate dices the garlic, Brian is in charge of cooking the pasta — together we create an unforgettable dining experience. Really, that's how it works. There are so many hats you have to wear as an artist these days and so many little fires that need to be put out on a daily basis. It's helpful to have everybody on the same page.




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