It has been a wild few years for the Canadian boys in Rarity. Between their recent signing to New Damage Records, member changes and a new album, Rarity has had a full plate to say the least. However, that hard work definitely has not gone unnoticed. Their new record The Longest Lonesome is a true testament to the blood, sweat, and tears that Loeden Learn, Adam Clarke, Evan Woods, Corbin Giroux, and Cole Franco have put into Rarity. While this latest release took two years to record and a year and a half to release, I can say for certain that it was worth the wait. The Longest Lonesome is a hard-hitting, groovy and lyrically intricate record that shows what Rarity is really made of. I was lucky enough to catch up with Adam (Guitar) and Evan (Drums) at Rarity’s recent headlining show in Buffalo, and we talked about The Longest Lonesome, band struggles, and the future. Along with the interview please enjoy some photos from their show in Buffalo.
Chandler: First, I would just like to thank you guys for taking the time to talk to me today.
Adam and Evan: No Thank you!
So, this is the last show of a small tour you guys have been on. How have the shows been?
Adam: They were cool we played a lot of new cities and got to hit some new markets.
Evan: This was our first time really dipping into the south, like for something besides a routing show back home. So, we really tried to hit some cities that we never get to play.
Adam: We got to hang out in North Carolina for the weekend and had lots of drinks it was a really great time.
Were there any shows that really stuck out to you?
Adam: I mean Slump was great. We played Sophomore Slump Fest on Friday and they had unlimited PBR for the bands. We don’t usually drink that much, but all of our friend’s bands were there so we had such a good time.
Evan: Two songs into our set a bunch of beach balls just appeared out of nowhere and everyone started kicking them around. We didn’t plan that at all and it was pretty cool. I think tonight is going to be pretty cool too!
So, this is your first run of shows you have done since you officially dropped your new album The Longest Lonesome. How has the reception been around the new record?
Adam: You know what’s crazy, we have just been sitting on the album for so long, it doesn’t fully feel like it is out. But then we go and play some shows and people already know the words to some of these songs, and it is so weird to see that in front of you when you are performing it. Some of these songs we have been playing without them even being released yet.
Evan: The number of people who have reached out to us, and the amount of people who have said something about us not thinking we would ever see it. We check every mention that we get online and it has been a really great feeling knowing that it is being received well. I think it is helping people get through some things so that makes it even better. It helped us get through a lot of things as well.
So, I know this might be a touchy subject. But this release was highly anticipated because it was pushed back so far. Was the decision to push back the album a last-minute decision or did you know it was going to happen?
Adam: Legit what happened was that we were fully prepared to release the album independently, that was the plan. Then New Damage Records reached out to us and the person that we are working with now from there has been a friend for a long time and he just fell into that role. So, we knew that we could trust him to help us deliver the album the way that we wanted to and be a partner with us. That is something that is really important to us, we really built a team around this record and having him come in with New Damage Records, fully believing in what we are doing and being legit fans of the music, referencing song lyrics and stuff. It made us feel like these guys are legit and they aren’t just here to try to make a profit. We had to go through a little bit of a legal process to make it work.
Evan: Yeah that was a big part of it, you know we delayed it like the night before. That was us literally waiting until the last possible moment to see if we could figure out this legal thing. New Damage was really behind us and they were trying to figure out everything, that was a big help. But we just couldn’t get everything ready in time for the right release, you know we waited until the eleventh hour to tell everyone, but we just couldn’t legally put out the music yet. So, we had to find the best way to say, “Hey, the reason we aren’t doing this is because we are going to do something much better in a couple months.”
Were fans pretty understanding of the situation?
Adam: That was the most incredible part about it, people we tell us, “guys hold on, we believe in you, take your time with it, we want the best for you guys.” I think people understood that we had already gone through a lot to make this happen, it’s not easy to record a full record independently, then do 60 days across the U.S. and Canada by yourself. So, I feel like people were really easy going about it and that made things so much better for us.
Evan: It was crazy to see some people who aren’t as involved with us on social media, and who were maybe not as informed saying, “What is going on? What are they doing? The album is delayed again?” it was kind of like little internet whispers and people thought it was like a mystery. So, it was pretty cool.
Adam: We were really thankful that people were so cool about it because we really didn’t know what to expect.
Was it a completely different record before you decided to delay it?
Evan: Not really, because we still had the ability to change things and we were recording not too far away in Toronto, we would add some percussion elements in some places or change the vocals here and there. Thanks to Sam we were able to make all those small changes and get some new mixes. Now this is the album, we are 100% locked in to it. Plus, there are a couple of this we are still working on with the release because the physicals haven’t dropped yet, so we are going to try to keep the release going.
How does it feel to finally have the album out?
Adam and Evan Together: WOOOOOOOO!!
Adam: No really, it is a huge sigh of relief for us, it has been a long time coming.
Evan: It’s weird to think that people like actually have it now.
Were people messaging you saying how they loved it?
Adam: Oh yeah all the time it’s crazy.
Evan: Yeah for sure, you know there was a lot of people referencing the original delay letter who were then saying, “wow I am so glad you took that extra time because this is amazing!” It’s really hard to put it all to words.
So, can we talk about your first release show and how you just pulled up to a parking lot that was next to your billboard and played a show? Can you just run through what happened that day?
Evan: Yeah you know we just rented a generator for the day, the billboard had been up for a few weeks already. We had to use the billboard to promote the show because we couldn’t promote it like a normal show because it was just in a random parking lot and we didn’t have any permits or anything. The day of the show we actually drove to a random school that was still closed and we tried everything out, it ended up all working so we were like, “okay we are doing this tonight”. We had a plan for a ten-minute load out and set up in the parking lot, the drums were already built in the trailer.
Adam: We were parked in a McDonald’s around the corner with radios talking to people at the billboard. They were telling us how people were starting to show up, then we started to see people at the McDonald’s wearing Rarity merch walking over to the billboard.
Evan: We actually planned on having it at another spot but people were still in the building watching football or something. So, we couldn’t do it there because they would probably start to freak out and call the cops. We ended up doing it right under the billboard which was way cooler anyway. We had five songs planned but we only thought we were going to get through like two and a half before we got kicked out.
So, you knew you were going to get kicked out?
Evan: Oh yeah, we weren’t doing anything legally. But we were like, “whatever” we were filming it so if we got arrested at least it would be in the video, but we didn’t.
Adam: You know this is punk rock and this is an authentic record, so we just wanted to be that band who was down to do crazy shit. That whole weekend was crazy, the next day we played in the building where New Damage Records is based, we just played in their office and then had an after-party at their bar. Then, the following day we played a house show in Ottawa, all three of the shows were free, we just wanted to have a good time and party with people who support the band.
Evan: The cops showed up like 5 minutes after we played our last song, there was a pretty big crowd still and we were trying to load our stuff in the trailer. But when the cops showed up like half the crowd just dipped and a bunch of people scattered. But then other people just didn’t care and they hung out with us. My dad was actually there so he started to talk to the cops and he told them we were filming a music video and how that was our billboard, and the cops were like, “Oh Really? They have a billboard? That’s sick!” Then they walked around to check things out and then they just left. It was two cruisers, you gotta love Canadian cops.
Adam: Meanwhile I am running around trying to get all the guys and gear into the van, so we could get out of there.
Evan: Yeah, I mean they missed the “Crime” so there wasn’t much that they could do.
Okay, so to get back on the topic of The Longest Lonesome, where did you draw most of your lyrical inspiration from?
Evan: Well I mean that is more of a question for Corbin and Loeden, but everything came from the years 2016-2017. Those years fueled every bit of anxious, depressed and love lyrics, it all came from that time. They were some rough years and it was really us building from the ground up and so we wrote a record about it. I was actually talking to Adam about this earlier, you know a lot of bands complain about how you have 18 years to write your first record but then you only have 2 to write your second one, but we just wrote our second record about the two years between albums. And then we took a year to put it out haha.
Chandler: Okay so just one last question, you know the album is finally out and this little run is over, what is next for Rarity?
Adam: Well we are going on tour with Capstan in October and that is going to be sick, we will actually be back in Buffalo on that tour. Then we have some really big tour plans for the spring, I almost said what it is but I’m not supposed to yet haha, but there are people asking us to go some places and we are trying to go there.
Evan: We are still planning out the summer next year, and we are already writing some new stuff.
Adam: We are always trying to plan out some crazy stuff for us to do.
Evan: Yeah you know we are trying to not spend the next 3 years underground, like we want to keep people in the loop talking about whatever we are doing.
Adam: We just want to be creative, not just with the music but for everything about the band, the art direction and the way we put things out to the world.
Evan: Yeah, we are actually finally trying to put together a set with all of these new songs in it, and that is super exciting, we can finally play some of the singles. There are a couple of songs that are out but we just haven’t played yet so we are excited to play those on the Capstan tour and that is really cool for us.
Chandler: Well thank you guys so much for talking with me today, I will definitely be catching you guys in October when you come with Capstan!
Adam: Thank you!
Evan: We will see you there!
Intro and Interview By: Chandler Poczciwinski
Photography: Haley Sousa