ACTORS are a smooth night drive on a downtown viaduct; anesthetizing and brimming with kinetic energy. With warm keyboard pads and high frequency bass lines listeners fall in love immediately with a sound that’s both aggressive AND creamy. The new wave four piece achieves their end goal by paying tribute to the production and arrangement of Hughes-ian era heart melters and the kind of hymns found in those once-in-a-lifetime dreams. They’ve created a soundtrack that could have only come from a city that’s constructed of hopeless glass towers and features an exquisite grey void that canopies overhead every day of the year. Actors make terrible musicians, but musicians often make fantastic ACTORS.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born in Vancouver where I currently reside.
Introduce the line-up and what roles each play:
Jason Corbett- Vocals + Guitar
Shannon Hemmett- Synth + Vocals
Adam Fink- Drums
Jahmeel Russell- Bass + Vocals
Tell us the history of the band and how it was formed:
The band began in 2012. I was writing and recording new material under the name ACTORS. Adam and I had been friends so we fell into playing together very naturally. After several line-up changes on synth and bass we landed Shannon and Jahmeel. We’ve been releasing singles and b-sides since then. I feel very fortunate to have these wonderful artists to share the ACTORS vision with.
Your track ‘Hit To The Head’ pays a slight homage to The Cure’s song ‘A Strange Day’ which is one of my favorite songs of theirs. I think Robert Smith would dig the song, what inspired this track?
Thanks. I really don’t know what inspired this track initially. The chord progression and melody stuck with me for over a year so I just started tracking one day. I don’t make demos. I record with the intent of finishing fully realized songs. So I was there with a “song” but no lyrics. I set up a microphone and started rambling. The lyrics just presented themselves. What I learned is that it’s really a song about following your calling no matter how hard you keep getting knocked down.
Tell us your process when making music videos, are they self produced or are you working with a number of people?
For me the video has to somehow convey the vibe of the song. Sometimes we get it right. I’ve done some myself, and some are made by other people. I enjoy working with people on videos.
Three words that best describe your sound:
tight. like-a. tiger.
I like the new Northern Light Cut edit for Let It Grow video. What inspired this to happen?
I really love what Richard Pyra at Northern Light Records does as a label and designer/artist. I sent him the original and asked him to “remix” it. It’s a fun reimagined version of a cool video.
You have some releases on Vinyl, we love that. Why is it important for you to release music in this format?
I think in this digital/streaming era of music it’s important to release physical copies of music for the people who appreciate and miss something a little more tangible. We pressed cds for the first time a couple of months ago and I can’t believe how many are being ordered off our bandcamp and selling at live shows. Who knew?!
You performed at Terminus Impact in July with 3TEETH, The Birthday Massacre and Vowws to name a few. What were some of the highlights for you?
I really enjoyed the sense of community the festival had. It felt great to be embraced as a band. I think there were some real friendships made that weekend.
Let’s talk about music technology, what tools do you use in the studio?
I own a studio Jacknife Sound that I work out of as a full-time producer/mixer/composer. I use modern and vintage gear to get the sounds I want. Each song is different. I just let the music tell me where it wants to go.
As artists what are you striving for?
I had to really look inward and be honest with myself as to what I wanted to accomplish with ACTORS. I realized my goal was about connection. Making and playing music for people who feel like I do. And sharing those emotions and experiences. The more honest and real the music is, the bigger the audience it finds. I think people can feel when something is genuine.
There’s two new videos to be released in the coming months as well as several new tracks and a 12″ vinyl release. March/April 2018 we head to the US for a west coast tour.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
There’s beauty in the darkness. Embrace it.
Extra Credit: Photography Kira Clavell