The City Streets talk Edmonton, women, The Jazz Age, and cheese

I recently had the chance to sit down and chat with The City Streets, a Canadian band from Edmonton, Alberta, on the night they played Montreal’s Le Barfly. When I called them in the afternoon to confirm our pre-show interview, they happily offered to pick me up in their van, which instantly gave me a pretty good feeling about them. The three members – Rick, Matt and Mark (who I quickly learnt are all vegetarians) – grew up together in Edmonton, but now call Montreal home. Here’s what they had to say about inspiration, cheese, and their latest release, “The Jazz Age.”

Q: How was the music scene in Edmonton when you were growing up?

A: Growing up in Edmonton, we were lucky as there were many different bands to listen to. In Alberta, everyone plays music, so it was very inspirational.

Q: This is your third album; what keeps you going as a band?

A: Meth and vitamins because it is what keeps us awake.

Q: What are the main influences for The City Streets?

A: Women, Meth, alcohol, and cheese.

Q: Why did you name your new album, “The Jazz Age”?

A: We just love the 1920’s lifestyle, where everyone seemed to be happy and having a good time. Also, it was a period of time where women got to vote, so we think “The Jazz Age” is a happy title that reflects an open-minded period of time.

Q: Would you ever consider recording a jazz album?

A: We would love to. We just can’t play [jazz]!

Q: What makes you happy when performing?

A: We just love seeing people forget about their daily troubles.

Q: On this album, the subjects vary from dreams, to love, ghosts, dust, being scared etc.; Is there a subject that is easiest for you to write about?

A: Women are the most inspirational.

Q: Do you have a dream place where you would like to perform as the opening act for any band?

A: It’d be amazing to open for Arcade Fire at the Nobel Prize!

Q: Where do you see The City Streets in five years?

A: Mark will have become a mathematician genius, Matt will be working in a hospital, and Rick will be dead. No, in all seriousness, this band is a long-term investment for us.

Q: What is the one word that defines The City Streets?

A: Real.

And real it was. The boys started making sound at around 11:00 p.m. and when the first note hit, everyone in the audience became silent and paid attention. No one left during the show, which is a good indication that the audience liked what they were hearing, and two girls even danced the night away in front of the small stage. The sound was good and I found that lead singer/main composer Rick Reid does best when singing pieces such as “All Is Grace” where we can really hear his voice. Overall, they are professional, funny, friendly, and they know how to have a good time. The City Streets’ live performance mirrors their passion for music and for their audience.

More info on The City Streets can be found on their MySpace.