Turn up the volume with Turn Off The Stars at Call The Office tonight.
Toronto’s Turn Off The Stars first gained attention with its 2004 debut, Everything is Okay. The album spawned the catchy hit single “Please” and garnered the band acclaim from critics and fans alike.
The quartet consists of twin brothers and guitarist/vocalists Mike and Andrew Walker, bassist Jake Palahnuk and drummer Max Kennedy.
While stress and squabbles often destroy bands, Andrew Walker says Turn Off The Stars survives because its members understand the importance of keeping things light and fun.
“We went to the U.S. to showcase about a month ago and were pretty pumped about it,” Walker says, “But some border guard had a power trip and sent us home.”
However, Walker says the band refused to let frustration get the best of them.
“We just decided to stop at Crabby Joe’s in Stoney Creek and sleep in the parking lot in the van, just so we could feel like we were on the road,” he says with a laugh.
“Keeping things light keeps things good.”
While on the road, Walker occupies himself practising guitar and reading. He says reading inspires him as a person and musician.
“[Books] can help you relate to other people, see how they think and feel, and that helps you inspire them with your music,” he says.
Walker says looking at things from other people’s perspectives has also helped balance his home and band lives.
“It’s always a tough thing and it’s always a struggle,” he says. “I owe all the credit to my wife. She’s been very understanding.
“I always try to think of myself if I was in her position. I remember when she’s away and I’m at home, and I try to remember how it feels, how much I miss her.”
Recently, Turn Off The Stars took time off from touring to record new tunes for its self-titled full-length. The album was recorded at London’s EMAC studios, where Walker says the band shared some amusing moments with EMAC’s staff.
“[Kennedy] had this computer set up in the studio — we called it The Station,” he says. “He had this cheesy Atari music on it that we always made fun of.
“One night... when [EMAC producer/ engineer Dan Brodbeck] left and went to get coffee, we cranked up the funny music. We had [engineer Aaron Murray] flashing the lights on and off, and we started dancing with our shirts off, Electric Circus-style.”
Though the band hasn’t yet landed a gig on Electric Circus, its song “Brightside” was recently played on the popular show Beauty and the Geek.
While the band was happy to have its song featured, Walker admits nothing would excite him more than hearing Turn Off The Stars’ music on MacGyver.
“It’s my favourite show,” he says. “It’d be awesome to have one of our faster songs playing while [MacGyver] was making something out a piece of gum, string and a popsicle stick.”
As for film, Walker says having the band’s tunes in “anything with Michael J. Fox” would be ideal.
“Back To The Future Part IV or some future scene in a new Bill and Ted movie would be pretty cool,” he says.
He says when he and his brother were young, they begged their mom to buy them hoverboards like Fox’s in Back to the Future Part II.
“When our mom told us they weren’t real, we were pretty bummed,” he says with a laugh.
Turn Off The Stars plays Call The Office tonight with The Miniatures. Doors are at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.