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White Wires Bringing WWIII Down From The Great White North

Last Updated 11/1/2012 9:44:40 AM


By: John B. Moore

 White Wires WWIII Ontario’s White Wires put their stamp on garage rock with their first album Girly Girly Girl. With the follow-up, 2010’s WWIII, they opted for the punk rock route, so that left pop music untouched… until now.

On their latest, WWIII – easily their best effort to date – the trio, comprised of singer/guitarist Ian Mahire, drummer Allie Hanlon and bassist Luke Martin made pop music cool for the rest of us once again.

The infectious-as-hell album owes as much to Tom Petty as Cheap Trick and just about everyone in between.

Mahire spoke recently about those inspirations, the new record and how they can record an album in two days and still have time left to tack on a gripping rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Innocent Words:  I last interviewed you guys a year and a half ago. What has the band been up to since then?

Ian Mahire:  A lot of things have happened since then. We've played a lot of shows; we've done three U.S. tours since then, California, SXSW, and the East. We've released songs on three comps, recorded two singles, and recorded an album.

IW:  I love this record. What hit me was how pop some of these songs are. Was that a conscious decision?

Mahire:  Thank you!  Yes, it was indeed a conscious decision.  We set out to make a pop record.  I think doing a pop record places itself in our catalogue, and I think it places all the rest of our records at the same time. Life is fleeting; we need to cram it all in; here comes a pop album from the White Wires!

IW:  What were you guys listening to when you were working on this one?

Mahire:  Every band we've played with in the last couple years has had a major influence on this new album.  We've played with so many great bands.  To go through the list would basically be to reiterate the liner notes of this album...but it's true, that's what shapes us, the stuff we're inspired by.  In addition to all of our current favorites, at the time of writing and recording WWIII, we were listening to lots of the ’70s and ’80s punk bands from the radio-ready side of things, bands like 20/20, the Records, the Knack, the Shoes, the Nerves, Cheap Trick, Kidda Band, Buzzcocks, Undertones, Protex, Teenage Head, Pointed Sticks, I could go on for days here.  What else, Tom Petty, Canadian ’80s bar rock, oh, and the Sing Sing Records catalogue has been a big eye opener. Also, been majorly hooked on stuff with dominant bass lines, stuff like the Equals. Each song kinda has its own model.

White Wires WWIII IW:  Do you still have your own label?

Mahire:  No, I stopped the label about two years ago. The last record I released was the Peach Kelli Pop LP. It sold out in a hurry, and was later re-issued. I think my label was just starting to get rolling by that point, but it was rolling too fast for this guy. I did 12 releases in total; mailed every one of those records outta my apartment. The label accomplished exactly what I set out to do, release my own bands...and then some!  But I like to focus. The label was getting too big for me to handle, and I decided to fold it up before it folded me up.

IW:  The last record was recorded in just a few days. How long did you have for this one?

Mahire:  For us, writing an album is different than a 45. Doing an album is a lot of material. We went through about 30 songs to distill down to these 14. In a very loose-use of the term, we've got a system.  Over the past five years and three albums, we've improved our system. The system involves writing the songs, recording demos, e-mails, practices, live recordings, e-mails, discussion, simplifying, modifying, and then familiarizing. Doing it like this allows us to work on an album while we are in different countries. This album was recorded in just two days!  In fact, at the end of tracking everything on the second day, we even had time to spare...so we recorded a gripping rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

IW:  Those are all the questions I have. Anything else you want to add?

Mahire:  In addition to this new album, we also recorded a 45 in the same session – not just “Happy Birthday,” we also recorded two songs for a single which will be released on Total Punk Records. In addition to that addition, we are playing a lot of shows in the U.S. this summer and fall. Watch our Facebook, Twitter, and Bandcamp pages for info. Please come party with us!

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