Breaking away from their previous group, The Blood Lines, siblings S.J. and Maygen Kardash started their own project and have so far enjoyed modest success.
The Sheaf: You guys have been going hard pretty much non-stop for all of November. How has the response been on this tour?
S.J. Kardash: The crowd response on this tour has surpassed our expectations by far. Our Toronto show was packed, Halifax was a sweaty mess and even the shows with fewer people in the audience have felt really special. We’ve heard the phrase “when you guys break [out]…” a lot on this tour, which is always a positive affirmation that we’re doing something right.
Sheaf: Are you looking forward to coming home?
Kardash: We’re all warmed up now and playing live is so addictive that we wouldn’t complain if we got a call tomorrow saying we’re going on tour again. Although, I do the booking, so I’m not sure who that call would come from.
Sheaf: Are you taking some time off to work on the upcoming album or do you guys have something planned immediately after your return home?
Kardash: We’re basically heading straight back to work in the studio when we get home. We’re planning to release a full-length by late spring / early summer, so we’ve got a lot of writing and recording to do.
Sheaf: Does touring pretty regularly and being siblings help or hinder the situation?
Kardash: Just keeping a band together is a hard enough task for any group of people to undertake. Luckily, Maygen and I had a couple of decades to practice fighting and making up before we got into a band. Now, we just keep each other focused and push each other to get better and better. Basically, it’s the band that can never break up.
Sheaf: I have this theory that Saskatoon residents are scattered across the country. Do you run into a lot of Saskatonians at your shows?
Kardash: Consider your theory proven. When we’re on the road, sometimes it feels like we haven’t even left home. Saskatoon is definitely everywhere. Our Montreal audience was half Saskatonian.
Sheaf: Canada is a massive country and this can cause a lot of problems for a travelling band. Did you have any unsavory incidents in your travels?
Kardash: We nearly ran out of gas a couple of times. Our gas gauge has recently acquired a mind of it’s own and although it can be sitting on half, it suddenly rises to full, and then quickly falls below the slash. Confusing and scary all at once, especially when you’re hours from the nearest town.
Sheaf: The best part of the tour?
Kardash: In Moncton, a guy came up behind me and scooped me into a piggy back while we were playing. I just went with it and soloed while he carried me around the bar. Truth be told, he was pretty drunk, so I was scared for my life.
Sheaf: The most memorable thing you ate on the road?
Kardash: Not sure if you know this, but food rules our tours. The Quebec City poutine was amazing, the scallop pasta dish in P.E.I., blackened haddock in Halifax and of course the mainstays like Cora and M Lounge never let you down.
Sheaf: Has this tour inspired any new material?
Kardash: We’re always talking about ideas we want to try when we get back to the studio. Touring is the best way to figure out what people are connecting with, so we’ve been taking the opportunity to try out some new material.
Sheaf: What are your hopes for the upcoming album?
Kardash: We’ve got a concept for the next one, so we’re excited to get back to work on it. We made our own video for the song “Keep Your Balance.” I took photos of Maygen and she took photos of me, then we stitched them together. I think the whole thing cost us about $65 and now it’s on MuchMusic. That’s a big milestone for us, so we were really excited to get word about it.
Sheaf: What inspired the EP name Velvet Hideout?
VK: That was Maygen’s conjuring, but I think everyone can relate to it. It’s an escape from reality and a place we all go in our minds when we want to be alone.