It might be easy to assume that Canadian outfit Early Work is a standard issue “pop punk” band – their music retains many of the traits that makes the genre fun (anthemic singalong moments, crowdsurf worthy riffs, lots of stuff about heartbreak…and so on), but upon a deeper listen pushes well past it’s boundaries with a mature take on songwriting and performance that might remind you of some your favorite alternative rock acts more than your local Blink 182 cover band.
Their latest EP Alpha is streaming everywhere on 10/20 but we’re stoked to have it here first – along with an exclusive interview with guitarist Easton Doran! Read more and check out the full EP playlist below.
“Pop Punk” might be the most straightforward way to describe your sound, but it’s clear you have a lot more influences happening than just pop / punk. Can you name some bands, current and past, that really inspire you?
I can only truly speak for myself, but I will try to analyze the other dudes. I think Kurt is the biggest pop-punk fan here. He listens to a lot of that and not too much else, as far as I know, but when we started jamming he was listening to lots of Brit and American rock like The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon, etc., but we’ve both changed a lot since then. Cole is actually into a lot of classic rock, or what we call “dad rock”, and riff rock and stoner metal, like Queens of the Stone Age and Red Fang. But he’s versatile and not very picky. Mitch plays in a prog band (called Indecipherable Noise, who are amazing, by the way) and listens to lots of serious prog and metal like Periphery, The Contortionist, Between The Buried And Me, and classics like Rush. I personally listen to a lot of pop-punk too, mirroring Kurt with bands like The Story So Far, Tiny Moving Parts, Microwave, PUP, as well as our local-level Canadian comrades in the genre. I also love post-hardcore bands like Alexisonfire and Touche Amore, experimental indie stuff like Dan Mangan, Hey Rosetta, late works from the late Gord Downie, and Matthew Good’s deep-ish cuts. And I think I speak for all of us when I say we draw tiny shards of influence from jazz, hardcore, reggae, rap, and much more, which I think most musicians would echo. “Genre” itself can only go so far, so we want to make sure we keep stuff interesting and dynamic, and throw in whatever we want. Ultimately, we don’t want to sound like anything else so we try to keep our minds open… And also, Billy Talent.
Visceral, fun music like yours is best enjoyed live…what are you guys doing to make sure that fans can enjoy your work without the prospect of seeing you play a show for maybe the next few months? Any plans for live streams or anything special in the future?
“Next few months” would be ok but we’re scared it will be years… We are making sure to stay busy and will definitely be trying to set up some livestreams and online events once the EP is released, but honestly the livestream thing is a little lost on us. We have played a quaint, distanced show to a handful of people in a backyard with a sign-in sheet and sanitizer, but otherwise have not pushed too hard on the gigging side of things. We are really hoping that real live shows come back soon, because we feed so much off the energy of the crowd. Other bands that are more active online probably feel the same way, but we just haven’t yet figured out what platform would make livestreaming worthwhile. We deeply miss hanging out at shows. But, like I said, we will be reaching out to videographers soon. We don’t want to leave you guys hangin’.
Name the absolute dumbest thing that you guys have done on tour or at a show. Please shock us…we need it!
Oh man. I don’t think there was any one time. We always goof around between songs and sometimes have a hard time keeping straight faces. We have done lots of silly things, from spilling beer all over our cables mid-set, to taking band photos in a display in Richmond Ikea. Mitch is especially silly and influences us all into making vulgar and inappropriate jokes, but that’s mostly off-stage. We’re known to put on a bit of an after-party in fast food drive-thru’s as we try to drunkenly order “McGangbangs” with my fiancee as the designated driver. Cables come out of guitars, drum sticks come out of hands, strings snap mid-song, minor injuries occur. I think we are still young enough as a band that we have not encountered the dumbest thing yet. Hopefully it will be televised!