On their sophomore album, Punk Shadows, Montreal electro-rockers Blood and Glass continue to add to their eclectic palette of influences. Tapping into everything from Pink Floyd to Nine Inch Nails, the group that’s been built around vocalist/songwriter Lisa Moore and her husband Morgan Moore also found new sonic directions through a host of notable Montreal names invited to contribute to Punk Shadows, including the Barr Brothers, Francois Lafontaine of Karkwa and Patrick Watson members Melanie Belaire, Robbie Kuster and Simon Angell.
It adds up to a densely compelling collection of songs that alternate between dark ballads and cinematic pop. What is immediately striking is how Blood and Glass are able to combine seemingly far-flung musical ideas into a cohesive package, held together by Lisa Moore’s strong, uninhibited performances, as heard on one of the standout focus tracks, “Whiskey.”
Punk Shadows fulfills the promise of the Moores’ initial work as a duo that led to the first Blood and Glass album in 2014, Museum With No Walls. International touring ensued with Patrick Watson and others, helping to solidify a live sound that laid the foundation for the new album.
Punk Shadows was released March 24 on Montreal label Simone Records, and Blood and Glass will be playing shows in support throughout the spring. For more info go here
How did the sound on Punk Shadows evolve from your first album?
We took greater risks and ignored what was expected of us. On our first record, we were searching for a sound that would set us apart from other artists. On Punk Shadows, we didn’t search for anything, we just released our inner creativity and it naturally made an authentic and original sound. It’s just an expression of inner freedom. We captured everyone’s raw energy in the studio, often keeping first takes, even for my lead vocals. We only added Melanie Belaire’s string arrangements and Morgan’s sonic textures afterwards. Sooooo much better this way—live off the floor.
Which song do you feel best captures the essence of the record and is there a story behind it?
“Punk Shadows,” the title track, because it marks the moment right after I got fired from a job for being too eccentric. I ran home and composed a breakup ballad and I sang at the top of my lungs. It ended up sounding like Cyndi Lauper. I decided I was breaking up with the punk ideal, and accepting I’d always be in the shadows. I played it for the band and they all felt like they could relate to it. I wasn’t the only one who’s been fired for being too much of a weirdo! So that inspired a huge gang vocal—a sort of call-to-arms where we sing our goodbyes to the people who fired us—but also to our punk rock dreams.
What's been the biggest change in your life in the past year?
Morgan and I got married, which went against a rule of mine never to get involved with someone I played music with. But Morgan taught me rules don’t work when it comes to true love. We’ve also been going to Italy a bunch. We toured there a total of two months last year, so learning to speak Italian has been amazing.
What do you recall about your first time performing in public?
I was 11 years old and I performed “Dust in The Wind” on the piano at a retirement home. Everyone there was 85 and older, and some of them were already swaying their hands to the music before I got up to the piano. I was so nervous I forgot where middle C was. My fingers were sweating and I remember being really upset… I really wanted to be a musician and performer but my nerves wouldn’t let me. But I got through it and the next time I was less nervous. I still perform at old folks homes yearly. It will be very weird when I am old and grey and a young musician comes to perform for me one day.
What's your best touring story?
We had a bus when we toured across the U.S. opening for Patrick Watson. In Oregon, we found a lodge deep in the woods that claimed to be haunted, and it was called Patrick’s Creek. It made me think of The Shining, but the craziest part was meeting the locals who were drinking pints—yes pints—of whiskey. A few came up to us and said, “Wanna go for a ride?” The boys went out and shotguns with them while I stayed at the motel learning about the ghost of a woman who hung herself in room 213.
The boys came back absolutely wasted and feeling really weird about what they experienced. It was quite insane and scary for us peaceful Canadians. Everyone continued to drink pint after pint of whiskey with these strange locals until Morgan could no longer stand up. He passed out cold so we grabbed a sheet from the motel, wrapped him in it, and six of us carried him across the parking lot into the bus. He woke up as we were walking through a puddle and started screaming that he thought he was floating over a lake.