Constantines makes some sustainable music

By Allison Drinnan

Ontario natives Constantines are like your mother’s home cooking before you move out: you really take it for granted. After returning to their classic Canadian sound, it’s a great feeling to experience something so unique to our country’s artistic landscape.

Through a reputation of consistently hard-hitting shows, lyrically complex and focused albums and being dedicated to their music, this group has quietly established a respected name for themselves within Canadian music. Not concerned with image or other needless distractions, the common sentiment from fans is that the band is all about the thing that really counts: the music.

Constantines recently decided to give their fans a gift when they released the bonus EP, Too Slow For Love. This track is attached when you pick up their 2008 album, Kensington Heights.

“The idea came to us when we were touring with the Flick Off campaign and David Suzuki in the fall,” vocalist/guitarist Steve Lambke says. “We were playing mellower versions of our songs in between environmental speakers because that was kind of the mood of the event. We decided they were really good and we should record them. It’s really fun to go back and play the songs in a different way.”

Keeping with the environmentally friendly mindset, the band encourages fans to find Earth-friendly ways of attending their gigs during this upcoming tour. They state on their website “Rock Don’t Drive,” asking fans to carpool, take public transit or ride their bikes to the shows.

“It’s taking baby steps towards a glorious sustainable future,” laughs Lambke. “We know we can’t change anything overnight. . . we’re just asking people to think about their actions.”

Since they’ve been playing together for many years, Lambke speaks with a sense of comfort when describing the bands’ live performance.

“It’s nice to have a lot of material to choose from,” he reflects. “You can really pick songs that fit the mood that night.”

Constantines have paid their dues, playing all kinds of venues, from stadium tours to small local clubs, but it’s clear to them that it’s not the size that counts, but the quality.

“Our goal was never to, you know, play the Saddledome,” Lambke says. “We always said we would play wherever there was a three-prong outlet. It is really cool to take songs you wrote in your basement and bring them to that type of environment. It’s all-encompassing. . . It’s neat to play those songs in [larger venues] or we actually will play them in your basement too.”

When it comes to the future plans of the band, Lambke gives no sense of urgency with the easy-going answer of, “The future holds the future.”

“We’re just really focused on touring,” he says. “We have the U.S. tour in June and then we will get back to writing.”

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