By Raynee Novak
One of the standout tracks from The Menzingers’ seventh studio album Some Of It Was True has singer and guitarist Greg Barnett singing in such a different octave that it almost doesn’t sound like him.
“I’ve never sung that low before,” he confirms of “Ultraviolet”.
“That entire idea was our producer Brad Cook’s. I was, to be honest with you, I was very uncomfortable and felt very vulnerable singing that low,” continues Barnett. “I think that going from the really low to the highest again—that has such an emotional impact.”
The American punk rock band from Pennsylvania will be heading out on the road this fall, with a stop in Vancouver on December 8. Some Of It Was True is a total toe-tapper and is reminiscent of offerings from both The Gaslight Anthem and The Flatliners.
The Menzingers have been a band for over 15 years (hence a whopping seven albums), but they’ve been friends for even longer.
“I mean, I think that’s the secret really,” muses Barnett, adding that everyone in the group lives within two kilometres of each other. “We’re really lucky because we all share this creative passion together. And it strengthens our friendship and it strengthens the band at the same time. We’re very fortunate that we’ve grown up together. We've been friends since we were teenagers.”
The writing on Some Of It Was True continues The Menzingers’ track record of expressing moody feelings, but there is a bit of a change on this album, too. The lyrics are a bit more literal than the band’s usual esoteric poems—another positive product of their producer.
“Brad was saying this when we were working with him: he really thinks that it’s always best to just be direct, to get your point across,” Barnett shares. “He would top us sometimes and say, ‘What are you trying to say in the song?’ It brought clarity to the songwriting.”
Barnett admits that he loves the abstract lyrics that The Menzingers are known for—that little bit of mystery. But he agrees with their producer’s notion that “you should have a general idea about what the song is about and be able to grasp that pretty easily. And that was one of the things that we were going for with the songwriting [on Some Of It Was True].”
Relatability, certainly, is never a bad thing.
When: December 8
Where: Harbour Event & Convention Centre
Tickets: Available online