The world is getting a little bit of Positive Thinking.
The just-released sixth album by the grungy, garage-rock Vancouver duo Pack A.D. was a comparatively long time coming.
The duo, comprised of singer/guitarist Becky Black and drummer Maya Miller, took a two-year break in between albums to put Positive Thinking together, a change of pace from their simultaneous writing and touring of years past.
“We usually would write a bunch of songs within a month or two months and go and record them on an album, but this time we thought why don’t we take actual time off. Write a bit, record a bit, so we kind of like staggered it that way,” Black said.
Black added after years of touring, with the ability to fill both bars and stadiums with a robust sound for a two-member band, the two were feeling a bit burned out. The break resulted in a more polished take on making an album.
“We had a collection of songs at the end of it to choose from, so it was sort of a different process, I kind of like it this way — although I don’t always recommend taking two years to write an album,” Black laughed. “But it worked out I think.”
The idea, Black said, was to have an album lacking any “filler” songs.
“But I don’t know if you can ever really get away from that. Also, that’s subjective, someone’s favourite song is somebody else’s filler.”
Originally, the two sectioned off from a four-piece band, hosting secret practices with just the two of them and bringing songs back to the band.
After forming Pack A.D., they planned on adding more members, but ended up liking the dynamics in the duo.
“We just went with it. Honestly, for as many years as we did that, we weren’t making a lot of money. So having two people was useful, but you know, that’s the logistic side,” Black said.
Simple is not a dirty word when it comes to Pack A.D. and the raw sound a guitar/drum duo can create.
“It is simple. There are more things you can do. You can have a loop pedal, electronic things going on. You can do a lot with two people, but we try and tend to keep it simple, what we can actually play in front of you live is what we try and record,” Black said. “We don’t have a bass player or anything, so in order to make up the lack of low-end I play loudly out of two amps.”
When the Western News caught up with Black in her Vancouver home, she was fresh off a Canadian/American tour, after which she was unusually ready to get out and hit the stage again.
“Weirdly, it was a really good tour and I’m not that tired and ready to go out again. Usually after a tour I’m like, thank God that’s over, but it was just the right amount of time.”
Positive Thinking has been ready to go for a while now, and Black is ready to continue doing what she does best, bringing the music to the fans.
“Now I feel like it’s been done for awhile so I’m ready to do the other part which is being in a band and playing shows,” Black said.
Pack A.D. hit the Pinecone Stage at the Ponderosa Music and Art festival in Rock Creek at 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 20. Tickets and camping passes are still available at www.ponderosafestival.com.