Tea Party talk about tour they’re taking to Kelowna

Prog rockers bring tour to Kelowna

Twenty years ago The Tea Party released their fourth album Transmission.

Now, the progressive-rock band is touring across the country in honour of what bassist Stuart Chatwood, says is one of their strongest records.

Transmission is a tough album to perform live. Chatwood spent two weeks hunched over a computer recreating sounds off of the album to be able to play every track during the live performance.

Some of the songs are also difficult to play, some haven’t been performed live before the tour.

The last time The Tea Party visited Kelowna was in 2005 when the band was still together. Chatwood said Kelowna was an easy choice, as they toured Kamloops on their last tour and want to switch between the two cities.

The times have changed for The Tea Party, they’re older, and less influenced by their peers.

“I don’t want to pander to the audiences… all the insecurities go away, I’m only nervous now if we don’t get to do a sound check before a big performance,” he said.

The Ontario band formed in 1990, but took a six-year hiatus from 2005 to 2011.

Every year, people would ask them if they were going to come back together.

“Come 2011 (we thought) let’s see if this thing will work again,” he said.

Touring from coast to coast, Chatwood’s favourite place to play is in Montreal.

“They have a passion for music,” he said, adding it seems Montreal citizens work hard for their money, so they pour their passion into the concerts by singing, dancing and being engaged with the band.

The Tea Party has also kept away from the mainstream mentally of releasing singles, or LPs. They write what they want, and plan to release another album. They also tend to avoid simple beats, or lyrics because they enjoy a different style.

“(We assume) the audience has intelligence,” said Chatwood.

People get caught up in writing music to impress their audience, but it should first be to impress yourself, he said.

Overall, Chatwood has been enjoying the tour.

“People are leaving the show really happy, it’s been polished now.”

The performances will be a mix of every song from Transmission and their greatest hits.

In his down time, he works on soundtracks for video games and is proud to see the positive reviews from a local indie game Darkest Dungeon, when he composed the music.

The band recorded 10 songs while in Australia, and they plan to release a new album in the future.

But it’s been difficult as the band lives in different areas, and some members have families now, said Chatwood.

Each member lives in different places in the world, Chatwood with his family in Vancouver.

The Tea Party is playing March 27, at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Tickets can be purchased online through Ticketmaster.