Canadian band CIVILIANA introduced their new single “Void” on June 10th.
Co-produced by Matt Di Pomponio and Ryan Worsley (Dear Rouge, Said The Whale, Sophia Danai), the alternative-rock single was inspired by Trentini’s (lead vocals) personal experiences.
“The lyrics and meaning of “Void” were inspired from a moment in my life where I was feeling a heavy pressure to find a relationship. This caused me to rush into a relationship and subsequently lose my direction and identity. I had to learn to look within myself to find true meaning and move forward,” explains Trentini.
Formed by Calen Trentini (Drums/Lead Vocals), Adam Wilson (Guitar/Vocals), Spencer Daley (Bass/Guitar/Keys) and Daniel Ponich (Guitar/Keys/Percussion), the band released their debut Canadian radio single “Carry a Light” in March, which was the first in a three-part musical narrative about dealing with a failed relationship, searching for a new identity, and eventually embracing new opportunities.
The Canadian band will be releasing their next single “Melt” in July.
“Void” is now available worldwide.
Introduce yourselves - where are you from?
Hey! Thanks for having me. My name is Calen Trentini, I’m the lead vocalist and drummer in the band, CIVILIANA. We are based in Vancouver, Canada. The other band members are Adam Wilson, vocals and guitar, Spencer Daley, bass and keys and Daniel Ponich, guitar, keys, percussion.
What's the band's story? At what point did you decide to form a band?
We grew up in a city outside of Vancouver called Kelowna. In seventh grade music class, I chose to play the drums and my classmate Spencer chose to play the bass. We quickly began jamming together outside of class and began what is now a 15-year musical relationship of which we’ve cultivated and grown a strong musical chemistry and bond. For a few years. Spencer and I played as a bass guitar and drums duo where I would also be the vocalist. We realized there was a strong potential of adding in a guitar player and mid-way through high school, we were introduced to a fellow at a neighboring high school by the name of Adam Wilson. We had never seen someone as strong at songwriting as Adam was and along with this, he had a unique guitar playing style that was similar to Arctic Monkeys and Dead Weather, who we already were listening to at that time.
We played as a band together throughout high school and for a couple of years following that before life, school and work got in the way and things slowed down. Years later, the three of us connected again - this time in Vancouver - and we recorded a 3 song EP with a hometown and high school friend Dan Ponich. It wasn’t long after that we invited Dan to be the fourth member of our band and we haven’t looked back since.
Do you remember your first performance as a band?
Our first ‘real’ performance was at a University Pub in Kelowna called The Well. We were opening for a band that had a strong following, so the place ended up being packed. We were trying out a new set-up - one that didn’t last - where we brought in a drummer to allow me to focus on just vocals and connecting with the audience. The main thing I remember is having the time of my life interacting with the sold-out crowd while singing and dancing to our music. I asked Adam about that show recently and he recalled that I kept stepping on his guitar pedals...it was a pretty small stage. Sorry, Adam. I regret nothing. .
How did the name CIVILIANA come about?
Our high school band was named Civilian after Adam pitched the name at a band practice. We all liked the simplicity and anonymity of the name so it stuck, however a few years later we added an A to the end and changed the name to CIVILIANA. Ironically, we did this to provide some differentiation from the other 100 bands called Civilian at that time. Welcome to the difficult task of trying to find a band name in the 21st century… there are not a lot of words left to use!
How would you define CIVILIANA the band?
We place ourselves in the Alt-Rock genre however I feel that doesn’t do enough to encapsulate our band’s definition. More than anything, we have a commitment to artistic integrity, meaningful lyrics, songwriting and musicianship. We combine elements of electronic synthesizers with more traditional rock sounds to achieve a sound that we feel is massive and unique.
How did your sound evolve since your first release? What did you learn since then?
When we made “Out the Window” in 2016, we were still trying to figure out what we wanted our sound to be and what we wanted to say. We were happy with the powerful and energetic sound that was translated through the instrumentation and vocals within the EP but knew there was more to give. Adam and Spencer put a huge focus on learning and developing new sounds from synthesizers such as Ableton Push, Microkorgs, Moog (and more), which allowed us to have an entirely different sound palette to work from. Along with this, Adam and I focused a lot on songwriting, both within lyricism but also writing creative and catchy vocal melodies. We also brought in a fourth member, Dan Ponich, which allowed us to still maintain our hard rock sound that we developed in our early years while incorporating new electronic sounds.
"Void" is your latest single. What's the story behind this song?
The lyrics and meaning of “Void” were inspired from a moment in my life where I was feeling a heavy pressure to find a relationship. This caused me to rush into a relationship and subsequently lose my direction and identity. I had to learn to look within myself to find true meaning and move forward. While this song deals directly with my own personal experience in a relationship, I feel that it is relatable for anyone who has ever felt pressure from their own culture, ideology, gender, sexual orientation (or anything else) and had to find meaning and direction by looking within themselves.
You worked with Matt Di Pomponio and Ryan Worsley on this song. How was it like to collaborate with them?
It was a pleasure working with those guys. They have a massive amount of experience between the two of them and it really shows in their work. Matt is an amazing engineer and really did what it took to get the most out of us for the sake of those recordings. Having Ryan’s touch on our music truly elevated it and showed us what kind of potential we really have.
What do you like the most about this song?
My favourite part of “Void” is the final section. The ending both instrumental and lyrically captures that feeling of having an epiphany and shattering everything you thought you knew in a pursuit for something better than the past had given you.
What did you feel when writing this song?
The meaning of “Void” deals greatly with self-reflection and the process of writing the song took just that - intentional and focused moments of self-reflection on past events. Lyrically, It was a therapeutic process to take these memories and decisions and channel them into words.
What is your goal for this new single?
The goal for “Void” is to continue the narrative we started with our first single “Carry a Light” and will complete with our next single, “Melt”. I hope that “Void” can inspire those who listen and understand the lyrics to channel the messages of self-reflection in order to find direction. Beyond that, we just want to show it to the world in a live setting, “Void” translates great to the live stage setting.
What do you like the most about being part of a band?
CIVILIANA couldn’t exist without the exact members that make up the band. Each of us have something unique that we bring to the table and our process of collaboration allows us to each have a say and impact on the art we are creating.
What advice would you give to anyone who'd like to form a band?
Start making music now and be okay with the fact that it will take time before you love your music and are confident in it. As well, being kind and compassionate to your bandmates is as important as anything else; building trust and relationships will allow you to create amazing things.
What's the hardest part about being an artist?
You only end up keeping about 10% of all the things you create. It’s a vehement process of creating and creating until you find a piece of gold in your work. There will be situations where you toss out something that could have been truly special while putting your time and effort into something you eventually throw away.
What keeps you going?
I find sources of energy everywhere. If I’m playing a show, it’s the crowd and my bandmates. If I'm at home scheming how to keep this band rolling forward, it’s the people who tell me I should give up that keeps me going. It might be something different every day, but it’s important to find sources of energy and inspiration that drive us.
What does music mean to you?
There are certain things in life that are so pure and invoke such intense satisfaction. Music is one of them. Music is this sort of untouchable entity that I can only relate to a feeling - you know that feeling when someone makes you laugh incredibly hard, or you hear someone say something inspirational and you feel like you can take over the world, or maybe that feeling right before taking a bite of food at your favorite restaurant. That’s the area the music lives in for me.
How do you want to be remembered for?
I think I speak for all members of CIVILIANA when I say that we just want to be remembered as four bandmates that made an unwavering commitment to high quality art and performance.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
The world would be a better place if everyone would stop placing profits and self-interest ahead of literally everything else.
What biggest life lessons have you learned so far?
Nothing comes easy. You have to be dedicated and work hard if you want to create something special.
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