Walter TV’s Blessed Grooves
Canada’s Walter TV deliver upbeat melodies offering nothing short of a groove train. The band features Pierce McGarry (guitar/vocals), Simon Ankenman (bass/smiles), and Joe McMurray (drums). Their forthcoming record, Blessed, is filled with scintillating guitar journeys, on-point bass lines, and sway-worthy drum beats. Fans will be feelin’ Blessed when the record drops in June on Sinderlyn via Captured Tracks. Sitting in the tour van under the Austin rain during their recent appearance at South by Southwest, with lots of laughs and good vibes, it seems pretty clear that these goonies are enjoying the ride, and doing it right.
How does your new album Blessed different from Appetite ?
Pierce: A lot of the songs we made all at once, or just had from over the years that we never recorded. So we’ve been picking and choosing what would go better with what album. It sounds different because it’s digital, and we’re mixing a lot so there’s a lot more layers, but musically it’s quite similar.
Were there any roadblocks in the songwriting processes?
Pierce: It was easy because we had all the songs already made and we try to write new songs to put in with the old ones and make it something cohesive. I guess the main thing was just that we didn’t have the one spot to do it all the time. So, we had to figure it out all the time. Simon was canoe guiding, and Joe and I are on tour all the time. We’d have to meet somewhere and get it all together. We kind of just kept setting up little studios along the way for the last year.
Do you each write songs individually then come together and jam?
Simon: It’s varied I would say. Quite often one of us will come with a part and then we’ll just play until we’ve all got something that plays pretty decent and then just go from there. Other times Pierce will come with a song, and Joe will slap on a part.
One of your new tracks is called ‘Surf Metal’. Are you influenced by any particular genres?
Joe: I don’t have any genres that I am personally attached to more than any other. I just like any ol’ music that sounds good.
What kind of music first got you excited?
Simon: The Beach Boys. (laughs)
Pierce: Mine was classical music and Leonard Cohen….Joe liked Spice Girls.
Joe: Boy band and girl bands of the late nineties, and early 2000’s.
Any ones in particular?
Joe: All of them.
Pierce: I also used to listen to a lot of Sarah Mclachlan and Jewel just because my sisters did, and I had to.
What kind of music do you dig into now?
Pierce: Sarah McLachlan.
Pierce: That’s a good one.
Simon: That’s the one.
Pierce: Oh, and Bob Marley.
If you were stuck in a cabin with five things what you choose?
Pierce: I’m going on a trip, and I’m gonna bring my Sarah McLachlan CD. How ‘bout you Simon?
Simon: Some water.
Pierce: Wait you gotta do the whole game! Can we just play ‘Goin’ on a Trip’ instead?
Simon: Ok! I’m going on a trip. I’m gonna bring my Sarah Mclachlan CD, and my rubber boots.
Joe: My Sarah McLachlan CD, my rubber boots, my laptop…
Pierce: (Laughs) I’m going on a trip. Gonna take my Sarah McLachlan CD, my rubber boots, my laptop, and my….Encyclopædia Britannica !
Simon: My Sarah McLachlan CD, my rubber boots, my laptop, my Encyclopedia …and a bag full of doobies! (laughs)
Joe: That’s five!
Simon: There ya go! Sounds like we’re having a good time.
Outside of music, what do you guys like to do in your spare time?
Simon: Go swimming.
Pierce: Swimming is definitely a priority. Number one.
Pierce: Go on Yelp and go to the highest rated stars with the lowest dollar denominator. Go to that restaurant. Then, take a bath.
Do you like being out touring more or recording?
Simon: They’re two very different things.
Pierce: I like touring. Joe and I tour all the time pretty much, and we’re touring a lot more now since the new album’s coming out.
Joe: Yeah, I like it.
What’s most enjoyable for you about making music?
Pierce: For me it’s a good way to express myself and connect with people and it’s fun when a lot of people dance at our shows. We’re trying to communicate with natural expression. It’s better for me to play for people when everyone’s into it, and it feels like there’s some sort of community going on for a night, which is rad.
Simon: Yeah, it’s nice to see people laughing and dancing and hoppin’ around. It feels good to be able to facilitate that experience.