Little City started off with a main vision and concept in mind. The pursuit of the band was that of a recording project. With a background based mainly in punk music, Shaun Axani was looking for something different when he started his new venture. “It fit my playing style but it wasn’t something I was necessarily listening too. So I was on this Fleetwood Mac kick, and I thought it would be great to write these pop songs the way they used to be before they were over produced and that is common now.” explains Axani.
How the band came together wasn’t to out of the ordinary. It was mainly people who Shaun had had previous interactions with whether it be school, or prior bands. “I played with a three-piece band and Joel was the drummer, and I pitched it to him and he was on board. And I already knew people through school Dave and Fran, and I knew Fran would be a great vocalist.” says Axani. Fran, Dave and Shaun all attended the Ryerson-Radio and Television Arts program. Trevor was asked to join the project when Shaun meet him through his friend, and saw his talent as a pianist and musician.
In contrast to most bands that seek shows as their first priority when starting a band, Little City went a different direction, seeing as though it was intended as a recording project. Kai elaborates “The first thing we did after we started jamming a lot was not play shows, we started recording after we had played for a few months.”
Although they are contrast in a lot of ways the tradition band structure they still hold the DIY mentality in high regard. “As it was pitched it was anything but DIY but as it progressed it’s become more and more DIY. To the extent of me definitely being a control freak. Or not having the opportunities for the right people to help us out. But also kind of our skill set, for instance Trevor is a great graphic designer… We have an in house audio engineer (Dave), who works in a sweet studio. I am a video editor by trade and Jordan loves social media.” Describes Axani.
Regardless of clearly defines mandate there were still some obstacles to overcome, due to the band dynamics and the amount of members in the band. “Well we all come from different backgrounds musically which is difficult. Just in terms of training and styles of learning. In terms of the type of music we listen too and our influences. But somehow we found a common ground with the type of music we ended up playing.” says Kai. While fooling around in practice these differences come through more vibrantly. “I think a lot of that comes through when were just fooling around, when we do like weird mo-town covers of our songs and crystal castles remixes.”
Being such an eclectic group of individuals, one can only expect that their backgrounds would be just as diverse. Their bassist Dave is the only Toronto born member, besides Trevor who grew up in Etobicoke. Fran is formerly from Guelph. Shaun and his brother Jordan grew up in a tiny ski town called Mainsfield, while Thom their newest member migrated to Toronto from Moosejaw, Sask.
After hitting what they describe as a stale mate in the summer of last year, they decided that they wanted to work towards a new single. “The band needed a new project to work on. The whole band was kind of feeling that tension. And we really didn’t want to do another EP. So we started writing specifically for a single.” replies Axani when asked how the idea for a 7” came to be. Previously working with well-known Toronto producer Lawrence Currie, they decided that they wanted to try doing this album solely on their own.
Axani a self-proclaimed live musician expressed that he enjoyed this studio session more than he had with previous experiences. “I think I was reinvigorated by that, so I would like to not wait to long to record again.” explains Axani.
The latest 7” Release includes six songs in all, all self-recorded, and independently released. It’s entitled; Sperry/Capt. Kandell, with four brand new tracks and two rerecorded tracks.
Click the Album cover to check their album:
The name Little City is indicative of the kind of experience they have had in Toronto. “It’s a small world in a lot of ways if you even look at the extended people who play with us. If you think about who is playing with us for fun. That someone who at one time was one of the biggest musicians in the country will play with some little indie band from Toronto.” says Axani.
Regardless of the acceptance and the connections there remain challenges, which are sometimes hard to overcome. Yet Little City is one example of a band who have decided to give it a go, and work in spite of these challenges.
“People and society can listen to whatever the hell they want to now, and there are so many bands, because if you own a computer you can make your own recordings that don’t sound half bad. If you’re a good songwriter people will listen to those no matter how bad they sound. So it’s just so hard to get heard and to be understood, for them to absorb it and like it takes a little bit of drawing attention to it. It’s hard to find listeners and some of these bands to create that community.” – Axani