Nanaimo rock band Maverick Cinema is turning a page with the release of a full-length debut album, First Light.
“It’s like the beginning of a new day,” guitarist Spencer Hiemstra said of the meaning of the album title. “Not so much as a new beginning, but it’s a new chapter … a new opportunity. It’s not so much brand-new, but it’s fresh.”
Maverick Cinema went through some lineup changes in its early history, and First Light is the first major project to represent the band in its current formation – Hiemstra, lead singer Marshal Dillabough, bassist Seth Recalma and drummer Peter Bird. It’s also the group’s most collaborative effort to date.
Dillabough said that although he remains the band’s main songwriter, this time he’s had some help in the “lyrical department.”
“It feels like the band made this record, it doesn’t feel like just me anymore, which is awesome,” he said.
Bird said some of the songs started as guitar riffs or bass and drum beats before being shaped into something more.
“Someone would just start doing some random thing on their instrument and someone else would start playing along and we’re like, “Yo, that’s great. Let’s use that. Let’s work with that,’ and then it grew into a song,” Bird said.
At first the group was hoping to record a short, five-song EP. But when they found they had a surplus of songs that fit together, the material was expanded to a full album. First Light will be released on April 19, but listeners may be treated to a sneak peek when Maverick Cinema plays VIU’s end-of-semester Sunset Festival on April 11. On June 15 they’ll be at the Queen’s.
While Dillabough said he doesn’t consciously set out to write about a particular topic in his songs, he said that one of the themes of the album is personal growth.
“It’s a lot about past struggles and how do you overcome that and come out better because of it in the end,” he said.
Hiemstra said a lot of the songs came from the joy the band feels when playing together and their desire to share that joy.
“When we play our shows, we just want to include everyone in the experience and we want to have everyone have fun,” he said. “It’s about enjoying the songs and the experience.”
WHAT’S ON … Maverick Cinema performs at VIU’s end-of-semester Sunset Festival on Thursday, April 11. Festivities run from 5 to 10 p.m.