Forget compasses, GPS, or helpful Sherpas. From June 13–19 this year, Torontoist is here to be your guide to everything NXNE.
It’s been a busy year for The Balconies. Their debut self titled album got rave reviews, and they’ve won all sorts of acclaim for their energetic live shows. That high-intensity pop flair earned them more than just fans and praise; they took second place in a band competition in their hometown of Ottawa, which came with an oversized cheque for $75,000. “We bought a new touring van, a big Ford 16 seater, which is awesome,” says Stephen Neville. “I also ordered a new bass, but it still hasn’t arrived yet.”
Much of that money is going into recording a follow-up record, which the band is taking their time with. “We started in January, working on new material. We also recorded a seven inch, which just came out. Now, we’re almost finished recording the album—though it’ll be a while before it’s fully mixed and released.” In the meantime, says Neville, they’re still playing their electric rock show, and also experimenting more with some classical arrangements.
Torontoist: Tell us why we should see you at NXNE, in 10 words or less.
Stephen Neville: Because we’ll debut some new material we’re excited to play!
What’s your favourite Toronto venue, and why?
The Horseshoe Tavern; it’s a good sized room, and there’s a lot of history there—and the staff are great.
Does the NXNE beat the SXSW, and why?
Well, we haven’t been, but from what I’ve heard… I think NXNE is a different thing, really. It’s spread out more across the city, and I think it’s less chaotic. This’ll be our third year at NXNE. The first year, we just drove down from Ottawa for our show; last year, we got to experience it fully, and I’m hoping to do the same this year.
Who’s going to be the breakout act of NXNE this year?
Jane’s Party. They’re fantastic. They’re working on an EP, and have just a few teaser tracks out right now, but those are phenomenal.
What’s up next for The Balconies?
We’re gonna get back to mixing the album—it’ll probably be a long process, but I’m excited. We’re proud of our debut album, but it didn’t quite capture the energy of our live sets the way the next one will, I think.