The latest album by Marianas Trench was a bit of a time warp for the award-winning Canadian group.
Once frontman and chief songwriter Josh Ramsay began channeling 80s influence, both sonically and stylistically, into "Astoria," which came out during October, the quartet decided to dive into the concept as deeply as possible. "We tried to record using only gear available in the 80s or prior," drummer Ian Casselman says by phone from a tour stop in Boston. "I bought a vintage 60s drum set. Everybody brought in a lot of vintage gear. We used only guitars available in the 80s or before, and pedals and those kinds of things."
The group members also did their best to look the part, too.
"Josh really got into it -- the fishnets, little crop tops, jeans that were way too tight to put on, all that kind of stuff, even 80s decor. That's kind of his personality, anyway," says Casselman, who didn't share the frontman's enthusiasm. "Drumming is a bit different. You wear what's comfortable. It's not as conducive to playing dress-up, so I didn't as much as the other guys."
Nevertheless, the theatrical "Astoria" "was very much recorded by committee," according to Casselman, 34. "Everyone had lots of input. Egos were all checked. We rolled with every idea if it genuinely worked. It's the most fun we've had recording an album so far."
Casselman and company are also pleased that it's the most successful of their four albums, hitting No. 2 in their homeland and garnering larger U.S. audiences thanks to a major label deal (with Cherrytree/Interscope) on this side of the border. The proof, according to the drummer, is evident at nearly ever show so far.
"The shows are selling a little more than we probably anticipated," he says. "Like, the last time we played in Charlotte it was a bit of a dud, maybe 200 people. this time around it was 700 people, without any real radio play or anything exposing it, just grass roots and word of mouth.
"So when you see shows grow that much with no real reason other than people probably telling each other, that's encouraging. Everything's moving full-steam ahead. We're very happy right now."
Marianas Trench and Mainland
Friday, Feb. 12. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.
Tickets are $36 and $26.
Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to