Today we have a good one with our Spotlight – The Tea Party. One of Canadas great rock acts, The Tea Party has been bringing us some amazing tunes for more than 20 years. We were able to snag Jeff Burrows for a chat to talk about the band and he newest release Summertime which is out now. Check out what he had to say right now!
If someone is getting into The Tea Party for the first time, where would you recommend, they start?
If anyone was starting to get into the Tea Party, like most bands, probably get into the hits package like Tangents, and whatever you like. From there go to the main album and see if that excites you even more with the deeper cuts.
It has been over 30 years since the band’s formation. After a brief break up and then reformation, you have been together ever since. How has your ability to solve group conflict and understanding of each other improved in this second era of The Tea Party?
As with any relationship, age usually lends itself to being more tolerant, and understanding. We’ve always had perfect communication on stage, and we’ve simply learned to adapt that in our day-to-day lives.
You’ve mentioned that the Beatles and Led Zeppelin were big inspirations for you. Are there any modern rock groups who you admire? Any you would like to work with someday?
There are a lot of amazing young acts out there. I for one really enjoy Bring Me the Horizon, and multiple R&B artists such as Anderson Paak, Childish Gambino, Post Malone, the late Mac Miller, etc. No desire to work with them though.
Do you all have a similar creative vision for the direction of the band?
Absolutely not. Our tastes, and our outlooks on artistic direction is what makes the band as eclectic as it is. I imagine that is very similar for most bands.
What are your thoughts on people saying Rock is dead/a thing of the past?
I think that’s the silliest statement going around on socials lately… that’s like saying jazz, and classical music are dead.
Your new single “Summertime” captures the airy and blithe feeling of summer, so I must ask, why is it you chose to release it in the spring?
Because spring falls right before summer, and singles usually have a 10–16 week life on radio… at least that’s what the label tells us.
The band has explored many different eras of rock and with each album comes an evolved sound. Do you ever feel pressure to further develop the band’s sound or is it a process that occurs naturally?
Anything we’ve ever done has come rather organically. You’ll always have fans who enjoy the blues side of the band more, and then there will also be people who enjoy the worldly sound, or the electronic sound… We aim to please ourselves first, always have, always will.
How have your years in the industry helped shape your idea of what “makes a good song?” Do you think there is any criteria at all for making “a good song?”
We’ve never set out to write a particular style of song, or music. As I’ve said earlier, our music is very organic, and if it makes a statement for mass appeal, it does so. But you can always tell we’ve never tried to write the pop hits, by the lack of #1’s in our catalogue.
What is your favorite album you’ve written?
There’s no such thing as a favourite album… That’s like choosing a favourite child. Some have more success than others, but it’s usually the ones with least a success that I enjoy the most.
It’s fortunate that you can be in a band with some of your best friends. Between studio time and touring do you find it difficult to have the time to maintain other relationships in your life?
Not at all. Perhaps when we were younger and much busier, it was like that. This band works on a very part time schedule. We’ve gotten to a point in our lives where we can enjoy our families and home friends without having to rush into writing, recording, or touring. You miss a lot in the early days with children being born, lost Holidays, lack of sleep, etc.… As we get older, it becomes much more easy and actually fun.
Your song Heaven Coming Down has managed to hold its popularity 20 years after its release. Why do you think this song holds such a special place in people’s hearts?
Many songs from many artists hold many memories for many people. This track remains slightly more popular, because of its crossover popularity in 1999. Again, we never set out for it to be so popular, it just happens.
Do you have any funny tour stories you can share with us?
Once a young man fell from the ceiling at one of our Australian shows in the early days. He was too young, so he snuck in the daytime and waited in the ceiling for 9+ hours, then eventually slipped and fell through on two other crowd members. We ended up keeping him side stage for a hang after the show.
COVID has had a massive impact on tours and project releases. How is the group dealing with canceled shows?
We did a couple covers for fun earlier during the pandemic, then kept working on our own side hustles for a year.
What can we look forward to for the future of The Tea Party?
More music, more tours, more specialty shows, more vinyl releases, etc…
Finally, what is the best and worst advice you’ve been given that you could tell artists coming up in the industry today?
Robert Plant once told us to ignore what the reviewer’s say about all aspects of writing, recording, and performing.
Spotlight – The Tea Party is in the books. Big thanks to Jeff for taking some time to chat with us
Check out Summertime out now!
Keep up with The Tea Part right here
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