Interview: The Tea Party Revisit “The Edges of Twilight”
When The Tea Party’s The Edges of Twilight emerged in 1995, it was unlike any other Canadian rock album released by the band’s contemporaries. In addition to its classic rock leanings, The Edges of Twilight also embraced Indian and Middle Eastern instrumentation, thus giving the recording a rather exotic feeling. Two decades later, you’d still be hard-pressed to find a Canadian rock album that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with this one.
As a way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Edges of Twilight, The Tea Party – Jeff Martin (vocals, guitar), Stuart Chatwood (bass, synthesizer) and Jeff Burrows (drums, percussion) – have reissued a special edition of the album and are currently on the road performing it in full.
“It’s something we look back on being one of those albums that really established the band as its own entity, with its own sound,” says Burrows of The Edges of Twilight during an interview with Riffyou.com. “Your sophomore album is always your do or die album. It’s the one that’s either going to sink you, or keep you afloat. We went into it guns a blazing.”
He continues: “It was [considered] successful the moment we recorded it, because it just turned out fantastically and we were pleased about that. It’s something worth celebrating [now.]”
When looking back on how The Edges of Twilight came together, Burrows explains that most of the material was written as the band toured in support of 1993’s Splendor Solis. Once home, the trio hunkered down in a parent’s basement (because no one from the band had his own place) and hammered through the demos. As for the exotic instrumentation, those ideas were charted at home before The Tea Party went to Los Angeles to record.
Released on March 21, 1995, The Edges of Twilight was filled with many memorable and ambitions moments, with selections like “Fire in the Head,” “The Bazaar” and “Sister Awake” gaining the most mainstream momentum. Eventually, The Edges of Twilight would become The Tea Party’s best-selling album.
“It may have looked like we had a sudden rise to fame, but we didn’t,” says Burrows of that era. “You get those little bumps here and there that you’re really grateful for. [But] it was nice to see people who were painting us as ‘Jim Morrison singing for The Doors,’ giving us a break and saying, ‘Wow, these guys can really put an album together and they have a classic rock vibe with their own twist on it.’”
Perhaps what made The Edges of Twilight such a successful album was the fact that The Tea Party approached it with a distinct honesty and a parent-driven work ethic.
“I’ve been comparing the finished, mastered songs that wound up on the album with the demos we did…and I am shocked with how well the demos turned out. I’m shocked that we spent the money and re-recorded them,” offers Burrows with a laugh. “Now, I appreciate the bare-bones quality of each of those songs. It’s pleasant to hear that none of this came by accident. None of this came by us being in the right place at the right time. It’s easy to see that we worked our asses off and it was non-stop.
“Back then, we listened to our folks when they said ‘If you want something bad enough, you have to work your asses off for it,’” he adds. “You don’t complain about sleeping on floors, you don’t complain about driving all night to the next gig and you don’t complain [at the beginning] about not getting paid. It’s nice that we didn’t lose focus.”
Thu/Sep-10 – Oshawa, ON – Regent Theatre
Fri/Sep-11 – Barrie, ON – The Roxy
Sat/Sep-12 – Waterloo, ON – Maxwell’s
Sun/Sep-13 – Sarnia, ON – Rustic
Wed/Sep-16 – Hamilton, ON – Hamilton Place Theatre
Fri/Sept-18 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
Mon/Sep-21 – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre
Tue/Sep-22 – Medicine Hat, AB – Esplanade Main Theatre
Thu/Sep-24 – Calgary, AB – Jack Singer Concert Hall
Fri/Sep-25 – Edmonton, AB – Mary Winspear Centre
Sat/Sep-26 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
Mon/Sep-28 – Grande Prairie, AB – Better Than Fred’s
Tue/Sep-29 – Vernon, BC – Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre
Thu/Oct-01 – Seattle, WA – Showbox Theatre
Fri/Oct-02 – Vancouver, BC – Hard Rock Casino
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