Although Conversation have only officially been the band they are for three or so years, the genesis of the Toronto based punks actually started over a decade ago, when Tim Bolton, the band’s Australian-born vocalist, first moved to Canada.
“I moved here about ten years ago,” he says, “although I was living on the west coast, just kind of rolling about like a silly young man trying to figure out what life was about. But that’s where I met our bassist Erik [Tandberg], who’s still in the band to this day. So we became friends a long, long time ago and we tried a few musical endeavours when we were younger. We had some success, but nothing really held strong and we both stepped away from music altogether for a few years.”
It was in doing that, however, that Bolton realised music was what he really wanted to pursue full-time, so he moved across the vast landscape of the country to Toronto in order to follow that dream and make it become a reality.
“I packed my life into two suitcases,” he remembers, “and I jumped on a plane and I moved here on a whim. After I got here, I explained what I was looking for and found a couple of schmucks who were willing to try this with me. At that point, I called Erik, who was back in Victoria, BC, and told him: ‘Guess what? You’re moving to Toronto. Pack your shit.’ I sent him $2,000 and he bought a van, packed his life into it and drove it across the country. And that’s still the van we tour in now. There’s a point in your life where it’s like ‘Look, if I’m going to do it, I need to do it right. I need to make it everything and I need to make it honest.’ And that’s what this is now. It’s the be all and end all, where we’re doing it till the wheels fall off, and it’s great. I think it’s the only way you can do it.”
It’s that dedication and commitment to the cause that drives Conversation – completed by “schmucks” Jason Prolas (guitar/vocals), Pat Kosak (guitar) and Yoda Perron (drums) – to this day, and is the source of inspiration behind their new EP, Fig. 2, an acerbic and volatile coalescence of metal and hardcore.
“I am who I am,” says Bolton, “and I believe in who I am and what I do. If you don’t like that, that’s fine, because it’s not going to change anything that I do. You can go on with your life and you can throw your opinions around all you want and it’s not going to phase me at all. I’m letting all of that go. And I think that was a massive moment for us as a band. It was very freeing to be like ‘Let’s stop thinking about what we should sound like, and let’s just sound like us.’”
If that honesty is the fuel behind Conversation’s musical fire – something which has earned them a support slot on Enter Shikari’s Toronto gig next month – it also drives the emotionally raw content of their songs.
“Any time I can finish a song is a catharsis,” says Bolton, “and every time I sing them live is a release. You come out of playing a set and it’s euphoric. You’re exhausted and you can hardly even stand up straight any more but once you come out the other end of that, it’s paradise. It’s probably the real moment that I look for. Because what you’re hearing is absolute honesty. From the way the music was written to the way it was recorded to the lyrics that are sung, it’s everything that we have and it’s happening right now.”
For more information on the band, visit their Facebook page.