Bringing the vocals and presence of a former Langley Fine Arts student-turned TV star into the mix on the release of their inaugural album is expected to draw extra attention to a Langley pop band.
After almost a decade of performing together, Derrival releases its first full-length, self-titled album on Friday.
And, just ahead of that, they dropped their third single from the impending album complete with video to all major streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.).
Ghosts of Our Past features actress Sarah Jeffery, who is best known for her work on Disney’s Descendants, NBC’s Shades of Blue (as Jennifer Lopez’s daughter on the show), and now a recurring role on The X-Files.
“We had Sarah Jeffery come in to do some harmonies and back up vocals for some other songs on the album and we loved her voice so much that we were inspired to write a song featuring her vocals,” explained Adam Mah, the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist.
Derrival has primarily featured songs written by Mah and keyboardist Shane Stephenson.
For most of the songs for their new album, however, the pair simply came up with what they call a skeleton, then brought them to rehearsals and had the rest of the guys (lead guitarist Glen Jackson, bass player Deven Azevedo, and drummer Dan Kozlowski) help flush them out in a classic jamming garage band type fashion.
Mah is pleased with the results.
As for writing Ghosts, he said their long-time friend Jeffery was the inspiration and they had the song 90 per cent done in about a day, “which is the quickest we’ve ever created a song that made it onto a record,” he said.
Then, since Jeffery had already been featured on that and other songs from the album, he said it only made sense to have her in the video.
“But, I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to get her for the video because she was in the middle of shooting The X-Files,” he said, elated they were able to make it work.
“She’s an incredible vocalist and it was so great to work with her. She felt like the missing piece of the puzzle with this album and everything sort of fell into place when she added her vocals,” Mah said.
This was the first time they experimented with having people outside of the band involved with their music and it’s something they “definitely” want to do more of in the future, he elaborated.
“It’s a great way to bring new ideas and flavours into your songs,” he said, noting that the team called on more than just Jeffery, but also a pair of Langley filmmakers who helped wrap up the Ghosts package.
“The video was shot by Nelson and Graham Talbot, who we went to school with. It was sort of an LFAS reunion, because we all went to school with Sarah as well,” Mah said.
Azevedo, Kozlowski, and Mah all attended Langley Fine Arts, while Stephenson and Jackson attended D.W. Poppy when they first came together as a band almost a decade ago.
Today, they’re spread throughout the Lower Mainland, including Vancouver, New Westminster, and Langley, but they all still come together for rehearsals in Langley.
From taking the stage at Squamish Valley Music Festival to being one of three bands chosen for the inaugural JUNO Masterclass, and even getting a nomination from the Western Canadian Music Awards, Derrival is a band that has worked “tirelessly to meet and overcome every challenge in its path and, as a result, has been one to watch from the very start,” Mah said.
Once asked, why be a musician in the year 2017 when the odds of success seem so low? The band collaborated on a response: “You start before you know the odds, and by the time you figure it out, it’s too late. For Derrival there has been no other way than living the dream.”
Prior to last week’s release of Ghosts, and this week’s release of their new album, Derrival released a few other of its singles.
“The album includes themes of fragility of young love, the difficult journey of an artist, and obsession over celebrity,” Mah said. “Typically each song is a permutation and a meditation on one of these themes and this album is a perfect example of this.”
The five-piece band, which recently signed with a New York-based label – AntiFragile, is officially releasing its new album later this week, but the band is hosting a release party at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver on Saturday, March 17.
Tickets for the show are available at Ticketfly.com as well as Red Cat, Neptoon, and Zulu Records.
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