Saturday ACL Fest Interview: Ought
Refreshed sounds and selves accompany post-punk quartet after break
Despite a break in content-cranking since 2015, Montreal post-punk quartet Ought has been busy.
"We had toured so much in the last three years that we wanted to spend a longer amount of time writing new music," emails bassist Ben Stidworthy. "We wrote a good collection of songs and wanted to take the time to perfect and edit them."
After putting the material to tape, the group diverged for a brief foray into their own projects and prolific interests. Singer Tim Darcy released a scaled-back solo album, drummer Tim Keen honed his production skills, Stidworthy made a record in Denmark and Leeds (and worked in a graveyard), while keyboard player Matt May "developed a strong passion for the yardie end of grime." Artistically rejuiced, the gang got back together for summer dates with fellow Canadians the New Pornographers.
"I think we all had this deadline in the back of our minds when we would reunite to get back to tour, and I think that really excited us," offers Stidworthy. "Our energy is really high right now because we've grown as musicians and people."
He says the next album will unpack themes not limited to "perseverance, Corbyn/Brexit/Trump, and the world of love." Having forged their initial intense material in a communal living and practice space, their latest workspace in a locally legendary tower sounds just as creatively conducive and perhaps more idyllic.
"We had a window that looked out over the other side of the mountain and a train would speed past our space at uniform intervals," Stidworthy muses. "We witnessed some pretty unbelievable things there, but that's a story for another time."