Time for Watchmen

JANE STEVENSON

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

Juno nomination for group of the year.

"I'd be lying if I said we didn't think about all aspects," says Serlin. "Musically, there was no pressure. When we knew an exact date we'd be heading into the studio is when we really exploded with songs.

"And you seem to get so self-absorbed in your writing that before you know it, everything's finished. So in terms of the business, making it happen, you've just kind of gotta hope for the best."

Frankly, though, the timing could have been better for the Toronto show, not to mention a second concert tomorrow at Manta Sound that will be broadcast live on syndicated radio (102.1 CFNY locally) and on the Internet starting at 10 p.m.

"We haven't been on a stage in four months," the longest the band has gone with doing a live show, says Serlin.

"If we were going in cold without doing these North Bay shows first (on Tuesday and Wednesday night) I'd probably be a lot more worried."

Serlin says the group has been rehearsing up a storm and preoccupied with preparing for a European tour -- they leave for London, England, on April 29 -- after which they return for a cross-Canada trek starting in June.

"It's been quite crazy, in terms of the other aspects of our career," he says. "It's time to get on the road so we can just strictly concentrate on music."

Speaking of which, Brand New Day features more experimentation than previous Watchmen releases including more strings, harp, piano, trumpet ... etc.

"This time there was viola, violin and cello and it was great, it felt like I was George Martin or something," says Serlin with a chuckle.

"We had this real attitude that anything went on this record, it was nice. In the past when we were recording --I don't know whether we were still intimidated by the whole beast of the studio -- but we felt that we couldn't break any rules and now, this time, we just felt cocky."

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