Bucking a trend, or three years behind the time?
To Daniel Greaves, vocalist for veteran Winnipeg rockers The Watchmen, the band's latest release and first new album in three years, Slomotion, is neither.
The album incorporates electronic elements at a time when a return to basic rock 'n' roll is currently being eschewed and put into practice by fellow compatriots such as Static In Stereo, The Tea Party and Sloan.
"Well, in my opinion, Sloan kind of puts out the same record all time," says Greaves, who brings the band to the MacEwan Hall Ballroom tomorrow night.
"It's good, it sounds like classic rock to me, which is totally fine -- I like rock 'n' roll. I like good music.
"But yeah, so many people are getting back to it, but for us we have to compare ourselves to ourselves based on where we've been, not based on where the world music scene is going."
Besides, he says, "rock music is an attitude."
It's an attitude the band has put to record to varying degrees of success over the past decade or so, with basic guitar albums such as McLarenFurnaceRoom and Silent Radar, and a straight-up rock show that was a sure thing to pack campus venues across the country.
But Slomotion -- or rather one of the two discs that makes up Slomotion, called "Fast Forward" -- features programmed beats, synthesizer sounds and extra help from noted producer Rhys Fulber of Delerium fame to create something that's more Jesus Jones than traditional rock 'n' roll.
"It's soundscape, I'd call it visual music ...," Greaves says, explaining the sound originated from his new interest in home recording technology.
"It paints a picture moreso than just bass, drums and a guitar."
As to how he expects longtime fans to respond to the new sound, Greaves says he's not too concerned.
It's all part of the musical food chain, he explains, with some former fans moving on and embracing other guitar acts, while The Watchmen themselves will also gain new ears.
Besides, the initial response has already been positive, leading Greaves to believe that his assumption is correct when he thinks that good music is good music, no matter what you call it, and good music will always find an audience.
"I think when people listen to it, they'll hear the songs," he says. "They might hear the box that it lives in initially, but then they'll get through that and hear the songs."
And, anyway, for those who prefer The Watchmen's original sound, Slomotion comes with "Rewind," a nine-song CD look back to add more "bang for the buck."
"It just felt like the right time," Greaves says.