Heart of Darkness; An interview with Jason Corbett of ACTORS

Vancouver, Canada’s ACTORS conjured an electric and modern take on post-punk for their debut full-length It Will Come to You. Anthemic songs evoke the urgency of early-’80s mood punk rock as well as the driving, synth-drenched scores that emanated from that era’s movie screens. Via frontman Jason Corbett’s glistening production job, slamming beats propel warm layers of synth, guitar, and vocals.

Much more than a “retro” act, this is music that stands all on its own, full of life and unforgettable hooks. Perhaps best described as a “post-post-punk” band, ACTORS belongs in the discussion alongside bands of today like The Soft Moon and Cold Cave who are pushing music forward via a deep knowledge of the past.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Corbett before the band releases the LP and sets off to tour the U.S., Canada and Europe.

When did you first realize you had an aptitude as a musician?

I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of it that way. I just felt a strong emotional connection to music from an early age. It made sense for me to embrace that and create.

Were there other Canadian punk and post-punk bands that influenced you as you were coming up?

I wasn’t even trying to sound post-punk. There’s just an innate darkness to what I do. Musically I’m drawing from a few different influences genre-wise. When it comes together it just happens to fall under the umbrella of “post-punk” which can be a pretty broad term.

I hear some tinges of U2 in your music. Are they an influence?

I can’t really say they are a direct influence. I’m a fan of their earlier work which can be hard to admit since Bono has become so insufferable. They’ve always had elements of pop in their arrangements. Perhaps that’s something we have in common.

There’s also a cinematic influence present. Is anyone in the band a cinephile?

Definitely. David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, and Nicolas Winding Refn are directors I absolutely admire. There’s something about immersing yourself in another world and taking that ride that can have a deep resonance in your art.

The band actually recorded, mixed and mastered the effort at your own studio?

All the music on It Will Come to You was recorded, mixed, and mastered at my studio Jacknife Sound.

What was the process of making the record like?

As time goes by and the more music you write, the less precious the whole process becomes. When you let it be easy you can be a conduit for deeper ideas. I just tried to be easy.

Would you have been able to do this without complete control over that process?

I don’t think so. It would take a lot of trust.

Was there a theme, idea or feeling you were hoping to capture with the album?

The themes that occur in these songs are just what comes. I wanted to make a great record. I want to share and connect.

Did you succeed?

I hope so.

What is “Slaves” about?

If I tell you what “Slaves” is about it takes away some of the magic. A lyric can mean different things to different people.

What are your loftiest near-term goals for ACTORS? 

We’re looking forward to the album release and our upcoming tours. The next few months are going to be a blast.

How about long-term?

We want to continue to grow and keep doing what we love. 

 

ACTORS on Tour:

Mar 10 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw (It Will Come to You album release show)
Mar 22 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Mar 23 – Boise, ID @ Vista Bar
Mar 24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Club X (Batcave SLC)
Mar 28 – Sacramento, CA @ LowBrau
Mar 29 – Oakland, CA @ Golden Bull
Mar 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ La Cita (Part Time Punks)
Apr 3 – Olympia, WA @ Crytatropa
Apr 4 – Everett, WA @ Obscurus
Apr 5 – Eugene, OR @ Old Nicks
Apr 6 – Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge (Out from the Shadows Festival)
Apr 12 – Vancouver, BC @ Astoria (Verboden Festival)
May 10 – Paris, FR @ Le Supersonic
May 11 – Lille, FR @ Le Bobble Cafe
May 18 – Copenhagen, DK @ Stengade
May 19 – Hamburg, DE @ Gruner Jager
May 20 – Leipzig, DE @ Wave Gotik Treffen Festival
Aug 25 – West Yorkshire, UK @ Infest Festival

Bandcamp