When: Sunday, Sept. 7, 9 p.m.
Admission: $10 in advance, $12 at the door
Anyone who has heard the progressive, unconventional rock
stylings of Sparta or At The Drive-In may be surprised to hear that their
singer/guitarist, Jim Ward, has moved on to start a new alternative country
rock group, dubbed Sleepercar.
Ward and the rest of the Sleepercar crew — Chris Heinrich,
Matthew Schmitz, Gabe Gonzalez, Greg Sosa and Clint Myers — just started
out the last leg of the promotional tour for the band’s first album,
, on Monday.
They’re heading to a few stops along the west coast of the S`tates
before they make their way north of the border to play gigs in British
Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba, and luckily for us, they’re hitting Whistler
on the way.
only have been released in April, it certainly wasn’t a spontaneous effort.
Rather, Ward lovingly assembled the album over a period of four years, while he
was still a member of Sparta.
“For quite a while, it’s been sort of a part of me, and I just
kind of took my time making sure that I developed it in my own way, and not
just sort of mimicked things that I liked,” Ward said, explaining the slow
cultivation of the album.
“…It’s more a labour of love than really thinking about a
career or making a living or anything like that.”
But the outcome was well worth the wait.
“When I was done, I definitely was like a proud poppa,” Ward
said of the 11-track album, featuring Fences Down, which was the first song he
wrote for his side Sleepercar project while at one of the final shows of At The
The project was also a bit of a family affair — Ward got
his dad, Jeff Ward, to play bass on the album.
“He kind of always has ultimate say because he’s the dad, he
can put his foot down,” Ward said with a laugh. “…He also treats me with a
tremendous amount of respect.”
Sleepercar’s alternative country rock sound is definitely a
departure from the heavier rock of Ward’s former bands; both are pretty
hardcore in comparison to this new sound. But Ward explained he wanted to have
a chance to expand into different genres, pointing out that as a writer, he
wanted to keep his work fresh and have a bit more freedom.