Vocalist and guitarist, Ants, of Montreal-based ska band The Real Deal sat down with Bucketlist to tell us more about themselves and where they come from:
What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
We’re just a no fuss skate/pop punk band, who sometimes dabble in ska. And we wouldn’t consider it so much ”work” as it is ”fun”.
Who are your major influences?
It’s more than just the music when it comes to our influences. Most bands who we are influenced by sound nothing like us. Rather, they have a killer DIY work ethic. That’s always been inspirational. Back in the day, we looked up to bands like Belvedere and Big D and The Kids Table, bands that toured hard and did it their way. These days, there are way too many to name.
What inspired you to make music together?
We started the band with the intent of touring hard and making a real run at playing music full time. We were young and naive! Finding band mates who are all on the same page when it comes to objectives is not so easy. People say they want to tour, and then a couple of bad shows, three to four lousy meals and three nights in the van later, they are tapping out. For a long time, that was our sick and twisted idea of a good time. I guess we inspired each other to get together and torment ourselves that way…and more importantly, we inspired each other to keep going for over ten years.
Do you play with a set list or improvise?
Most of the time we do have a set list. We have over sixty songs in our repertoire, so if we don’t come prepared, we suck. Believe me, it’s been tested. But it’s always fun to feel out the show and crowd and change things up on the fly! Jaaaaazzz maaaan.
Do you prefer playing live or recording yourselves?
Recording is fun because it’s during that time you can get creative, experiment, and go wild with vocal and guitar layers. Davy recorded all of A Dated Joke. He grew a lot of white hairs during the experience. But nothing beats playing a good show. Even a bad show rules sometimes.
Are there particular themes or situations that inspire you to write songs? Who writes most of your songs?
Usually one of us will bring an idea to the table. Lyrics are usually an individual effort, but it’s our strong feeling that a song (whether the live or the recorded version) wouldn’t be the same without each players’ way of playing the song, and together that makes the version you hear and have come to hate with a passion!
Something fun on this record: We even borrowed a song from Mr. Paul Boley (look him up). He had a verse for a song called “Traffic”, but hit a brick wall during his writing process. While on tour with his band, we took an afternoon in New Orleans to write up some more lyrics, a chorus, and voila! Our first stolen song!
Have you played music your entire lives?
Almost. We’re old enough now to say that we have been playing music longer than we haven’t! And it’s almost at the point where The Real Deal has existed for half our lives. Yikes!
Written and compiled by Franca G. Mignacca