July 16th, 2009 Interview with Sights & Sounds

Interview with Adrian available

Full Interview Below:

Canadian Rock band Sights & Sounds have completed work on their latest release Monolith which was out in stores on May 26th. The band will also be touring extensively this summer as part of the Weight Of The World Tour that is crisscrossing the country. I recently caught up with guitarist Adrian Mottram who answered a few questions about the band and the recording process for the CD, Monolith.

Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Adrian: We have all grown up from different backgrounds so as a whole we have record collections that go in every direction. To sum it up currently, Dinosaur JR, Greg Dulli, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Mew would be a short list. We are always digging up new bands, searching out old records and exchanging collections every chance we get.

The name of the band Sights & Sounds is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
Adrian: Sights & Sounds was a name that best describes the band with not only our musical approach but our ideas for eventually incorporating projections and images behind us. When we first met, we were hanging out in Matt’s apartment just talking about music and the aspirations we have as musicians, writers and performers. The conversations snowballed and still continues to take off in directions about where we would like to take styles and textures musically and visually, with backgrounds and moving projections. Eventually, when we have more time to set up and play longer sets we will be bringing all of our ideas out, but for the shorter sets like on this tour we have our own small light set up that I control with foot switches.

Your brand new CD titled Monolith was released on May 26th. Now that it is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Adrian: Yes! Satisfied may be an understatement. In some respects, we have been writing and refining all of the work on this record since the insemination of this band. Even the last touches came at the right time to tie it all together. It is very inspiring watching the music grow at the same time as the dynamic of all of us as friends (or brothers). I’m looking forward to the next one.

What was the writing process like for Monolith? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Adrian: Being so spread apart it would seem difficult to be a band but I think it is quite the opposite. We are really lucky that everyone writes on their own. When we come together we have tons of music to jam and arrange as well. Our time is so focused we end up accomplishing what we seek out when we are together. Monolith came together in hotel rooms, studio space in Toronto, apartments on the side of a mountain and over the telephone singing melodies and drumbeats. Even in the van driving across the country, we were able to arrange a song. I find once you meet other musicians who can enter the same mind space musically you don’t need your guitars.

Give us some insight into Monolith and the meaning behind its title?
Adrian: Monolith is an ideal word to use when describing the formation and culmination of this band and the music that we create. It is towering and vast and the word represents our first full length well. Having that statue as the cover… it just had to be called “Monolith”. I also watched 2001 Space Odyssey about seven times while we were recording it.

You worked with Devin Townsend, (Darkest Hour, Misery Signals, Bleeding Through) a well-known, well-respected producer. How did you get in touch with him and what was it like working with him?
Adrian: When Misery Signals were recording their latest record, Controller, I was invited to the studio in Vancouver to hangout and spend a day watching them work. I knew within minutes that he was the right producer. Devin adds so much to all of his productions it was such an honor to work with him.

The band keeps things interesting thematically. Can you talk about some of the subjects you tackle on this record?
Adrian: There are a lot of personal situations on this record from disaster and loss to awakenings and new light. As well as pulling back as the observers and watching the world turn even about this experience we are in as this band. It’s a reflection of what we have seen and done.

What can fans expect when they pick up a copy of Monolith?
Adrian: It’s equally loud and intense as it is melodic and introspective. It is a true Rock and Roll record. Ideal for any situation and it goes well with a road trip.

The band is about to embark on The Weight Of The World Tour. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
Adrian: Well some of us like to bring our chin up bar and free weights. Some of us make sure they have lots of smokes and enough guitar strings. We rehearse for a few days before the tour starts and work out the set with the samples and lights.

What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Adrian: Never plug your bass amp into the light switcher. We have blown up several stages in the process of refining our live show.  [ END ]

Category: Sights and Sounds

July 16th, 2009

Another 4.5 out of 5 for Monolith

The gives a fantastic review of the new Sights & Sounds album Review of Monolith
4.5 out of 5
Reviewed by Cole Faulkner

The word “epic” gets tossed around a lot these days.  From daily colloquial slang (i.e. “dude, that shirt is epic!”) to insightful message board commentary (i.e. “dude, those riffs are epic!”), it has become one of those fashionable buzzwords that people casually spout out.  Consequently, I try avoiding the word at all costs since, for me, “epic” has nearly become devoid of all meaning.  That being said, in the rare occasions where I feel my application does justice to the word, I usually find myself applying it to albums in the fantasy-metal genre when a band succeeds in capturing larger than life moments - often in concept albums about mystical being threatening the very fabric of humanity.  By extension, I typically avoid using “epic” as a descriptor for anything under the alternative/punk because by comparison, songs about politics and break-ups are rather low key.  However, for Canada’s Sights & Sounds’ full length debut, Monolith, I feel the need to make an exception.

Despite being comprised of members of popular Canadian hardcore act Comeback Kid and power-pop quintet Sick City, Sights & Sounds have a larger than life post-rock sound completely their own.  When Sights & Sounds are at their finest, they achieve a truly “epic” feel.  I often found myself feeling as though I was standing at the centre of a great cathedral, staring up at one of humanities’ greatest achievements.  It’s the type of music that makes you feel like an insignificant spec on the face of the earth.  Am I being overly dramatic?  Maybe.  But when I use the word epic, I’m not referring to a band t-shirt featuring a fancy font.  No, this is the real deal.
Sights & Sounds succeed on such a grand scale because of their meticulous attention to detail.  At the onset of the opening track, “Sorrows,” a close listen reveals the echo of an undefined astral object hurling across the night sky.  The band seamlessly incorporates the sound of the sizzling object into the song, acting as a precursor to some larger, looming event.  It’s the perfect set-up, priming the listener for the intense soundscape ahead.  Songs like “Shudder, St. Kilda” and “Borderlines” open with the lone thumping of a tribal-inspired drum beat, from which they slowly layer on vocals, lingering guitars, and the commanding chant of expansive backing vocals.  The result is a sense of sustained escalation that draws the listener into oblivion.  Impressively, the album maintains this sense of scale and cohesiveness without exhausting a single influence.  For example, the “Un-named” hidden track finds the band drawing upon Eastern instrumentation style and delivery to close out the album.  The global influences succeed because of their subtly - they are not imitations, but rather adaptations.  Too often bands input stock “cultural” sounds that come across disingenuous and forced.  Admirably, Sights & Sounds energetically channel their influences without insulting their integrity.

However, in spite of my overwhelming praise, Monolith contains a few tracks that sound slightly out of place.  “Night Train” and “Reconcile” almost adhere to a modern pop-punk/emo formula reminiscent of Moneen, and if it wasn’t for the coarse guiding edge of Andrew Neufeld’s vocals, the album might have lost its tightly bound sense of continuity.  But thankfully, despite stunting the album’s atmospheric build-up, these tracks somehow still loosely fit, which is probably a testament to the album’s expansive and inclusive nature.

At this point it should be no secret that I love Monolith.  Better still, Sights & Sounds have given me an excuse to describe something as “epic” without reserve.  The band has a rare talent for building something huge by focusing on the details.  From the sound of a comet hurling towards the earth, to the carefully planned chanting of backing vocals, Monolith’s ever growing vision will engulf you.

Category: Sights and Sounds

July 14th, 2009

“Monolith is one for 2009’s Top Ten List” gives a 9 out of 10 to Sights & Sounds’ Monolith

While Sights & Sounds may have been known up ‘til now as ‘that other band that features Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld’, that’s all about to change with the release of “Monolith”. A lot of other bands out there can only dream of dropping an album of this magnitude at the peak of their career, Sights & Sounds simply do it with their debut.
Review By Thomas @ PunkRockTheory
View review at

With “Monolith” Sights & Sounds succeed immediately in creating a face of their own, something not given to many side-projects. Take “Clutters” for example… a song that Jimmy Eat World would love to have written. It starts off quiet enough with Neufeld singing (holy shit, the guy can actually sing just as well as he can yell!) before building up in the middle and then fading out with a lot of feedback before completely exploding in the end. It’s 7 minutes long but it flies by like it’s nothing.

When not playing with all the power they can muster, the mellow soundscapes they whip out are easily just as intense. It’s not all about intensity though. The catchy hooks and soaring melodies these guys throw all over the place are just as much of a treat as everything else on this album. It sounds like Jimmy Eat World one minute, Explosions In The Sky the next and I think Sigur Ros is on the band’s playlist as well.

The artwork isn’t all that appealing but other than that, everything on here is breathtakingly good (including the Devin Townsend production) and as far as I’m concerned “Monolith” is one for 2009’s Top 10.
Score: 9 out of 10

Category: Sights and Sounds

July 13th, 2009

Sights & Sounds 5 out of 5 Review

Regina Leader Post raves about Monolith.

Full review available at: Regina Leader Post.

Sights & Sounds (Smallman)
Rating 5 (out of five)
Reviewed by Chris Tessmer

Featuring a who’s who of the Winnipeg punk community, Sights & Sounds has been raising eyebrows and building an ardent following since their self-title debut EP in late 2007. Now with the release of their long-awaited full length, aptly titled Monolith, the four members comprising the group are making the world the aware that they’re ready for their moment in the proverbial sun.

Comprising members of Comeback Kid, Figure Four, and Sick City, the individual members all temporarily shelved their regular genres to create this super group of sorts. The results are excellent, as the group runs through post-rock and shoegazer rock like they’ve been playing it all their lives.

On the track “The Clutter” the group channels indie-rock luminaries like Hum and Jawbox in a manner that’s as achingly beautiful as those bands in their heyday. “Pedal Against the Wind” displays vocalist Andrew Neufeld’s range. Neufeld, vocalist for hardcore punk group Comeback Kid, and formerly of the hardcore outfit Figure Four, leaves the screaming behind, demonstrating that the years of screaming have not prevented him from having a good, if not great, singing voice.

While Monolith may not be a big enough release to garner major attention, and in it’s first month of release it hasn’t, it’s well deserving of it.

Neufeld undoubtedly earns a heftier paycheque through his gig in Comeback Kid, but if Sights & Sounds continue to write songs this good, the attention will come, and hopefully lead to more permanence for the band.

Category: Sights and Sounds

July 2nd, 2009

Sights & Sounds Interview with

Check it out at

Category: Sights and Sounds

June 30th, 2009

Punknews review of Monolith gave Sights & Sounds “Monolith” a 3.5/5 review. Monolith Review

Sights & Sounds’ appropriately titled debut full-length, Monolith is a colossal, genre-spanning, hour-long epic of experimental rock layers that confound from start to finish. Brilliant? Not necessarily. Compelling? Oh, yeah.

The side project of Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld, these are lengthy compositions that bear so many different musical moments that similarities are incredibly disparate. Sometimes Neufeld’s grainy howling conjures up images of lighter post-Neurosis fare; when he murmurs in whispered hushes, the more brooding, pensive verses of No Motiv’s “Death in Numbers” come to mind (especially in the half-acoustic “Pillars”); the explosions of overlapping guitars and moving wall of sound place even Angels & Airwaves’ delay-ridden atmospheres in an area stripped of pomp and grandeur (okay, maybe a stretch; specifically, scope the intros of “Neighbours” and “Night Train”).

Post-rock-type crescendos litter the first few minutes on Monolith before adventurous vocal deliveries and a more aggressive, swirling rock stance comes over “Storm & the Sun.” Fuzzy, symphonic programming and ambient elements pervade its successor, “The Clutter,” without necessarily delivering on the ills of such a title.

“Neighbours” has some of the best dynamics of the whole album, suddenly pounding into its first verse and then featuring what resembles a more standard and structured method of songwriting, yet with plenty of changes—angelic, multi-tracked female vocals; fits of subtle keyboard layer; Neufeld’s tense, gravelly fits; skittering, impressive stick work on the kit—along the way. It’s pretty throttling, as much as producer Devin Townsend fails to capture the full potential of those soft-to-loud transitions. There’s more of a personal touch to “Pedal Against the Wind,” and that’s where Sights & Sounds sound best; sure, it’s more easily categorized, but Neufeld sounds the most heartfelt and the song is still complex enough to be regarded as sort of a progressive-emo thing. It bubbles up in “Reconcile,” too, where there’s a level of angst that’s totally acceptable because Neufeld’s hook in the chorus is so rigidly aggro.

As unpredictable as Monolith is, it is lacking direction and a common thread, the latter both emotionally and subjectedly. But there’s a few surefire standouts on the record and its sprawling ambition alone makes Monolith a more than worthy listen.


Category: Sights and Sounds

June 29th, 2009 Does Sights & Sounds interview with Andrew and fantastic review of Monolith. AND

Category: Sights and Sounds

May 20th, 2009

Sights & Sounds Review in Exclaim

Hugs & Kisses Sam Sutherland…

Sights & Sounds
By Sam Sutherland

After the stripped-down, early Jimmy Eat World-style emo that these guys rocked on their very awesome self-titled debut EP there’s no way anyone could have predicted the insane monster that is Monolith. Produced by Canadian metal legend Devin Townsend, this record is nothing if not huge as fuck. Somehow Townsend keeps it all in the service of the songs though, which is what makes Monolith such a striking creation. The production is so inventive that it could easily eclipse the basic work of a band in a room writing song together, and yet it doesn’t. Monolith is a record of well-written, creative and catchy songs that just happens to sound like a million bucks. Notable for featuring guitarist and vocalist Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid, Sights & Sounds are clearly a totally separate entity, one that draws upon an unexpectedly cohesive mix of Lifetime and Explosions in the Sky, melding epic rock grandeur with an emotionally straight-forward punk rock sensibility. If you enjoyed the band before, the new sound will take a few spins to get used to but it’s worth the effort. And if you’re new to the trip, get on it because it obviously rules.

Was this always how you envisioned the band or was it a conscious change in direction?
Vocalist and guitarist Andrew Neufeld: I think we always pictured our songs having a somewhat bigger sound when writing them, incorporating a lot of different elements, instruments and ideas. When we recorded the EP, we just kind of did it ourselves as demos just to get some ideas down and hear what our songs could potentially sound like, as it was a completely new kind of band for all of us. Now we’ve focused the vision a little bit more and finally had the time and resources to make it happen and have the songs down they way we hear in our heads.

Given Devin Townsend’s metal pedigree, where did the idea to work with him for a pretty un-metal record come from?
Guitarist Adrian Mottram: Misery Signals introduced me to Devin during the recording of their Controller record. I knew in a matter of minutes he was the dude for Sights. The atmosphere he creates for all the production he does is incredible. It was like I was handed the missing link. I spent a day watching them track guitars and the whole time I was just totally blown away with the environment he created in the studio for the band. (Mush)

Category: Sights and Sounds

April 22nd, 2009

Sights & Sounds Review in AP

4 out of 5 Stars for Monolith - Out on Smallman on May 26

AP June Issue:
4/5 stars.

“The full-length debut from Sights And Sounds is the kind of record you’d expect a band to make at the peak of their career. Beautiful and expansive, the Canadian four-piece-featuring Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld on vocals-construct layered and intensely atmospheric works drenched in gorgeous melodies. The resulting album is perhaps the perfect distillation of Jimmy Eat World at their darkest and the magnificently grandiose emanations of 65 Days Of Static. Exploring a range of moods, Neufeld’s vocals are a revelation. Assuredly delivering breathy croons and high-register melodies, the passion behind his voice infuses his lyrics with a deeply affecting urgency and desperation. With so much emotional power at its core, and enriched by lush swathes of shimmering keyboards and processed guitars, Monolith is truly a record worth drowning in.”

-Dan Slessor

Category: Sights and Sounds

March 13th, 2009


The Reason and Sights & Sounds will each be appearing at Canadian Music Week 2009 in Toronto.

The annual schmooze/booze/make-you-dance-and-move fest known as Canadian Music Week will once again be causing more havoc in Toronto than a call-in-the-army level blizzard this week. To celebrate, The Reason and Sights & Sounds will be performing at two separate shows during the festivities.

The Reason plays Sneaky Dee’s on Friday, March 13th with Priestess, Hollerado and The Junction. The show starts at 9pm, and The Reason hits the stage at 10:00pm sharp.

Sights & Sounds invade Sneaky Dee’s the following night (March 14th) with The Holly Springs Disaster and A Textbook Tragedy. Apparently there is also an after-party. Leave your liver at the door.

Have fun and play safe!

Category: Sights and Sounds, The Reason

February 25th, 2009

SIGHTS & SOUNDS announces MONOLITH - May 26th, 2009

Sights & Sounds have announced the release of their new album Monolith, released May 26th, 2009. New songs are available to stream now!

Produced by Devin Townsend (Ocean Machine, Misery Signals, Lamb of God), Monolith is a collection of 13 songs that are both intricate and powerful - an experiment in sounds that has created a truly exceptional album.

Two new songs from Monolith are available to stream on Sights & Sounds myspace page! Visit www. myspace. com/sightsandsounds. com to hear ‘Neighbors’ and ‘Storm and the Sun’.


Category: Sights and Sounds

January 14th, 2009


Our friends at Punkorama on The Edge in Toronto have been gracious enough to bestow the honor of an F U award nod to Sights & Sounds!

Sights & Sounds have been nominated in the Young Jedi Award at the Punkorama F U Awards! Check out a full list of nominees as well as more information on the awards show here:

Thanks to JD and Barry at Punkorama for all their awesome work!

Category: Sights and Sounds

December 8th, 2008


Just kidding. Sort of… Sights & Sounds posts a new video update!

Watch as the band pays homage (now with dance moves!) to one of the new Sights & Sound’s albums biggest influences in video update #2 from their recent time in the studio…

Category: Sights and Sounds

December 2nd, 2008


Sights and Sounds are giving us a peek inside the studio where they recorded their new album, due out in ‘09.

Sights and Sounds have posted a video update from their time in the studio with Devin Townsend. You can visit their myspace page at to see the first video update.
Keep your eyes peeled for the new Sights and Sounds album in early 2009.

Category: Sights and Sounds

October 11th, 2008

Sights and Sounds Interview

Andrew talks with The Uniter

Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld talks about Sights & Sounds

When I caught up with Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid on Sept. 30 to interview him for the CBK article that appears in this week’s issue of The Uniter, he was in Gibsons, a small coastal community in southwestern B.C., with his other band, Sights & Sounds.

The band was there recording their first full-length album with renowned metal musician and producer Devin Townshend (Strapping Young Lad, Lamb of God, Misery Signals).

“He’s sick of metal, so he’s doing this,” Neufeld said with a laugh, adding that the band had been in Gibsons for a month and was a week away from finishing recording.

“We have the end in sight right now and we’re just trying to put all the pieces together.”

Formed on a whim in 2005 by Neufeld (on vocals and guitar), his brother Joel (drums) and friends Adrian Mottram (guitar) and Matt Howes (bass), Sights & Sounds released a six-song EP last year on Winnipeg’s Smallman Records. Rooted in the band’s shared punk history, the songs also incorporated acoustic guitars, piano, MIDI and choir-like vocals. The result was an atmospheric sound that at times recalled Mew and at other times, Blink 182—two of the band’s influences.

Of the full-length, Neufeld said, “It’s way, way, leaps and bounds beyond the EP. The EP was a demo we did ourselves, and we never really intended for it to come when we [recorded] it.”

Neufeld said the band has recorded 12 songs for the full-length, and that Smallman Records will release it in Canada. The band is currently trying to figure out who will release it outside of the country.

If things go according to plan, it will be released in either March or April, giving the world an idea of what Sights & Sounds can really do.

“Hopefully it will properly represent our band, which we don’t feel we’ve been able to do yet,” Neufeld said.

Category: Sights and Sounds

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