THE SUN WILL SHINE ON THROUGH
A CONVERSATION WITH JEFF BURROWS OF THE TEA PARTY
Hailing from Windsor, The Tea Party have been a pillar in the Canadian rock music scene since the ‘90s. Despite disbanding in 2005, the trio have since reformed and have been reminding fans across the globe of their unique sound and presence. The band managed to release an EP entitled Sunshower last year – a small collection of new music that leaned towards a more light-hearted vibe than the dark and broody atmosphere their music often evokes. The Tea Party are now touring again and celebrated the recent Canada Day long weekend with a stop in Toronto with Canadian rock compatriots Moist. Prior to the show, drummer Jeff Burrows discussed the new EP and the musical direction they took with it along with the feeling of being back on the road.
“I don’t know if you would call it a tour per se. We did a bunch of rehearsals, and then we did two shows. Then we were all home or visiting family for a couple days. Then we’re out, did another show, then we’re home and then we’re out for a couple shows and now home,” Burrows said of their current sporadic yet much more relaxed approach to performing. “It’s a great way to ease yourself into the whole touring thing again. We haven’t been together in three years; we’re all geographically challenged from one another. Jeff [Martin] is in Australia and Stuart [Chatwood] is on the west coast.”
Delving into Sunshower, it’s clear that the music here has veered quite a bit from the traditional Tea Party sound; a selection of more traditional road trip rock songs and less experimental atmospheric rock with a Middle Eastern flare, something that their fans have always appreciated within their music. “Now that I’ve listened to [Sunshower] a few times and I see where we’re at, I think this is the end of a chapter,” Burrows expressed. “[From here] I can see it getting further into what we used to do when we had more time together. More of the dare I say prog influences, more of the world music influences and less concerned about singles and whatnot… This is probably the end of a chapter and I hope this is the beginning or the renewal of something that we once were very, very passionate about. I know I am, and the fellas are, too. But it does take a lot of time and it has to come naturally. You don’t want to force anything. So you just have to subliminally tell the fellows to start listening to things that would lean towards that vibe.”
Discussing the current Canadian tour with Moist, Burrows spoke about what performing meant for the band. “Hey, we’re not dead. We’re still here. Dare I say, it’s a reinvigorated Tea Party. We’re not a band to look at each other and say ‘hey, look at how good we are’. We’re very critical. We’ve never had a 10 out of 10 show in our books. Just these first three shows already have been so successful to us. Just with regards to the fluidity of the songs and the telepathy that goes on between us on stage,” said Burrows. “It’s really been nice, cause it’s almost like we took a couple weeks off so I don’t know if you can expect a mid tour band at the beginning of the tour and an end of tour band at the end of the tour because we’re just kicking butt right now. So we’re having a lot of fun.”