The gentlemen of the rock band Athlete, whose second album Tourist debuted at number one in the UK and has already been coloured platinum, visited North America recently hoping to crack another global market.
Their UK tour for late 2005 had already sold out before the band toured the U.S. and Canada last month, and it didn’t take long for them to see a difference in the two audiences.
“The people (in Canada) are generally much more welcoming,” Tim Wanstall, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, tells andPOP while in Toronto.
“I think it’s much more welcoming personally,” adds Carey Willetts, bassist and vocalist. “It’s quite easy and a lot of fun. I’ve really quite enjoyed it so far.”
The band has been on tour since their debut album, Vehicles and Animals, was released in 2003. They recorded and released Tourist right after finishing their last tour.
Willetts’ favourite tour moment actually happened away from the stage.
“In Norway, a couple of years ago, we were sporting Travis around Europe and we were trying to get back from one of our most northerly gigs. On the way back at about three or four in the morning, the bus starting moving weirdly back down the road. The bus was sliding down the road because it was snowing quite heavily,” he recalls. “So we got the bus to the side of the road but we couldn’t go any further.” Earlier in the tour they had picked up a couple of sleds, and, “got out a bottle of whisky and a pipe and sledded down this main road in Norway.”
Their new album is one that reflects their experiences and growth as a band and as individuals. The band decided not only to enrich the sound of their music, but make this album a personal one. Wires is a perfect example. The song is about lead singer Joel Pott’s experience with the birth of his child.
The album is a very deep soul searching adventure with a style of sound that can captivate and inspire. Tourist is in stores now and you can look for Athlete’s return to Canada around September.