Just in time to spice up our summer play lists, Canada’s new wave cult favourite has put forth their first full-length album in over a decade.
Now & Never hits record store shelves August 21st, 2012, offering up 10 tracks including the first release "Beautiful" already making radio waves.
Original Platinum Blonde members Mark Holmes (vocals) and Sergio Galli (guitar) have teamed with Robert Laidlaw (bass), Daniel Todd (drums), and producer Murray Daigle over the last two years to give both old fans and new ears what Holmes slates is their best album yet.
"Our signature electronic indie style of rock remains unchanged and our four to the floor sensibility is very much at home in our new music," Holmes said in a press release issued in June. "Note for note and word for word this is the best album we have ever produced."
So what have the beloved boys been up to for the last 12 years?
In the late ‘80s Holmes headed back to England where he renewed his love for mod ‘60s’ R&B and became heavily involved in electronica.
"I became a DJ (DJ Mark) and remix producer in early 2000 and have had great success staring in my own live radio show, performing at massive dance parties, opening my own club (Toronto’s The Mod Club) and spearheading the indie electronic music scene that is so big now," Holmes says.
Meanwhile Galli was pursuing his architectural vocation in addition to recording an album with his band The Ending.
"While remixing indie bands for the dance floor, I noticed that so many of the new acts had been directly influenced by the original Platinum Blonde sound," Holmes says. "So when Kenny asked me for the 1,000th time to reform and make new music, I finally said YES!"
Only days later tragedy stilled the band’s planned reunion. Bassist Kenny MacLean, age 52, was found collapsed and unresponsive in his apartment. MacLean had just released Completely, his third solo album.
"It took some time after his passing but we all decided that we should follow Kenny’s dream and make this new record a reality," Holmes says.
Finding a voice for that new album after so many years apart was not a struggle for the band, thanks in part to the remake of "Not In Love" by Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith.
"The success of this track worldwide has given the band a somewhat cult status and the young demographics at our concerts are a testament to this," Holmes says.
"I feel that we have never geared any recording to a specific audience. We just make music with our signature sound and hope that fans both past, present and new will find some love and meaning with the new material."
"Beautiful" is that satisfying blend of singable lyrics with dancy electronic pulse that means listeners will be modding their bodies in time with the track in a club of their choosing this month.
Asked where he would most like to hear the single himself, Holmes replied confidently, "[Club] Pacha in Ibiza – and with the MSTRKRFT remix it probably will."
As both returning band members have kept active in the music world returning to the strenuous act of touring will not pose a challenge either.
"Alas, I am a devout bachelor and have no pets so I welcome the road and all it’s adventures," Holmes says. "As well, I have been touring as a DJ so the experiences with a band won’t be that much different."
Much like other musical staples successful in their return to music after a lengthy hiatus, Platinum Blonde has decided to stick to what they’re good at. You won’t hear a radical change in genre on this album, nor need you worry that age and time has mellowed the members.
"My musical tastes don’t change as much as they evolve," Holmes explains. "I have always felt that the past should be lovingly remembered and the future should be lovingly embraced and to live in the present – never stop being new."
"The people who inspire me are the ones that didn’t stop evolving when the music of their youth passed the torch to the next generation," he says. He lists Canadian A-listers such as Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire as his current favourite artists, in addition to Nero, Steve Aoki and Young Empires.
Platinum Blonde has always been boasted as innovative. Both their albums Standing In the Dark and Alien Shores achieved multi-platinum sales. Their chart-topping hits "Standing in the Dark", "Doesn’t Really Matter", and "Crying Over You" are still well loved both for their iconic sound and visually stimulating videos, and in 2010 the band was inducted into the Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.
"There’s been no resting on the laurels of the past successes," Holmes promised in the band’s biography. "As a producer and DJ, we are the ones at the very edge of music movements."
Though no old or new musical pals appear on this album (aka Madonna) there may be a duet made of a track on the album entitled "Independence Day", though no one has been selected as of yet.
The band promised a tour if a new album was created and so they have been honouring audiences across Canada on a summer circuit that began in Vaughan, Ontario on July 1st. Lethbridge residents can catch the band at Exhibition Park on August 24th, 2012. Major cities in Alberta will need to wait until after Christmas to catch the band. Platinum Blonde will be playing Edmonton’s Century Casino on December 29th and at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary on New Year’s Eve, December 31st.
"Our goals with the new album are just as lofty as with the first records; and that is to take over the world!" Holmes jests, but adds in a softer tone that seeing kids on YouTube playing the music he wrote on their guitars is ample reward.
"I feel that all my wishes have been accomplished," he says.