Hiatuses and Mantras : An Interview with Towers and Trees

“Going on hiatus was definitely the best decision we could have made for that time,” Towers and Trees lead vocalist Adrian Chalifour began. “We were all exhausted, we'd lost a cohesive vision for the project and we had all been deferring other important life decisions without realizing it. The hiatus was like releasing a valve, and a lot of big changes came bursting out right after the decision.”

The Victoria, British Columbia indie pop-rock band started in 2013 as a solo home-recording project that quickly grew into a full band movement after their first single, “Montreal”, became a surprise hit on local radio. It didn’t take long for Chalifour as well as guitarist Dave “Shredlinsky” Zellinsky, bassist Dave Arter and drummer Jesse Boland to realize that there was something magical about this quartet.

Fast forward four years and the band announces an indefinite hiatus. Boland moved to Toronto, Arter went back to school, Chalifour became a father and Zellinsky started a side project called MIND and launched a sex app called BedBeats. Yet hardly a year later, they regrouped.

“Quite quickly after that initial release, the creative chemistry started drawing us together again,” Chalifour said. “I started sharing demos from Germany to Jesse in Toronto and the Daves in Victoria, and eventually there was enough there that it was like, ‘okay… do we do this?’ The collective answer was a 'hell yeah' so here we go, another kick at the can!”

The concept for “Head Down Heart Up”, their first post-hiatus single, started as Chalifour’s mantra during that time of change and uncertainty. Not only were the lives of each band member going in different directions, but so was the majority of the world. “Head down, heart up” was his reminder to trust his heart and turned into an anthem for the fellow overthinkers of the world.

The biggest lesson they took away from their brief time apart was the concept of collective trust. By learning to share the workload, maintain the sense of vision and find the joy in the project, being a band was all the more easier. While all the songs still begin with Chalifour and an acoustic guitar, its evolution into a group effort is a step forward in their sound as well as their process.

“That's something we want to embrace in this new chapter: sharing the songwriting process more and trying to push each piece of music to that 'goosebumps' point,” Chalifour said. “With all our different sensibilities, it can be a winding road to get there but what's interesting is when we do achieve that, the consensus becomes universal quite quickly.”