‘We have way more songs than we’ll ever record,” laughs Burke Barlow, vocalist/guitarist in Saskatoon’s the Deep Dark Woods over a scratchy phone line that is on the verge of collapse. “There are certain songs that we’ll play live and then there are certain songs that we rehearse and they don’t really work so they just kind of get left behind. There are songs that we’ve played live at shows and then just stopped playing because we start playing new songs that are better.”
The band’s name came along with Barlow, inspired by Joel Plaskett’s “Work Out Fine,” when the group formed just over three years ago. In that time, there has been a self-titled debut in 2005 and Hang Me, Oh Hang Me in 2007. As Barlow’s phone gives up the ghost, drummer Lucas Goetz picks up the interview, recounting the progression in the band’s recordings.
“The first album was completely live off the floor and we did it all in a day, because we didn’t really have much money to spend on it,” Goetz explains. “And the second album we recorded over the course of six months and had a chance to add some other instruments and stuff, like keys and steel guitar.”
For the first record, the band convened in a friend’s studio in Saskatoon, recording onto tape, while on Hang Me, Oh Hang Me the group worked with producer Steve Dawson out on the west coast. That’s where the band will be heading for two weeks right after playing in Edmonton, recording a third record with Dawson again at the helm. As the Deep Dark Woods prepares to head into the studio, Goetz says that the band has already got an idea of what the album will be.
“We have lots of songs that are older songs that we’ve been playing live and some songs that we’ve never played live—a couple of songs that Ryan [Boldt, the band’s other vocalist/guitarist] wrote even before the band was formed and we’re gonna put on the album—and then some brand new songs that we’ve recently written,” he reveals. “There might be a couple ones that we’ll see after they’re recorded, see how they turn out, but for the most part I think we know what’s going to be on the album.” V