Magneta Lane is having more fun these days
by Chris Morin
With Sidney York
When Magneta Lane first started gigging around in their hometown of Toronto back in 2003, they generated an instant buzz. The bratty punk trio of teenage girls quickly signed to a label and released their debut EP, The Constant Lover, the next year.
But while overnight success may sound awesome, it was also something the group was unprepared for, says lead singer and guitarist Lexi Valentine.
“We were so young when we started — we were snarky teenagers,” she says. “Everyone thought we were 19 when we started, but we were actually 15 or 16. A lot of the bad experiences stemmed from the fact that we were so young and didn’t know what kind of questions to ask — we just went along with everything. That kind of attitude helps build the momentum, but you’re just along for the ride.”
After a decade of touring, two full-length albums and a few record deals later, Magneta Lane — which also includes Lexi’s sister Nadia King on drums and their friend French (no last name) on bass — started winding down. They never officially broke up, but it was a much-needed break for a band that was still growing up and finishing high school, says Valentine.
“There were so many things we had gone through, so we decided to take a really long break to reassess ourselves,” she says. “That’s probably the reason why the band has been together for so long at this point.”
At the beginning of 2013, Magneta Lane reemerged with the Witchrock EP, their first release since 2009’s Gambling With God. Throughout the course of the four new songs (the fifth is a remix), the trio blasts through dark-but-hooky power-pop. It’s definitely familiar, but there’s a noticeable maturity to the songwriting this time. A far greater emphasis on vocal melodies adds to the band’s already catchy dance-rock-meets-punk attack.
“During the time when we decided to take a break, we had a clear canvas to do whatever we wanted,” says Valentine. “We had taken all of our experiences over the past couple of years — and not all of them were great, because there was some record label drama — and we had been really frustrated with a lot of things. So one day I started messing around with a sound program, and I started writing the basic formats of the songs. And later those songs turned into what became the EP. It was all really relaxed and it was probably one of the best songwriting experiences we’ve ever had.”
For the immediate future, Valentine says Magneta Lane will concentrate on touring areas of the country they haven’t been to in several years. Eventually, they’ll head into the studio.
“We’re just happy to be in a band together,” says Valentine. “We don’t have any expectations. We wanted to get rid of all the fluff that was surrounding us for so long; we’re glad to get past all of that and get back to just doing it for the music.”
Magneta Lane plays a double bill with the also-excellent Sidney York on what should be an excellent Tuesday night at O’Hanlon’s. Look up Sidney York’s “Mile High Love” to get an idea what they’re about. No cover charge.