Heads Up for Close Talker


Canadian indie-rockers Close Talker may not be on your radar yet, but they’re about to be. The quartet—Will Quiring, Matthew Kopperud, Chris Morien, and Jerms Olson—is coming up on the release of its sophomore record Flux, due November 4 via Nevado Records. The band’s blend of tranquil, indie-rock sounds first surfaced on their debut Timbers—a collection of tracks that displayed the band’s penchant for personal lyrics and shimmering melodies. 

Close Talker’s sophomore record allowed the band to really combine their efforts, both sonically and lyrically.  The band will be supporting their upcoming release with a tour this fall alongside Royal Canoe, Rubblebucket, and Jordan Klassen.

We recently caught up with lead vocalist Will Quiring, who talked about the band’s comparison to Local Natives, the band name’s relation to Seinfeld, and making sacrifices for music. You can also check out the video premiere for the ethereal track “Heads”—a song about the decisions we make. The video gorgeously reflects the tone of the song, with black-and-white film, and sets the stage for the record as the first track on the album.

ILANA KAPLAN: You guys premiered a new song called “Heads” today, but there hasn’t been much out there about you guys so far. Is there a reason for why that is?

WILL QUIRING: Well, we started the band about two years ago, but we got signed by Nevado Records just this past summer, so that’s why now there’s a lot more press stuff. We have a couple of publicists now. Before we didn’t really have anyone to get us interviews, but it’s good. I’m enjoying it.

KAPLAN: So your second single, “Heads,” just came out. What’s it about?

QUIRING: “Heads” was the first song we wrote for our new record Flux. It’s actually the first song on the album. It was the first song that we wrote as a group—the songs before that, someone would come with an idea or full song and we would put it together. “Heads” was the first song that marked a new writing style where we all collaborated and equally invested in the songwriting. The theme is tied around the times in your life when you make the wrong decision or what you think is the right decision at the time, but turns out to be the wrong decision and how that decision affects your life and also the people and your relationships with that decision. I wouldn’t say it was a set example, but kind of just thinking along those lines of the decisions we make and how they affect us going forward.

KAPLAN: You’ve been getting a lot of comparisons to Local Natives. Is that something you like hearing? Or are you like, “Oh, not that one again?”

QUIRING: We love Local Natives, and we take that as a great compliment. In some regards, you don’t want to sound exactly like a band; you want to have your own sounds. To be compared to one of our favorite bands, we’ll take it for sure. When we wrote lots of the new songs, we wrote them when the Local Natives’ album Hummingbird came out. We listened to that a lot and lots of influences like that. I don’t think we took all of our influences; we didn’t want to copy Local Natives at all. I think we definitely took some of their aspects and incorporated them into our sound.

KAPLAN: On that note, who are some of your musical influences that are a little bit different than Local Natives?

QUIRING: We definitely all have different influences. Our bass player grew up in the ’80s so he listened to the punk rock of the ’90s. That would definitely be his influence. Chris, Matt, and I are younger than him, so I would say The National, Bombay Bicycle Club, Royal Canoe, and Zeus—they’re from Canada as well. Half Moon Run, I don’t know if you’ve heard of them, but they’re from Montreal.

KAPLAN: I love Half Moon Run. They remind me of old Radiohead.

QUIRING: I saw them open for Patrick Johnson last year, and they blew my mind. Radiohead is definitely another one. In Rainbows is probably one of my favorites.

KAPLAN: How does your sophomore record differ from your debut?

QUIRING: There are a lot of differences. First of all, we were definitely more intentional with the songwriting. The first record we wrote in two weeks. They were the first eight songs we wrote, we played them live and then we recorded them. We definitely didn’t dive deep into the songwriting, lyrics or chord structure. This one, we were writing songs since that release. It was a year and a half of just writing songs trying to be more intentional with the chord progressions, the dynamics with the layers and the lyrics. We wanted to make them more meaningful to ourselves. We feel like we’re going to be playing these songs a little bit longer than we did than the first, we wanted to be more intentional in the songwriting.

KAPLAN: How did you guys come up with the band name “Close Talker?”

QUIRING: Lots of people think it was the Seinfeld reference. We go with that sometimes. I don’t think it was directly that. Matt, —our guitar player—is very creative and he was just listing off names. We needed a name for our first show because we didn’t want to go up there and not have a name. It just stuck. Lots of people say, “Oh, was it because of Seinfeld?” I guess in a roundabout way, but we didn’t go, “Hey, there’s ‘Close Talker’ in Seinfeld. Let’s go with ‘Close Talker.'”

KAPLAN: Are you guys Seinfeld fans? Who is your favorite Seinfeld character?

QUIRING: Yes, very much. Actually, I named my guitar “Elaine.” Probably her or George. They’re all good—Jerry, Kramer and Newman. It’s a great show.

KAPLAN: What’s been the biggest challenge for you guys in the music industry?

QUIRING: I guess one of the biggest challenges has been not being in the same place. Matt and I lived in Vancouver, BC, for two years, and the first two years we actually started this band. We weren’t really together, so that hurt our songwriting. Even playing shows, we couldn’t really get our feet on the ground and go for a while. So, that was difficult. We haven’t been a band for an abnormally long time, so there are definitely going to be a lot of challenges: touring every day, being away from our families, friends and our girlfriends. Being away from the relationships we have back home will take a lot of work, but we’re looking forward to it and going on tour. You’ve gotta make sacrifices if you’re going to be in the music industry, so we’re gonna find that out probably pretty soon.