STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Vancouver emotive pop-rockers Marianas Trench were all practically babies back in the 1980s.
Yet something about the pop culture of that era — particularly fantasy and adventure films like “The Goonies” — resonated with the group when they went to make their latest album, “Astoria” (the name of the Oregon town where “The Goonies” is set).
“The kids now can watch (“The Goonies”) and think it’s a cool movie,” said Marianas Trench drummer Ian Casselman in a phone interview.
The band even sought out ‘80s era instruments and equipment to make the songs on “Astoria.” “It sounded so full and warm. It’s like how antique furniture has a depth to it,” Casselman said, noting that a discerning listener will be able to detect the Huey Lewis and the News “Back to the Future” soundtrack sound, synthesizer sounds like those on “Tom Sawyer” by Rush and Van Halen’s “Jump,” ‘80s horn sounds and more.
“I like the fact that it has a lot of different ‘80s sounds on it,” he said of the new song “Yesterday.”
“Emotionally, I really like ‘Dearly Departed’,” said Casselman. “I just love that (singer Josh Ramsay) puts his guts into it.”
Ramsay penned the songs under the distressing circumstances of his mother being seriously ill, his fiancé breaking up with him, and a brief hospitalization. All of those lows coming after the triumph of being nominated for a Grammy for co-writing and producing fellow Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen’s smash hit “Call Me Maybe.”
Marianas Trench, named for the deepest part of the world’s oceans, will be in concert Feb. 5 at Philadelphia’s Theater of Living Arts as part of their “Hey You Guys!!” tour.
Casselman’s favorite tracks to play in concert are the band’s album opening and closing tracks, including the ones from Marianas Trench’s certified Canadian platinum albums “Masterpiece Theatre” and “Ever After.”
Joking about instilling a healthy amount of fear in their American audiences with big stage production values, the drummer said that even their fans sometimes don’t get the band’s offbeat sense of humor — perhaps because the songs are so earnestly heart-on-the-sleeve. “On social media, we’re joking around, and sarcasm doesn’t always come across,” he commented.
Check out www.facebook.com/MarianasTrench, @mtrench on Twitter and Instagram and www.marianastrench.net.