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Stars on Stage

Montreal band to play World Cafe Live

Catch Montreal band Stars at World Cafe Live on Dec. 11. Image | Shervin Lainez

Montreal band Stars will be headlining World Cafe Live on Dec. 11, as a part of The Together Tour – the band’s grand return to the U.S. and continuation of their annual North American holiday shows. These December shows have become a tradition for the band, in which they connect their fans and friends to a spirited and beautiful end-of-year celebration.

The band’s touring return is accompanied with news that a new Stars album will be released via Last Gang Records in 2022, so expect previews of new songs to grace the show alongside fan favorites.

You can find tickets and details at worldcafelive.com.

Stars albums have always served as thermochromic barometers of their makers’ emotional well-being, be it the romantic upheaval of 2003’s Heart and 2004’s Set Yourself On Fire, the newsticker-triggered discontent of 2007’s In Our Bedroom After the War, the downcast elegies of 2010’s The Five Ghosts (a requiem for singer Torquil Campbell’s father, who passed away during the album’s creation), or the rejuvenation of 2012’s The North (recorded while inter-band couple Amy Millan and Evan Cranley were in the throes of new parenthood). Stars continued with their 2014 dance-club inspired offering, No One Is Lost and the 2017 pristinely produced by Grammy-award winner Peter Katis, There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light, which was followed by, the beautifully compiled ‘best of’ of sorts in LaGuardia (2019).

PW recently caught up with Millan to talk about the band and the upcoming shows.

 Stars will be dropping a new album next year. Image | Shervin Lainez

Stars has been around for more than 20 years. Why do you think it’s been so successful for so long?

Friendship and forgiveness. We’ve been through a lot but we understand the alchemy of us is rare so we keep at it even through the toughest of times.

Describe your creative process. How do you decide which songs you record and which ones don’t make the cut?

We are true to the word BAND. We write as a collective. In terms of song choices, Chris Seligman and Evan Cranley are pretty cut throat. Torq and I are more attached, but we respect if Chris and Evan just aren’t feeling a song so we let it go. Definitely has caused some of our biggest fights over the years!

You have a new album coming out next year. What can you tell us about it? How did it come together?

There was a lot of sending music around as we were basically in lockdown. Chris Seligman bubbled up with our family in Montreal so Evan and Chris could keep writing. We went to a house in Ontario and they wrote a ton of music that they would send to Torq and I and we would bash out the lyrics and melodies. And then when we were vaccinated we were able to get together and do some writing all together off the floor. I’m very excited for our fans to hear it and we will be playing some of the songs in our upcoming shows.

How did the band spend its time during the pandemic lockdown, and how good does it feel to be back on stage before live crowds?

We spent a lot of time sharing the making of the album on our Patreon page. Patreon was a real saving grace for us and our community of fans.

I have two young children so that kept me pretty busy too! There’s nothing like the communion of people in a room singing their guts out so we can’t wait for the shows.

What can your fans expect when Stars hits the stage at World Cafe Live on Dec. 11? No doubt a lot of favorites, but also some songs from the upcoming album?

It’s a pretty unique set with old and new intertwined. A return to the stage so some high drama mixed with some sweet holiday jams. Yule the tide we will.

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    • Eugene Zenyatta was raised on old-time Memphis 'rasslin' and strongly prefers the company of dogs to people. His greatest heartbreak came in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.

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