It's not climate change, but Treelines have moved south...

(Treelines plays a show at RailRoad Club in Vancouver)

A quick note before we start.  Treelines has two songs up for voting in CBC Radio 3's "R3-30 Song of the Summer".  You can check those songs out and vote here.  Please do, I promise everyone will appreciate it!
** Quick Edit, Sunday September 26.  Treelines has in fact won Song of the Summer! Thanks to all who voted, make sure to congratulate the boys!**

It's no secret Island SoapBox loves Treelines. Having been featured twice already, it's about time for round 3. With the bands recent move from Kelowna to Vancouver, it made it nice and easy to meet up with the boys for some breakfast, and find out how life is shortly after relocating.

With a great spot looking out onto Commercial Drive, the people watching is as good as the interview. Matt Kelly, and brothers Steve and Matt Lockhart are the three migratory members of Treelines, and they seem almost antsy about being in Vancouver, right from the get go. The excitement for this next step is evident in their eyes as they speak.

"Definitely excited to not be in Kelowna. I like Vancouver a lot. It’s almost more that I’m happy more to be out of Kelowna, than I’m happy to be here. I’m excited to be here, love our house and our area and everything." Kelly tells me.

"I think we're all stoked to be in Vancouver, cause there’s just way more happening. Like this week I’m going to three shows. And that would take, I'd maybe go to one show a month in Kelowna kinda thing. So I’m far more entertained here. We have an awesome house, where we can jam, which is awesome. Cause for the last two months in Kelowna we just didn’t have anywhere to play, and that was a bummer. And moving here, we thought we'd probably have to pay for rehearsal space and that’s just such a foreign concept to me. Paying so I can practice? You know? Practice is moderately fun, but sometimes it certainly feels like work, and I don’t want to pay for that you know? We just threw up a couple of walls in our house and we have a jam space which is awesome. That’s gonna be huge for us just from a writing perspective.

"Besides the fact that we were all just ready for a change of scenery, it was also a practical move. It’s a natural step that every band in Kelowna has to take. We've pretty much done what we can here, so let’s go somewhere else, and usually that place is Vancouver. Despite all its cultural dryness in Kelowna, there's been a ton of bands that moved to this town and done very well here. In a nutshell we’re stoked."

Matt Lockhart seems like he's busting at the seams while he discusses the move. For his brother Steve, this is the first move from home.

"First time not living in the same city as mom and dad. I feel all grown up now. I’m excited to be down here. I think it’s gonna be great. The fact that there is so much music and culture down here, and Kelowna is kinda like a dry spot for that. Some days, working on band stuff, there’s nothing really inspiring, you kind of have to fight through it there. But here there is just so much going on, it's just more inspiration to get us more involved in what were doing."

Young Man”, the 6 song E.P. released this past Canada Day, was the bands second recorded album. Reception has been good, but that doesn't mean they aren't looking forward either.

"I always find it interesting after you release something, to re-approach it after a couple months. Having written some other material, and kind of looking at what you released. Once something is on an album it’s a point of comparison for your new material, and it’s always weird for me to see how things change even quickly. Like the albums been out for two months, and we’ve already written some songs that definitely have a much different feel than that album. And I think that’s what actually prompted us recording “Young Man” in the first place. We were just so excited about this new sound and this new direction that we were evolving into, that we were like "We have to get these down on something". As soon as you release an album you can’t picture where your music is going to go after that point, you just have no idea. I really like the album still that we just released, I’m really proud of the songs on there.  But I’m already getting an itch. We have these new things now that we want to get out you know? And it’s weird because I mean, we're still bringing this album to a lot of new places, to a lot of people it's brand new still, but to us the band, it's not. We just passed it out to college radio last week, and they're just putting it in their rotation now. So it's this weird thing where on the one hand it’s like “We gotta new album out, check this out” but then creatively, we’re moving in kind of this different direction and that’s really exciting. So it’s this, dynamic between the two that I find really interesting. I think we're really happy with how the album's been received. We’ve had a lot more traction with this record than the first one, which is what you want to see. Our first 100 units sold way faster than last time, which is great. It’s not the end all, but for us they're just like little sign posts of progress, and that’s been really encouraging."

Although there is no ego present, it's still clear that Matt Lockhart is the leader of this group, both on stage and off. Taking the reins and happy to answer all questions, it eases the burden on Kelly and brother Steve, allowing them to chime in when comfortable. Kelly goes on further about the progress the band has made.

"There are so many ways you can measure your progress. It’s a lot easier to stay motivated if you’re measuring yourself based on things you can see. You could wait to sell all one thousand albums we pressed, but that doesn’t make any sense when we can celebrate the couple we sell every show. Sort of like Steve was saying, being around these bands, it’s a great way to stay motivated. Trying to measure yourself in ways that allow you to feel good about what you’re doing."

The younger Lockhart points to a show like Rifflandia, and how their inclusion shows the band is on track.

"We’re pretty excited, as we were saying earlier it’s those little steps of progress that you see along the way. You can see you are going in the right direction. Last year we probably wouldn’t have been asked to play at this festival, this year we are.  So I mean we’re obviously heading down the right road right now. It’s just encouraging that people enjoy what we’re doing. It gives us motivation to keep making it."

With a member change in the works, and the band talking about how much their music is evolving, fans may worry that Treelines sound may be on the way out, but the lead singer squashes that worry quickly.

"If you can look at the first record to the second record and say the band is still Treelines, I think that’s a much larger jump then where we're at now. That’s not to say that might not change. I think there is so much to it, that makes our band sound like our band, and it comes down to the honest musical taste of the members coming together. The sound will change because we had a lineup change. Ryan decided to stay in Kelowna, which is totally rad, we’re really happy for him. But we'll be bringing someone else on to play drums. Style wise, it’s gonna have a big effect on the music, and I think it will certainly still sound like Treelines, a lot of the core songwriting components will still be there. I’m not sure what fans expect. I think as a music fan myself, I go into a new record expecting it to sound like the old record. And when it doesn’t at first I don’t know if I like it, but then I end up liking it more because it shows growth.

"Our biggest thing has always been, don’t try to define what we're doing. We just play what we feel at the time and put it out. At the end of the day being honest with what we're doing is probably the most important thing, we’re always gonna do that. Whether we lose some people along the way or whatnot, that’s just kinda gonna happen. I think you can always hear an honest record from a band, and you can also hear a record when it's not."

The group comes to Victoria in just one weeks time for Rifflandia, playing Friday night at the Victoria Events Centre (September 24, 7:30 P.M.). A great show for the boys to tune up their act for their Western Canadian Tour starting towards the end of October.

It's wonderful to see a group of young guys so well organized and staying so true to themselves. In today’s age of music, with seemingly endless choices of listening out there, Treelines plays it simple and old-school, honesty is the best policy.

Oh, and by the way Mrs. Lockhart, your boys wanted to say hello. They thought you would like that...

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