Indie Mixtape 20: Cola’s Streamlined Post-Punk Sound Is Inspired By The Clash

Last November, revered Montreal band Ought announced they were officially breaking up. But fans weren’t totally at a loss because shortly thereafter, the new group Cola was born. A trio consisting of former Ought members Tim Darcy and Ben Stidworthy along with US Girls/The Weather Station drummer Evan Cartwright, Cola craft charged and hypnotic post-punk. After building anticipation with the droning-yet-melodic debut track “Blank Curtain,” the band officially announced their debut album Deep In View, which is out Friday via Firetalk Records.

Deep In View was born out of a creatively invigorating period for the band. Darcy and Stidworthy would send demos back-and-forth every week, building on a foundation of crisp, streamlined chords and angular guitars to create layered vignettes of the absurdity of modern life. Like their music, the band name Cola itself has many interpretations. Of course, the sugary beverage is what first comes to mind. But the name can also be broken down into the acronym Cost Of Living Adjustment, a term used in the social security sector which relates to the commentaries on consumption made throughout the band’s music.

Ahead of the release of Deep In View, Cola sat down with Uproxx to talk about hometown shows, being inspired by politically-charged punk music, and their love of the late ’90s California music scene in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Rustic, melodic, moody, spry

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

I hope my music is remembered as true to myself. That it gave me a feeling I wanted to share.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?

Hometown Montreal shows are scary but always special. Leeds, London, Paris, Mexico City, and Copenhagen have all been so memorable over the years.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

Probably Joe Strummer and The Clash, with their infusion of politics and genre beyond the punk world, their music never stopped being meaningful to me.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

Homemade pasta alla Bottarga on a patio with Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, Ought, and friends in a courtyard in Sardinia late at night.

What album do you know every word to?

13 by Blur.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?

D Double E at Newspeak in Montreal.

What is the best outfit for performing and why?

Pants, shirt, and jacket. I try to get myself warm and sweaty cause I hate playing with dry, cold hands.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

@stephenkb on Twitter.

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?

“Inspector Norse” by Todd Terje came out right before Ought’s first record and we would listen to it after a long drive on tour as we were approaching the venue to get the blood flowing again. I love the emotional ambiguity of this track.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

Multnomah County election guide.

What album makes for the perfect gift?

The Ethiopians’ Engine ’54

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

A monastery in Germany with our friends Yung in 2015.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

I got my first tattoo in an apartment in Mexico when I was 17 but the sands of time have eroded it.

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?

All the California late ’90s stuff like Sugar Ray, No Doubt, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Cake, etc…

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

Everything my mother has done.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

It doesn’t all come naturally, especially love.

What’s the last show you went to?

Ms. Nina in LA.

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?

Oceans 11

What would you cook if Obama were coming to your house for dinner?

Fresh mushroom white wine pasta, herbal salad, fennel, mint, parsley, and arugula with a lemon and white balsamic dressing, roasted chickpeas and carrots, with arak and dark chocolate.

Deep In View is out 5/20 via Firetalk Records. Pre-order it here.