Burn The Louvre are an indie rock duo based out of Hamilton, ON comprised of Jordan Speare (vocals/guitar) and Sean Cooper (guitar/vocals). Their debut LP Silhouettes was recorded, mixed & mastered by engineer/producer Mickey Ellsworth and is slated for release across 2022.
Speare began working on Silhouettes long before Cooper joined the band, as a result he found himself recording as a “solo artist” for the first time ever. He enlisted the help of friend Andrew Billone of Silvertone Hills to play lead guitar and bass on all 11 tracks on the LP. He also invited friend and fellow singer/songwriter Stephanie Deshane to sing with him on “Alison”, a fun duet with a charming back & forth.
After Jordan & Mickey wrapped up the recording of Silhouettes late 2018, he received an email from guitarist Sean Cooper. He was answering a “Musicians Wanted” Kijiji Ad that Jordan had forgotten to take down.
“The fact that he even showed up for that beer was enough to impress me. We hit it off and the next week, we got together to jam and he impressed me a whole lot more. The way he was able to come up with his own unique leads to songs that were already recorded, giving them different nuances while maintaining the vibe of each song…I mean, I don’t think we’ve ever had a “bad practice”. I felt this was a perfect opportunity to re-imagine Burn The Louvre as a duo and I am very happy he wanted to be a part of this,” said Speare on his friendship with new guitarist Sean Cooper.
The first 6 singles off of Silhouettes are available now on all major streaming platforms.
Thank you for taking this interview! How has the New Year been for you so far as an artist?
Thank you so much for having me, I appreciate you taking the time. 2022 has been extremely hectic to say the least. After 3 years of demoing, recording, mixing, mastering and planning, we have finally started releasing our new music into the world this year! We've been rolling out our debut LP Silhouettes one single per month starting back in January with "Wish We Were". We've just recently released our 6th out of 11 new songs called "Hey Stacey" which just came out June 28th, 2022. So it's been busy. Releasing and promoting 1 song per month is a lot of work and it's easy to get behind, but I'm quite proud of the way I've handled the promotion so far and I couldn't be happier with the response that we've been getting from listeners both new & old. Can you tell us how you've transformed from the beginning to now as an artist?
Transformation and Burn The Louvre have gone hand in hand over the past 5+ years or so. I started Burn The Louvre as an indie rock band with my brother Dylan. He had his songs, I had mine so we decided to combine our ideas, edit each other's work and do this properly. We went through a few different bandmates during the 5 years we were active and released 2 EPs together, Post-Romance EP in 2014 and We'll Be Just Fine in 2017. However, shortly after we released that 2nd EP We'll Be Just Fine, my brother decided that he didn't want to do this anymore. So that was difficult for sure. I basically had to start all over again from scratch...went through another line-up change, it didn't go well, so I found myself all alone at 27-28 years old for the first time in my life. I really didn't know how to be a "solo artist", but I had these 11 songs all finished and ready to go that would end up becoming Silhouettes, I knew I had to record them. I enlisted help from my friend Andrew Billone of indie rock band Silvertone Hills to play lead guitar and bass for me on all 11 songs on the album and asked my friend & fellow singer/songwriter Stephanie Deshane if she would sing with me on "Alison". My friend Mickey Ellsworth recorded, mixed, mastered & produced the entire record himself and was instrumental in the sound and the finished product, I learned so much from Mickey. So I just went after it. I knew these songs needed to be recorded anyways, I figured I might as well do it myself (with some help from some very good people, of course). We finished wrapping up the recording of Silhouettes late 2018, shortly afterwards I received an email from my current guitarist Sean Cooper. He was answering a "Musicians Wanted" ad I had put up on Kijiji, I had forgotten to take it down. So we ended up getting together for a beer, we hit it off, we got together to jam the following week and we've been getting together an average of once a week ever since. I was extremely impressed with the way Sean stepped in immediately and took these songs that were already finished and completely made them his own. These new songs definitely sound different when we play them live compared to how they were recorded, which makes sense as we had 2 different guitarist's interpretations of these. I absolutely love what Andrew did with these songs on the recordings, but again, I was just extremely impressed with the way Sean changed up the lead guitar parts on all 11 of them, exploring different nuances but still maintaining the vibe of each song. He's given this undeniable stability and a bit of swagger, which is 100% him. I'm extremely hopeful for the future of Burn The Louvre as a duo.
How did you come up with your latest project?
Well, I had these 11 songs that had kind of been sitting on the sidelines for a little while; I had written them from age 24-27 and they all just so happened to be about ex-girlfriends and women that I used to know [laughs], total coincidence. So after spending time on these 11 songs, I realized that they actually fit really well together and kind of told a bit of a story about a young man's growth from moving on from a short-term relationship where maybe he wasn't as good as he should have been to re-discovering life as a single man, to finding new love, to then losing that love as well and by the end of the album he's stuck reminiscing about what went wrong and he's left longing for the girl he lost in the first place. So I decided to put these 11 songs together on an LP called Silhouettes, named after the title track. Silhouettes is a bit of a nod to the fact that the women who inspired these songs are silhouettes of my past. I think there's a certain beauty in the idea that people who were once a big part of your life become nothing more than shadows after the relationship ends. This LP is my way of paying tribute to these women who impacted my life in some way. Where are you from originally?
I was born & raised in Hamilton, ON. Where do you live now?
I am still hanging out in Hamilton, ON [laughs]. Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made?
I think where an artist lives really does have an impact on the music they make. Obviously you should write about what you know, right? So a lot of the nouns in my songs (people, places, things) are often based in the Greater Hamilton area. I try to pepper in some references to my hometown in my own writing here & there as long as it works for the song and as long as it's done tastefully, of course. There are a lot of bands I love that use their hometown as a character in their music quite effectively. Obviously my fellow Hamiltonians in the Arkells do a very good job of this, Drew Thomson of Single Mothers (who I really respect a lot) does so with beautiful honesty when speaking about his hometown of London, ON. Obviously a lot of Toronto bands around here are very good at name dropping the 416 (PUP, The Beaches to name a couple), I mean, k-os was repping Toronto long before Drake was. Joel Plaskett & Nova Scotia, another excellent example. West Coast bands like The New Pornographers definitely have a B.C. kinda vibe...I think Canadian musicians are especially good at using their surroundings as characters in their music. We really do take a lot of pride in where we come from. What was the inspiration to make music your career?
Well, we're not quite there yet [laughs], but I am closer than I've ever been right now with the attention that these new songs have been getting, so I am hoping that by 35 years old I can finally quit my job and make Burn The Louvre my full-time gig. For me, the inspiration to keep pushing and working towards that goal comes from a need to succeed. I can't walk away from this in good standing unless I know that I have given absolutely everything I possibly could have. Which is why I've been pushing these new songs so hard this year. Even if things don't work out exactly as I had hoped for and I don't end up getting what I wanted out of this, I can hold my head up high knowing that I did literally everything in my power to try to make Burn The Louvre successful. As it stands right now, I do have at least 10-15 more new songs that I think are potential home run hitters which I do want to record and release within the next couple years. I can't just not record & release something if I know that it's good. How do you want to shape your career?
This is a great question and to be honest with you the answer has changed for me quite a bit from the time I started this band up until now. I used to think that massive commercial success was the only thing that would validate all the time, effort & money I've invested into Burn The Louvre, but as I've gotten older, I've realized that not all success is commercial. I'm very proud of the 11 new songs we've been releasing this year that make up our debut LP Silhouettes. As far as the future is concerned, like I said, I am sitting on at least 10-15 songs that I think are more than good enough to record and produce, Sean has about 5 more of his own which we want to get in and record sometime as well. So right there we have another 2 albums worth of material basically. I gave myself a deadline that if this isn't showing signs of really picking up by the time I'm 35, then I want to call it a day. I don't wanna be one of those guys playing music into his 40's just for "the fun of it"...I can't do this without a goal in place. So as of right now, the goal is to push this as far as it will go and make sure I get all of the songs we are currently sitting on released within the next 3 years. I can't walk away from this until I know that everything is off the table. Even if I don't get the critical acclaim and widespread attention that I am seeking, I can feel proud of my music career if by the end of it, I have an impressive, diverse body of work that conveys artistic growth and reflects where I was at each point in my life.
Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music?
Oh tight timelines, always. I keep track of absolutely everything. I take an immense amount of pride in my organizational skills. I have a massive homemade contact book and I use Google Sheets and Google Docs for absolutely every aspect of my music marketing; I also keep track of all the financials + the bookings myself. I'm the kind of guy whose To Do List has its own To Do List [laughs]. How did your latest title of your music come to be?
So our most recent single is called "Hey Stacey". We just released it June 28th, 2022. It is our 6th single we've released this year. "Hey Stacey" is a fun, upbeat indie rock meets pop/punk hybrid. I wrote it for a friend of mine named Stacey (who also just so happens to be one of the best people I've ever met). I remember when we first met, she had mentioned how she hates when she'd meet new people and the first comment they'd make was a reference to that Fountains Of Wayne song "Stacy's Mom" - she would joke: "it's not funny and my name isn't even spelled that way!" I thought that was hilarious, so "Hey Stacey" is my offering to her (with her name spelled correctly, of course). Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done?
It is. When you're writing a song and putting it together, long before you get into the studio to record, it usually takes a good amount of time until you have the song exactly the way you want it to sound, you know where everything needs to be etc, but then you finally get in to record the song, and things usually always change (even if it's just slightly). So the song itself goes through so many pitstops on its way to being mastered and ultimately released to the public, that overthinking comes very naturally. I find myself constantly worried that I may have overlooked something or forgotten to include a tambourine here for example...things that seem so small, but they can really eat at you if you let them. Our producer Mickey Ellsworth, who recorded, mixed & mastered all 11 songs on Silhouettes, he was instrumental in helping me learn to let go. We went through each song with a fine tooth comb to make sure everything was as close to perfect as humanly possible, but he was very honest with me and would tell me straight up if I was nitpicking too much or obsessing over a detail that didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Our goal was to always serve the song and I can honestly say that this is the first time in my life that I am 100% happy with finished product. Part of that is due to me being a better musician/songwriter than I was when Burn The Louvre recorded our first 2 EPs, but I really can't say enough about how much I owe to Mickey for producing such a great debut album for us. He's the real MVP for sure. Do you feel an emotional attachment to your music?
I'm not a particularly sentimental person, so I would say no. I obviously put as much care and attention as humanly possible into each song while they're being written and then of course recorded, mixed & mastered. I really try my best to give each of my songs the best chance to succeed. So from that standpoint, I do care about each of them, but it doesn't go much beyond me wanting the song to do well and wanting people to hear it. I don't ever get nostalgic about my own music though, no. How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet?
Genuine. Where do they go to listen NOW?
You can listen to us right here: https://vibe.to/burnthelouvre What has been the best fan reaction to your music?
So I always just enjoy hearing the comparisons that we get from song to song. We've gotten The Kooks quite a bit, which is a bit of a surprise to me, but I'll definitely take it. I've been told "Nice Guy" has a Violent Femmes feel to it, we got "early Elvis Costello" from a radio host named Jon that we did an interview with, that one really humbled me for sure, being compared to someone as accomplished as Elvis Costello is always a good thing. But yeah, overall just a lot of positive things have been said about each of these new songs. 2022 has easily been Burn The Louvre's best year to date on paper. Our streaming numbers, our followers & our monthly listeners have never been higher than they are right now, so it's extremely encouraging to see so many new people following us and listening to our music and saving it to their own libraries & playlists. Is there anything exciting coming up for you?
Sean & I recently shot a live set for Radio Humber in Toronto! They're one of the most well-respected college radio stations in Canada, so it was a huge honour for them to ask us to do a live set for them. They're going to be airing it July 12th @ 5:00pm (EST). It'll be available on their YouTube page and our own YouTube page afterwards, as well as on the Jukebox page on our Burn The Louvre website. So definitely check that out! We had a lot of fun shooting it from my home bedroom studio. Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE?
Yes! Thank you for asking, we've got a few gigs lined up so far this summer in our hometown of Hamilton, ON and we're working on a few more. I'll leave a list below of where you can catch us playing over the summer: Saturday July 23rd @ 9:00pm Burn The Louvre @ The Corktown Pub (Hamilton, ON) w/ CODA FACTO & Matt Burdett Friday August 12th @ 9:00pm Burn The Louvre @ The Corktown Pub (Hamilton, ON) - opening for Fast Brake Saturday August 13th @ 1:00pm Hell In The Harbour @ Bayfront Park (Hamilton, ON) - outdoor festival Give us all your socials and links so fans can link up with you!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/burnthelouvre/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/burnthelouvre Twitter: https://twitter.com/burnthelouvre YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgA5pYqX8LA90ceP1cOELKA TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@burnthelouvre