Local pop-rock outfit Treaty of Paris has toured the country entertaining crowds with its upbeat songs, vocal harmonies and catchy choruses. They played a Jan. 9 hometown show at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., to celebrate the release of their new EP, “Currents.”
The Chronicle recently spoke with guitarist Dan Wade about the band’s history and its plans for the future.
The Chronicle: How and when did Treaty of Paris get together?
Dan Wade: Treaty of Paris got started in January 2005. We used to be another band, a local band called Empyrean, and we decided to kind of change our band around. We were a four-piece band and our singer, Mike [Chorvat], sang and played guitar. We decided we wanted to become a five-piece band where Mike just sang, so we recruited Phil Kosch from another local band called Saraphine to play guitar for us. And we decided that we were going to use the lineup change to kind of start fresh with a new band name, new songs and kind of start over.
The Chronicle: How did you guys choose the name Treaty of Paris?
DW: When Phil joined our band, we told him his first assignment as a band member of ours was to come up with a new name. We hated our old band name, Empyrean—it was really hard to pronounce and spell—it was kind of a thorn in our side, so we told Phil, “Help us come up with a new band name.” It was just kind of a random choice, but we’ve gotten a lot of questions about it since, like “Why not the Treaty of Versailles?” or “Which Treaty of Paris?” And the answer is, we just picked it because we thought it sounded good and it was easy to remember.
The Chronicle: You guys tour a lot, and you’ve played with some pretty big bands. Who were you most excited to play with and why?
DW: It’s always really fun to share the stage with AM Taxi. They’re good friends and they’re a really fun band to watch and listen to. Local bands like Victory Gin, they’re a lot of fun. They actually covered one of our songs at our show one time, that was pretty funny. As far as bigger bands to tour with, we always have fun touring with Jack’s Mannequin. And we had fun touring with the band Fun when we were on the same tour with them and Jack’s Mannequin. And we’ve always had a lot of fun whenever we’ve toured with The Spill Canvas. They are a nice group of guys, and they’re great to watch every night.
The Chronicle: Who writes your songs?
DW: Usually the songs start with me or Mike—we write separately, strangely enough, but it’s kind of how we work best. I actually live in a house with Mike, and so sometimes I’ll hear him working on something through the vents in the house, and then I’ll know he’s brainstorming some new stuff. I’ll write stuff in my room, or go to my parents’ house and work in their garage and sort of try to find places I can go that are kind of quiet, where I can focus.
Once we get kind of a rough idea of a song, we record it ourselves and give it to our band mates, and then they give suggestions and feedback, and we ultimately determine which songs are the ones that get worked on. And once everyone in the band decides we want to work on this song, then everyone makes contributions to all the parts, you know, lyrical suggestions, arrangement ideas and then it becomes a Treaty of Paris song. So it’s kind of a long process, but it’s a lot of fun. Our songs always come a really long way from when they start to where they finish.
The Chronicle: You guys just put out a new EP last month. What’s next for Treaty of Paris?
DW: We’re actually playing South by Southwest, we have a few showcases lined up for March 18, 19 and 20 over in Austin, Texas. And then we’re doing a few tour dates like St. Louis, Kansas City, you know, playing around the Midwest.
And later this year we’re looking forward to more touring, pretty much touring whenever we can.
For more information on Treaty of Paris and upcoming shows, visit TreatyofParisMusic.com.