Windsor, Ontario-born ’90s rockers the Tea Party are enjoying a second life after taking a break in 2005 after scoring a string of exotic flavoured hard rock hits in the late ’90s including “The Bazaar,” “The Messenger,“ “Temptation” and “Heaven Coming Down.”
But they came back with a vengeance with a live album, “Live From Australia,” in 2012, and released a full-length CD, “The Ocean at the End,” and are enjoying more success from their new single, “Black River,” which they named their tour after.
“It’s been on the charts for several months at number 5 and hasn’t really shifted. It’s a pretty nice accomplishment,“ noted drummer Jeff Burrows, who is excited excited to embark on a new tour with his bandmates, bassist Stuart Chatwood and frontman Jeff Martin, who now lives in Australia.
“He’s been there for a while now. So when we want to work on new material, we book a tour there and arrive a couple of weeks in advance. We’re going to stay there for a couple of weeks after the next tour,” he observed, adding that will be in June.
“Not to compare ourselves to the Rolling Stones, but they don’t live anywhere near each other either,” he said.
The tour comes to Lethbridge for a soldout show at the Yates Theatre/Sterndale Theatre with Proud Sons, May 1.
“A lot of them are sold out, and a lot of the others are already 90 per cent sold out,” observed Burrows.
A lot of the shows are in theatres like the Yates/Sterndale Bennett Theatre.
“We’re playing a lot of bigger clubs and theatres. It’s great and it’s a lot of fun being able to play theatres we weren’t privy to when we were young. You just roll in and there’s this nice big stage for you. We’re used to playing cramped clubs were it’s really loud and you can feel the drums beating against your chest,” he said, adding they don’t change the style of the show for a theatre.
They are glad to be back together after breaking up in the mid-2000s.
“We weren’t communicating as well as we should have. We’ve grown up a lot and really discovered what we really want to do,” Burrows said, adding they resolved some issues within the band when they decided to reunite, so now they are planning for the future.
“Next year is our 30th anniversary. We want to release everything on vinyl, because vinyl is really popular again. But we’re writing a lot of new material,” he said, adding there are no plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1999 album “Triptych,” which featured the hits “The Messenger” and “Heaven Coming Down.”
“We did that with ‘Transmission’ and ‘Splendor Solis.’ And it was a lot of fun. For the first set, we’d play the entire album, and the second set we’d play a lot of other songs so we didn’t need an opening act. But we’re so busy planning the 30th anniversary and writing new songs, we haven’t had time,” he said.
He noted they are planning on releasing EPs instead of CDs.
“We’re releasing five or six songs EPs now,” Burrows said, adding most people listen to music online.
“A lot has changed since we started,” he continued, adding he is glad the new single has been doing well and has drawn favourable comparisons to their earlier, riff-heavy work.
“Jeff wrote it three years ago about where he lives in Australia. It’s a great riff and it rocks,” he said, adding it fits in well with their older material and is similar to their new music.
“We have some ideas for the next single, but we don’t want to jinx it,” he chuckled.
The soldout show begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1.