A completely immersive audio/visual experience, People On Pause are 5 mostly male, mostly Newfoundland Expats now based in Montreal who play subverted and intelligent art rock with a muscular edge and unforgettable hooks. They are a sweaty broth of psychedelics and frantic madcap pop deconstruction.
February 2010, Alexander Bridger and Justin Guzzwell set out to record an entire album of new original music in one month. The two Newfoundland natives barely knew each other, but both were already recognized in their own right in the St. John's scene. Guzzwell, a classically trained pianist and recipient of the Government of Newfoundland Arts and Letters award for composition, was called "a total powerhouse performer who needs to be experienced" by alternative newspaper The Scope and was eager to branch outside of his creative comfort zone. When a collaboration was suggested by Bridger, whose band had been previously shortlisted for the Atlantic Music Prize alongside other St. John's favorites Hey Rosetta! and Duane Andrews, the time seemed right for these two lone wolves to shed their solo inclinations and put their heads together... on pause.
The duo recorded an album by their one-month deadline and their first self-titled album showed promise, with Guzzwell's sassy piano rock tastefully balancing Bridger's proggy guitar hallucinations. The pair, acknowledged as "two of the most talented folks in the St. John's weirdo scene," quickly bonded over an enthusiasm for sassy rock n' roll 'tude and Syd Barrett-style outsider naivete. Their self-titled debut was acknowledged by The Scope as "a really rewarding album well worth some dissecting ears."
The duo continued to perform in the eclectic St. John's scene for a few months before emigrating to Montreal, where the two would continue to hone their weirdo DIY mash-up of 70's post-punk, British acid rock and flowery classic pop. POP pumped out two more self-produced albums in late 2011 and early 2012; the noisy electronics of "Hard Company" followed by the group's second RPM Challenge album, the lecherously groovy "Look Lady." Showing no signs of slowing in creative output, Guzzwell and Bridger assembled a band of fellow Newfoundland ex-pats to present People on Pause to the Montreal public, playing with locals and out-of-towners alike. After assembling a group consisting of McGill graduate Adam Tiller, Manhattan School of Music graduate Steve Cowan, fellow St. John's weirdo Chang Ling and singer/projection artist Deidre Driscoll, the group went on to win first place in a Montreal battle of the bands competition. In October 2012, the band carried their momentum and enthusiasm into the studio where they recorded "Registrar's Lobby," a six song EP, in one gruelling eight hour session. The record features the group's most lush, clear production to date and some of their most sensitive, introspective songwriting. Enjoy!