By Troy Hasselman, February 10 2020 —
On the heels of the release of last year’s Dear Bongo, Motherhood, the chaotic Fredericton-based trio, have broken to new heights of success with critical acclaim from numerous publications and spots at festivals across North America and Europe, including festivals like Sled Island, Treefort and the UK’s Great Escape festival. The band is set to tour western Canada at the end of the month, including a set at Calgary’s Palomino Smokehouse on Feb. 28. Aside from the tour, the band has other big things coming up including a limited run of direct-to-vinyl seven inch records and a live EP set to come up on their Bandcamp page in March. The Gauntlet spoke about all this and more with Motherhood guitarist and vocalist Brydon Crain.
Gauntlet: There’s a lot of spontaneity to your music. How much of your writing process is done spontaneously?
Brydon Crain: Our writing process is a long and winding road. It takes a lot of work to look this spontaneous. Basically we’ll hole up in our practice space and work part by part. Sometimes there will be a bit of a song skeleton but that usually will be deconstructed. The end of the process is putting all the best pieces together into something that hopefully makes sense as a whole.
G: Though a lot of bands from relatively smaller cities like Fredericton or Calgary end up moving to bigger centres like Montreal or Toronto you’ve stayed in Fredericton. What’s made you stay there?
BC: I can’t help myself from pointing out that Fredericton has 50,000 people so Calgary is huge to us. We made a decision to stay in New Brunswick pretty early. With the internet and touring it doesn’t seem as important to be in any one place and any setbacks it has presented are outweighed by that sweet, sweet Fredericton life.
G: You’re currently touring the North-east US and then Western Canada later this month. Do you notice differences between cities you’re touring to or do they start to feel similar after a while?
BC: Every city definitely has its own vibe and it’s fun to try to figure the vibes out as we get back to cities. The most noticeable difference about being in the States is just the amount of people. We’ve been doing a decent amount of house shows in the North East and the extra people really helps.
G: You’ll be releasing some direct-to-vinyl 7 inch records, could you talk a bit about the concept behind that and what the release will entail?
BC: We actually just did the recording for this yesterday. The way it works is we did a take for every order, so we offered four songs and got about 30 orders. It was definitely tiring playing the same song six to 11 times in a row but it was a lot of fun and the Leesta Vall crew were great to work with.
G: You’ll be releasing a live EP on Bandcamp at the end of the month, the live setting works well for how spontaneous your music is. How much do you find your songs evolving from the recorded versions in a live setting?
BC: We’re excited about the live EP and the accompanying videos because of the difference between the album and the live show. We try to ignore the fact that we’re a three-piece when we record so after we finished recording we had to translate the songs into a three-piece rock show. Some songs need to change more than others to work but it’s fun to get there.
G: What are your hopes for the year ahead?
BC: This year will be a continuation of the never-ending process of writing, recording and touring. We’ve begun writing but it’s early so we don’t know what we’re making yet.