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Photo courtesy Vanessa Heins

Check out avant-rock trio Motherhood at this year’s Big Winter Classic 

By Lauren Brough, January 26 2023

Big Winter Classic is a highly anticipated music festival for Calgarians. This year it will run from Jan. 25 to 29, with over ninety bands playing across twenty different venues. 

Motherhood is one of those bands. Coming from Fredericton, NB they have been playing for over ten years. In an interview with the Gauntlet, Penny Stevens, one of the band members, spoke about what to expect from their upcoming performance.

“We try to make music that’s fun to listen to and stuff that we don’t get bored playing, so we put a lot of twists and turns in just to keep ourselves entertained,” said Stevens. 

Their music is anything but boring and encompasses a wide range of genres.

Motherhood’s latest album Winded was released in June of 2022. Comprising ten tracks, it’s a very high-energy and upbeat rock album. Their latest since the release of Dear Bongo in 2019. 

“Last time we were in Calgary was our album release show, so we’re excited to come back and have some new songs we’ll be playing,” said Stevens.

The festival will be a chance for them to showcase their fun upbeat energy to the audience, something that you just can’t get from the album alone. 

Photo courtesy Vanessa Heins

“Our records are one thing but our live shows are really quite energetic and fun, we have a lot of humour and joy in our performances,” Stevens explained. “We sort of shape our live shows to be pretty high energy with a lot of pretty intense rock n’ roll, punk rock, a lot of surf and just fun stuff that you’ll want to move your body to.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a wrench in most things in-person and live shows, Motherhood took it as an opportunity. 

“The pandemic gave us a chance to write and to catch up on all the things that we never had the chance to do from being on tour,” said Stevens, adding that the pandemic helped give them a bit of time to write and create more music. “We were able to really focus on making videos and spending time together as friends and writing new songs.” 

Stevens also explained that it gave them time to decide how to move forward with knowing where to put their talent and energy as a band. The pandemic not only gave them time to write, but also to reflect and grow. 

 “It put us in a better position now when we do tour we know our limits and being a lot more intentional for where we want to play and who we want to play for,” Stevens said.

It will be one of their last shows together as a trio as one of their members is taking a parental leave. 

“This will be our last run of shows with our drummer because he’s having a baby,” Stevens said. “Which will sort of mark the end of an era for us and the start of a new one.”

This year’s BIG Winter Classic is the perfect excuse to get out of the house during the cold of January. 

“If [you’re] looking for a little uplifting from the winter blues then this might be the show for [you],” Stevens said. 

For more info on Motherhood, you can follow them on social media including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Spotify or visit their website.

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