by Martyna Turczynowicz
Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers are one of Winnipeg’s most interesting up and coming acts. From eclectic live shows to intricately put together indie opuses, the band is one of this city’s most exciting. With a new EP behind them, Stylus sat down with Lindsey Collins (bass) to talk about the new EP, Winnipeg’s music scene, and plans for the future.
Stylus: What’s the inspiration behind your latest album? And the title?
Lindsey Collins: Our latest EP Fruit and Ash is inspired by organisms in the natural world, specifically one fish (salmon) and three insects (the dragonfly, the ant and the water boatmen). The album title comes from a lyric in “Salmon,” which I believe is a reference to the peaks and valleys of existence, be it in the life of a human or any other organism. There is a specific intent with the lyrics to draw parallels between the struggles of human existence and the struggles faced by other creatures in the animal kingdom.
Stylus: What’s exciting and original about Fruit and Ash?
LC: This is the first recording for us to feature our new lineup of musicians; Kyle Wedlake (tenor sax) and Andrew Littleford (trumpet) have been our horn section since fall 2012, and Jaime Carrasco has been playing drums with us for almost two years now. It’s great for the newest members to finally have a new recording with their own playing on it. Fruit and Ash also features our singer Jesse Krause’s new project the Riel Gentlemen’s Choir. There were just over 20 male singers crammed into the recording studio to contribute to a very triumphant section of “Ant Eating Matriarch” where we inserted a segment of the Russian song “Ochi Chyornye.” The pace of recording this EP was also extremely blistering; we recorded all four songs in one weekend, they were mixed by engineer Ryan McVeigh evenings during the following week and the mixes were finalized the following Saturday, mastered on Sunday and sent to manufacturing on Monday. Basically it was all done in about ten days.
Stylus: How are you promoting your latest album?
LC: We toured Western Canada at the end of May – all the way out to Vancouver and back in ten days. We also have two summer tours in Saskatchewan and Alberta booked for early July/early August. Joelle May from ModMay Promotions has been working as our publicist for the release of Fruit and Ash, and she’s been doing a great job so far of helping us to spread the word about the band.
Stylus: How does it compare to your previous works?
LC: The pace with which we recorded Fruit and Ash was considerably faster than our previous full length album Hans My Lion. Aside from the Riel Gentlemen’s Choir, we didn’t have any additional musicians, and we kept the overdubs to a minimum, whereas on Hans My Lion we had a small orchestra on a few songs and also our singer Jesse Krause overdubbed a great deal of cello and violin as well.
Stylus: Flying Fox definitely has a theatrical feel to it and it’s something that should definitely be seen live. How would you describe a Flying Fox show to somebody who has never been to one?
LC: I’d like to think our live show is very energetic and entertaining; as long as the show goes according to plan I end up with an extremely sweat-soaked shirt. The audience should hopefully feel like they’ve seen something that is a combination of many musical and visual elements that they’ve never quite seen combined in such a unique format.
Stylus: How do you feel about Winnipeg’s music scene?
LC: I’m probably too biased to answer this fairly, but I think Winnipeg’s music scene is the best one in Canada. There is a ton of talent here, but more importantly I think there is a tonne of innovation, which I think is even harder to come by. Bands like Chic Gamine and Royal Canoe are mixing genres to create extremely inventive pop music that defies genre classifications. The F-holes are doing the same thing in the roots genre, so there’s no lack of innovation here in the river city.
Stylus: What’s in your plans for the near future?
LC: After a busy summer of touring we are planning on working on our next full-length album, which we plan to release in the spring/summer of 2014. We’ve already got some shows and tour plans made for this time frame and we are eager to finish another album before the 2014 summer festival season.
Catch Flying Fox & The Hunter Gatherers out at Harvest Moon in Clearwater this weekend!