What was the biggest fun during the making of American Fantasy?
I always have the most fun when I’m creating and recording my bass parts because bass is my favourite instrument to play. I like to go into a song without planning the bass; I plug in and see what happens on take one. I usually have to go back and refine it, pick out what I do and don’t like and record a new one, but in some cases I get exactly what I’m looking for on that first take. On American Fantasy, six of the ten songs are take number one on the bass (Songs 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 – if you’re curious).
If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?
Probably the last song, “T-Shirt”. It’s slightly romantic, and mostly optimistic.
The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?
I started gigging when I was 16 years old playing bass in my older brother’s band. The scene was on the cusp of transforming into what it is today, so it was an awkward time to start a career. It was significantly easier to make money on the bar scene back then. The new era has brought some great advantages to independent artists, such as the ability to distribute music easily online, but what is lacking today is the live audience in that bar scene. Festivals are alive and well but audiences don’t seem as interested in what’s going on outside of those limits.
Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?
I’m going to change this to best band: The Dang Danglers. Because Rock N Roll, that’s why.
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
I tend to get stuck on entire albums and right now would probably just give the girl Spoon “They Want My Soul” but here’s five songs:
Spoon – Inside Out
Radiohead – Everything In Its Right Place
The Strokes – Machu Picchu
Sloan – People Of The Sky
Bob Marley – One Love
What’s up for the next couple of months?
When I wrote the songs for “American Fantasy”, half were power pop and the other half were of a folky, acoustic vibe, so my plan was to record the folky acoustic-based songs as a kind of part 2 during the coming winter months. But I might be too busy. Right now I’m working on a video for the song “American Girl” and playing some local shows in my hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada); in the new year I will do a tour of eastern Canada to Toronto and back. I also have a band called The Dang Danglers and I just finished mixing our debut album, due to be released this Christmas. On top of that, I work as a freelance bassist, which will bring me to Nova Scotia Music Week this November playing a showcase with singer-songwriter Laura Merrimen.