Live at the Hattery, with Will Fournier & Friends

So as we’ve already discussed, Tuesday is New Album Release Day. Since today is Thursday, that means all the new albums for the week should have been out for two days then…right?

Well let me go ahead and change everything you ever thought you knew with one word: NO.

Today, Thursday 28 October 2010, is the official release day of Will Fournier & Friends’ new album, Live at the Hattery. 

(…that being the case, the album actually went up on itunes yesterday, but that still isn’t Tuesday, now is it?)

 Will Fournier himself sat down with me in Internetland to answer some questions about music, making the album, and what the heck a hattery is.

PU- so could you explain any sort of “vision” you had when you went into making this record, and is the finished product how you imagined it would be? If not, how did it change during the recording process?

Will Fournier

WF- I feel like I’ve been trying to make this record for years but that the conditions just weren’t right until now. I’ve always been really inspired by Canada’s underground festival scene and the record is sort of a culmination of that influence. Conceptually it’s supposed to feel like a concert for a small community in the woods, and there is a lot of banter, nature samples, and artwork to help the listener get to that place (there is also a bunch of weird featherbrows/time-travel stuff, but that’s a whole other story…). With the lyrics, I try to write a little more globally but a lot of the lessons and experiences stem from these festivals as well. The sound is also from the woods; in particular the bass. I guess you get bass in the city as well, but in the woods the kids REALLY like their sub woofers. In general I wanted to capture the feeling of a community celebrating in nature, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of representing that. That’s not to say the record didn’t take a shit load of twists and turns a long the way, but there was always a goal in mind. And i think we got there, which is a pretty nice feeling.

PU- from what I understand, this record was made very much in the spirit of DIY. Was this the case, and what are your feelings on making an album this way now that you’re done? What difficulties did you run into in the process? Were there any innovative methods of recording you came up with while you made the album (which may have been out of necessity)?

WF- As far as the DIY thing goes, its really quite amazing what you can do with the technology that’s available today. We recorded the whole album at the Hattery (which is a shack outside my parents cottage) and in an apartment studio in Montreal. In hindsight it probably would have been much easier and cheaper to go into a full studio, but we had no idea what kind of project we were undertaking when we started or how long it would take. The thing took on a life of its own…or maybe we were just in too deep. Haha. Anyway, recording everything ourselves really allowed us the freedom to do a lot of things we probably wouldn’t have done in a studio. One of my favorite examples is when we wanted to make our own reverb for the record: we took a big plastic bucket from the cottage basement, carried it out onto some rocks in the bay, and then smashed the thing as hard as we could with a giant stick. We had a couple of microphones set up on the dock to record the reflections of the bang as it traveled around the bay, and presto, now we have “bay-verb”. There are lots of fun little experiments like that on the record that would only have happened with a mac-book and some microphones.

 

PU- so there were a lot of ‘friends’ that appear with you on the album. What was it like making the record with a fairly large collective of musicians and artists?

WF- Working with friends on the record was a necessity in so many ways. For one, so much of the record is about community and the power of collective work, so it only made sense to ask for help on the record. And everyone was really supportive and ready to help so the process was a lot of fun. Also, because of limited time and money, most of the “friends recordings” happened in one session, and for the most part it was all improv as well. We had some really magical performances: everyone just blew me away.

Will & his friends - the new album cover


PU-And you made the record in Montreal. Did the wider music/arts community play a positive role in making this record; namely, how did the city influence you? Was there a lot of support, and what difference do you think it made recording the album there instead, of, say, Ottawa? [I singled out Ottawa because that’s where Fournier is from] 

tam-tams aka the peak of western civilization

WF- Montreal had a huge influence on the record. I’ve spent a lot of my time locked in the apartment making music, but living in mile end you just FEEL the art around you. Your swimming in it. So you know there are others who believe in art and are ready to support it. Also, the city is saturated with dubstep, so having that much exposure to bass-oriented music really makes you pay attention to the low end. Being part of the experimental choir was huge too; nothing like having truly uninhibited vocal freedom with a group of silly people to open up your voice. Wicked jams.

PU-There have been a lot of innovations made to technology lately, especially to promotion and distribution. What do you think of these innovations, like myspace/youtube for example, and how do you think these innovations will develop in the future?

WF- I’m a HUGE fan of the internet and any technology that helps us communicate. It’s pretty amazing being able to put something on youtube or myspace and have someone on the other side of the planet stumble on it. And digital distribution is wicked for reaching new people; I’d still love to print to vinyl though.

Now that you’ve read that insightful and profound interview – here’s where you can go to purchase the album: The itunes store. Search – “Will Fournier

And here’s where you can find Will’s myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/willfournier

And his facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Will-Fournier/56953417236 

And one more thing! If you are lucky enough to live in Montreal – tonight is the release party for Live at the Hattery.

It’s at 3 Minots. 3812 Boulevard Saint-Laurent. More info is on the Facebook event page, here.

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One Comment on “Live at the Hattery, with Will Fournier & Friends”

  1. xolager Says:

    Good shit. Thanks for the introduction, PU.


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