Since the release of By The Way, Brundlefly's sophomore album, the band has been seen on screens across the country with their video and live performances. MuchMusic launched Revolution in their Indie Spot light program and the video is being spun on MTV Canada. MM's Going Coastal featured the band for their album release with an interview in May and the band appeared in studio on MTV Canada, CTV's national morning show Canada A.M., and The A Channel in pretty much every city in Canada that has one (Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina).
BrundleflyTheir current single, Revolution can be heard across Canada on commercial radio stations and their video for the single can be seen on MuchMusic and MTV Canada. Plans are in the works for a second video for their recently released their second single, Dirty Girl, which is already spinning on Vancouver's XFM and CFOX. Brundlefly has held the support slot for many national acts, including this summer for the U.S. band LIVE.
By The Way is one of those records that seem to have a quietly risen out of nowhere to critical acclaim across the country. Produced by Todd Simko (Pure, Sean McDonald, Jordy Birch) who pushed the band to take huge leaps forward to create unusual melodies and deftly constructive songs. Mike Usinger, music editor of the Georgia Straight, nailed it on the head when he wrote, "Brundlefly has arrived as a with-a-bullet contender. Somers and his bandmates have created a record that holds up against the mighty likes of the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev." Usinger also gave warm fuzzies to the album in the Georgia Straight annual 'Best of Vancouver' issue.
BrundleflyIan Somers, along with Chris Copeland (drums), Shane Turner (bass) and Glen Delukas (guitar), has taken the credible path of the devoted indie artist and developed National respect within Canada and the Northwestern United States. Brundlefly's audience is growing with every show, and the band continues to perform to sold out crowds in their home town of Vancouver.
Somers left the Limblifter spotlight in the late '90s to seek out his own fortune with a brand new sound. Brundleflys' first album, Locked In This House, quickly kick started the group into a 'buzz band' scene which Somers wasn't necessarily ready for so he consciously retreated to songwriting, a talent which landed him a publishing deal with Peer Music. He took his time honing the craft and putting the key members of the band together to record By The Way. The time spent out of the limelight indeed proved a good move as the depth of this album is stunning.
Bio courtesy of Bobbi Beeson of Siren Promotions.
Interview by Mike Aylward
Mike: How would you define the Brundlefly sound to a newcomer to your music?
Ian: Brundlefly has the ability to effect many different people in many different ways, I think of us as a dark, alt pop guitar band that happens to use some creative instrumentation. I had honestly never listened to Flaming Lips or Mercury Rev until after we did our latest record but I have since heard both those bands and see why we get compared to them in that sense. I do think we're a bit of a pop band because I write with a strong focus on melody and cohesive arrangement. The addition of cello's, trumpets, mellotron or whatever we happen to use in a song is not usually part of the writing stage, it's just added afterwards to help bring the songs to life. I sometimes read a couple Brundlefly reviews in one day with one going on about the depth and darkness of the record and another going off about the catchy, hooky pop, so I guess we are a combination of those things.
Mike: What types of music and which musicians/groups influenced you growing up?
Ian: When I was a kid I fell asleep nightly to my pocket AM radio under my pillow playing pop hits. I also got into my Moms old Beatles records. Later, I learned to play guitar listening to Dire Straights but at the same time was listening to alot of U2 and my older brothers classics like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and metal like Rush, Iron Maiden and such. I then discovered The Pixies, Husker Du, The Violent Femmes, Sonic Youth, Janes Addiction and other 80'/90's alternative bands that very much effected me.
Mike: How did growing up in British Columbia influence your music?
Ian: I don't know, I'm not sure if Brundlefly has a regional sound at all, my parents were both immigrants from different countries, one from England and the other from Holland, and I am a Canadian, so I've never really felt a part of any one culture. In BC it rains alot, I guess a journalist or someone might be able to rationalize that as influencing the darkness of what I write, but I feel dark when it's sunny as well. There's alot of pot in BC.
Mike: Which do you prefer, recording/producing or live performance?
Ian: I prefer writing, is that one in there? After that it would have to be live performance, depending on the night, but when everything is right and I'm singing how I want to be, there is nothing like it. I do love producing as well, but the experience itself is always kind of painful for me. It's like an urgent desperate pursuit of perfection. I have a hard time relaxing when I'm producing music, but the outcome is what makes it worthwhile.
Mike: Have you ever thought of branching out into other musical formats?
Ian: Yes, I want to write the score to a powerful, moving film. Lot's of dramatic strings and dark beautiful music. To me that's not really branching out though, if I was to really branch out it would be to become a cabinet maker or something. Branching out into different music is more like a natural continuation of what I'm already doing, writing music.
Mike: Whose music are you listening to right now?
Ian: To be honest I don't really listen to much music myself. The stuff I do hear is whatever Shane (our bassist) puts on in the van while we're touring. I did buy a couple of records this year though, the new Flaming Lips and Pedro the Lion 'Control'. Pedro has been my favourite for years.
Mike: How would you describe Brundlefly's "By The Way"?
Ian: By The Way to me is a very complete, concise record, I think it has all the hooks and melody a good record should have without becoming trite or boring. I often hear from people that they at first really liked the record but now, after listening more, have fallen totally in love with it. I think that's important, for there to be something deeper and more profound beneath the first impression. I hope that's true with this record.
Mike: In what ways is it different than your first release?
Ian: The first record was done differently, we had a bunch of songs and we just recorded them the way we would have played them live. On By The Way we experimented much more with different production ideas and used alot more acoustic guitar, which made sense because that's how the songs are originally written. Lot's of songs on the new record were built completely in the studio from just my vocals and an acoustic guitar. We would just keep adding things on top or taking things out and let the song evolve that way. Often we would have to totally re-learn the song after it was done so we could play it live.
Mike: How has new technology affected how you deliver your musical message to the world?
Ian: Technology has given me, as a writer, the oppurtunity to experiment extensively at home with whatever my mind can dream of doing. In the past, if you had a song and wanted to hear what a string quartet might sound like in it, you would have to go to the studio, hire the quartet, chart the music and spend the day trying to get it right. At home I can just find some decent string samples and experiment on my computer. Many songs on By The Way were pre-produced in this manner.
Mike: Do you believe that a modern band has to release videos to become successful?
Ian: I don't think anybody knows what anyone really has to do to become succesful at anything, it's constantly evolving.
Mike: What is a musical goal that you would still like to achieve?
Ian: I want to make a record that changes peoples lives.
Mike: What would mean success to you in music?
Ian: All the free time I wanted to write, record, perform and travel without worrying about money. That, and a record that changes the world.
Mike: What do you think are the embodiments of good and evil in the music business, and in the world today?
Ian: Well, I would have to say Capitalism, and the pursuit of profit at any cost to humans, the earth or anything that stands in the way could be summed up as the motivating factor for most of the really bad stuff that happens in the world. The homoginization of music/art and culture are definately symptoms of the single minded profit mongering that occurs when an entire culture is taught to measure their succeses only in terms of money. Of course there is misguided religous fundamentalism, that's always been bit of a problem as well. I don't agree with referring to anything as 'evil' though, especially after hearing George Bush say that word over and over, it insults everyones intelligence.
Mike: A hundred years from now, how would you like Brundlefly to be remembered?
Ian: In a hundred years I would like the world to still be listening to Brundlefly, that would be the best way to be remembered.