Toronto four-piece Feather Weight is Alistair Bundale (vocals/guitar), Neil Culbert (guitar/vocals), Raymond Cara (bass/vocals) and Jordan Quinn (drums/percussion). Their most recent single, ‘Something Else’, is taken from their new EP Slipsteams and dives into the complexities of having a side of us we show to the world, and the side that we don’t. We spoke to the band to find out more.
We have always tried to create music that is rewarding for the listener, and fun to perform.
First up, tell us a bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
Alistair: My family had a strong influence for me with music ranging anywhere from Genesis, Tears for Fears, Pink Floyd to Whitney Houston, Madonna, Al Green. There was always music playing in my household as a kid. My first foray into music though was my mom forcing me into choir. I grew up in rural Nova Scotia, and was petrified to be associated with choir, but I was hooked instantly. I picked up the guitar at 14 and self taught myself and continued from there.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
Alistair: This is always a hard one to answer as I feel like there is so much music throughout my life that I have found inspiring. I think the music that has influenced me most are the albums that feel like full works of art, with various range and mood. For me music has always been about the full experience, and not just the one song. Albums like Lonerism by Tame Impala, Kid A by Radiohead, Is The Is Are by Diiv or Bloom by Beach House have been markers for me to compare my music by.
How would you describe your style?
Ray: We love the lo-fi vibe of bands like Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Beach Fossils, Ariel Pink, etc. So aesthetically we’ve leaned on bands like that for inspiration. Musically we create whatever comes natural between the four of us. We all share a love of classic psych (The Beatles, Floyd, Cream, etc) and more contemporary stuff like Tame Impala or Deerhunter, and, I think, those bands have influenced us a lot. We have a ton of music between the four of us that we all listen to, but those are some of the biggest overlaps.
Why the name ‘Feather Weight’?
Alistair: Picking a band name at some level is just finding what sounds right to you when you say it. We spent a good three to four months mulling over various names and this one seemed to just fit right. I’ve always been interested in the juxtaposition of things, and Feather Weight represents that well for us.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you choose?
Ray: Hard to say. As a Canadian band, I’ll go with fellow Canadians Royal Canoe. Probably one of the best bands going, anywhere. Their style is so unique and I’ve seen them live four times, so I know they deliver the goods.
Tell us about your new single ‘Something Else’. What’s it about?
Alistair: I’ve always been interested in the dynamics that exist between the self we show to the world and the self we hide away, and how those two worlds collide. There are many angles to that as well, whether it be mental or metaphysical. The physical world we experience comes with so many limitations and ‘Something Else’ is an exploration of the scope of those limitations.
When did you write it, and where did you record it?
Ray: This song was funny because it developed in a indiscriminate way, kind of just falling into place over a couple jams. Far less effort or thought than usual went into organising this track and it ended up being one of our favs. We recorded it with the rest of the EP just outside of Toronto, ON at a home studio, courtesy of Andrew La Tona, who engineered and mixed the EP as well.
How does ‘Something Else’ represent your style?
Ray: I think we try to create without thinking about “style” too directly. We have an idea of the type of band we are , but if you think too hard about it that can become limiting. I think ‘Something Else’ was a song that we felt took you on a journey and hit a few different moods throughout. It seemed like a good song to lead the EP because (hopefully) it is enticing enough to make the listener want to hear more.
‘Something Else’ is taken from your debut EP Slipstreams. Can you tell us more about the other songs on the EP?
Alistair: The songs on this EP showcase Feather Weight in evolving stages. We have always tried to create music that is rewarding for the listener, and fun to perform. All of the songs have some nice dreamy and spacey sounds, but also some interesting dynamics that keep the songs interesting.
What are you hopes for ‘Something Else’?
We just hope to reach as many people as possible. Being an indie band and doing DIY promotion is limiting but also rewarding.
What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?
Doing some gigging around Ontario and starting to get into the festival applying stages for next year now that we have an EP recorded and released. We’re also working on what will likely be our next EP that will be recorded over the fall/winter. Another 4 song EP.
Finally, if you could wish for one thing to happen for you this year, what would it be?
We’re doing scattered dates around, but we would love to tour; Looking to do some East Coast shows next summer!
Watch the video for ‘Something Else’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates go to the Feather Weight Facebook page.