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Fevers

November 3rd, 2011 by Connie Bernardi

So when you think Ottawa – musically speaking – you don’t necessarily think haven for emerging electronic music.  But there’s a band here in town that wants to change that perception.

That’s where Fevers comes into play.  Fevers are an Ottawa-based five-piece unit that call refer to themselves as the purveyors of independent, electronic pop but with their own unique take on the genre. Their unique modern sound comes from combining indie rock and electronic music.

Fevers are Colin MacDougall, Jim Hopkins, Martin Charbonneau, Mike Stauffer and Sarah Bradley.

I recently had the chance to speak to Jim and Colin about the band, their musical influences and the electronic scene in the nation’s capital.

How did Fevers come together?

Jim: It’s kind of a long story! Colin and I met through mutual friends a couple of years ago – I was fresh off the boat from England and looking to play in a band. We started jamming together just to have some fun really. Colin was already in a band, so it was a side project of sorts. We started writing some songs together, and nearly had an album’s worth. We recorded everything on my laptop, adding electronic instrumentation here and there. We then met Martin, our sound genius – this was a pretty big turning point, as we started doing regular practices. Colin then left his old band, bringing Mike with him to play drums. The final piece of the puzzle was Sarah, an incredibly talented singer and keyboardist, who joined in early 2011. Since then we’ve been practicing, recording, and playing shows when we can.

Colin: Jim is being a bit modest.  I was completely over-steeped in “indie rock” music, having written & played a similar style of music since the age of 15.  Jim basically swept in and said “hey, why don’t you consider stepping out of your comfort zone”?  I couldn’t.  But thankfully he took my comfort zone, added wicked beats & loops to it, and made it into something a little less comfortable.

If you had to list music that has influenced your sound what artists/bands would appear on that list? 

J: That’s a tough question. Our song writing method varies a lot – sometimes it’s the traditional approach of writing a song on the acoustic guitar and building from there, and other times it’s simply a synth part that we create a song around. So the influences vary on who starts writing the song. Usually I end up mixing the final song, so I’d say my influences for our sound are contemporary electro/indie acts like M83, Passion Pit or LCD Soundsystem. 

C: I actually haven’t changed my music listening all that much in a number of years.  I try to keep up with the M83′s and Passion Pit’s, but often find myself coming back to the Pixies, Breeders, Radiohead, and perhaps The National (if I’m trying to feel ‘contemporary’).  But whether it’s Jim or I who has the first skeleton idea for a song we do, the end result usually does sound more like Neon Indian than Blonde Redhead.  Funny what beats & loops can do.

How would you describe the Ottawa electronic scene?

J: I actually don’t think there are a lot of bands doing what we’re doing here – there’s definitely a healthy indie, punk and metal scene in Ottawa, but as far as an electro-scene I don’t know! Maybe we don’t get out enough!?

C: Agreed.  If there are other bands doing this kind of thing in Ottawa, please write us!  We feel guilty booking shows as the only band with the ridiculous rig including 3 synths & 2 samplers!  (Also agreed that we don’t get out enough…)

Any story behind the single ‘Passion Is Dead [Long Live Fashion]‘? 

J: I’ll leave that one to Colin.

C: Ooooh… thanks for throwing me the hot potato, Jim. Well, I will perhaps simply say that all of the songs that I have recently written usually fall into 2 categories: cynical love songs or songs about a Zombie Apocalypse (pilfered from my ongoing but mainly-failed attempt to write a Zombie rock opera.). PIDLLF falls primarily into category 1 (with a touch of “lamenting the Hipster Apocalypse” thrown in for good measure). 

As a band what music are you listening to now that you can’t get enough of?

 C: I’ll leave that one to Jim.  I’m just getting through listen #6,929 of High Violet…

J: Our music tastes really vary across the band, but right now I’m listening to a lot of Hooray For Earth, Of Monsters and Men, Youth Lagoon, Neon Indian, James Blake… I listen to this awesome Seattle radio station called KEXP – I find a lot of my music that way.

Favourite spots to source out new music in Ottawa?

J: There’s some really cool venues in Ottawa – Raw Sugar Cafe, Mavericks, Babylon, Zaphods, Cafe Dekcuf – they get some good acts playing there. I guess I’d say you just need take a chance every now and you’ll see something unexpected!

 C: Club Saw is also a pretty awesome place. Nothing like listening to interesting music surrounded by interesting art.

So the single that I’ve had on repeat all week long on my shiny red iPod is ‘Passion Is Dead [Long Live Fashion]…check it out here. Love it x 1000.

You can catch Fevers live on Friday, December 2nd with Distractor (MTL) and Dreamphone (Ottawa) at Café Decuf (221 Rideau Street). Licenced 19+ event. Doors swing open at 8PM and it $6 at the door.

The Fevers latest EP, Passion Is Dead,  is available for free at BandCamp.

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