Halifax drummer Benn Ross has been known for playing with as many bands as he can, including Al Tuck, Thrush Hermit, Piggy and many others. A November 2004 Coast article about Ross listed 51 artists and bands that Ross had worked with, and the number has grown since.
Two years ago Ross decided to cut back the number of bands he played with—he’s down to Amelia Curran & The Mercy Band, Dusty Keeler’s band and his own Benn Ross and the Fabulous Band—and use the time to try something new.
Ross sat down alone in his kitchen, and began recording tracks for “the polaroid series,” a set of four EPs (benn ross I, II, III and IIII). Ross has gradually released the six-song EPs over the past year-and-a-half. Ross recorded the instrumentation for his songs by himself, sample by sample. “I would do all the music first, and then I would get other people to add parts as I saw fit.”
These collaborators ranged from vocalists to mandolin players. He brought all his tracks and mix ideas to collaborators like Aaron Wallace (The Sleepless Nights) and Pierce Rogers of Audio Empire. They helped Ross sew his pieces together.
All four have now been released, and are available—and affordable!—at zunior.com. There, interested buyers can download the EPs, their cover art and linear notes for just $6.66 each.
Ross’s tinkering with the EP tracks isn’t finished. Benn Ross and the Fabulous Band are constantly adding some musical elements, and taking others away. “We deconstruct even what’s on the recordings,” he says. The Fabulous Band features Tim Crofts on Fender Rhodes piano, Lukas Pearse on electric bass, Joyce Saunders on vocals and Ross on drums and percussion.
Both the Fabulous Band and Down with the Butterfly will be performing and recording separate live albums on January 26 and 27 at Stage Nine.
Matt Mays and El Torpedo will be the musical guest on Live with Conan O’Brien, this Friday, December 15, at 1:30am on NBC. For reals!
Obligatory ECMA item
The rumours are true—this year’s East Coast Music Award nominees were announced Tuesday.
George Canyon and JP Cormier led the nomination pack, with five each—both are up for Male Solo Recording of the Year. In-Flight Safety, Jill Barber and Ron Hynes each received four nominations, with Hynes and Barber both nominated for Recording and Songwriter of the Year. Charlie A’Court, Chucky Danger Band, Joel Plaskett, Sloan and The Trews were all triple nominees.
We’ll be keeping our eye on the Female Solo Recording—its nominees include Barber, Catherine MacLellan, Amelia Curran, RyLee Madison and Natalie MacMaster. Another loaded category is Rap/Hip-Hop Single Track Recording of the Year, with Classified, Ghettosocks, Jay Bizzy, Jesse Dangerously and Sko-Shun Tiez with Kaleb Simmonds in the running. A full list of nominees and categories is available at ecma.com.
The ECMAs will take place in Halifax from February 15 to 18.
Last week’s “Scene and Heard” announced that Alexisonfire would play a show on Valentine’s Day. We were wrong. The show will happen later in the year. Stay tuned for official word.
What’s the word?: firstname.lastname@example.org