“The last couple records were done out at Soundmarket with Dennis Field, and they’re really good-sounding records, but they didn’t capture the immediacy of The Fantods,” says Jay Methot, who plays guitar in the Halifax spook-rock quintet. He’s also a graduate of the recording arts program at NSCC, with access to a top-shelf studio, and so on January 5 of this year, the band piled in for a day and came out with its new record, Burn, Wizards, Burn. The process took “13 hours right through,” says Methot. “We did a total of 11, songs eight of which ended up on the record. The other three are covers—“Tame” by The Pixies, “With My Own Bare Hands” by Ween and an old rock song called “Christina.”” The covers became their own EP: “We’ve used them as a promotional CDs at our last couple of shows. We must’ve given away about 100 in the last couple of weeks leading up to the CD release.”
Though the band hadn’t planned to make a record, it liked what it heard, “even unmixed it sounded pretty good,” says Methot, who was asked to join the band after the record was made. It was his first major gig as an engineer, which has led to interest from other local acts. “I did various projects in school, but as far as tracking an album and recording it,” he says, “this was the first time. And I mastered it because we couldn’t afford to get it mastered. But it was intimidating. This is what I’m going to be judged on, so I spent a good seven, eight months making it sound good.”
Art school friends lent their photography and graphic design skills, resulting in an economical project overall, especially in terms of studio time. “If we were to rent it, it would’ve cost $150 an hour,” says Methot. “To get to do it for free was pretty nice.”
As far as that immediacy goes, expect the unexpected at tonight's show, which will go down at Gus’ Pub with a stellar support line-up of No Flyers Please, ECT, Journalist Wolf and Nerd Army. “You never really know what he’s gonna do,” says Methot of singer Dan Gallant. “Sometimes he’ll come out wearing a crow costume. Not Brandon Lee’s The Crow, but the bird. One time at the Speakeasy he decided to break a beer bottle over his head, but it didn’t break so he ended up splitting his head open. They finished the song and took him to the hospital.”
Burn, Wizards, Burn will be available at the show for five bucks.