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Busty and the Bass Head for the Top with New Album

Busty and the Bass for Selective Memory

With a new album on the horizon, Busty and the Bass show off their chops in Indianapolis at the Hi-Fi

The Canadian heavy brass nine piece will be in Fountain Square at The Hi-Fi, Monday, February 13, for a unforgettable night of power jamming and smooth crooning as they test out their upcoming album.

Busty and the Bass is a band that will put a smile on your face. When you see this band perform and listen to the music they create, you cannot help but feel the charge from their energy. What started out as a extracurricular activity from the McGill scene in Montreal turned into an amazing force of talented musicians. How they all came together and what has developed from that, keyboardist Eric Haynes weighs in on all of the important details of one of the more versatile and interesting indie bands. Check out their website for more information about Up Top.

Interview with Eric Haynes

How did a band like this come together, especially in a city like Montreal?

We all went to the same university in Montreal. None of us are from Montreal originally—we’re about half Canadian and half American. Having different hometowns and musical upbringings definitely contributed to the diversity of our influences and the variety of our sound.

From the videos I have seen, it looks like the band is having the best time of their lives! And, honestly, how can you walk away not feeling good after listening to your music. For someone like Springsteen, he said something to the idea that if you cannot have a good time on stage as a band then the audience will not have a good time. How important is mood to you and tell me how you all communicate together to bring the best showmanship you can to the album and on stage?

For us it’s all about energy: we feed off each other and the crowd, and the crowd feeds off us. We definitely enjoy ourselves onstage, and I think that helps the audience loosen up too. In the studio, it took us a while to learn that energy doesn’t come across the same way, so you have to communicate it differently. At the live show everything’s more exaggerated—body language, dynamics—but on record you have be more subtle.

Depending on age, do you get referenced in different fashion- an older audience looking at Bell and James, Tower of Power; Chicago, a newer looking towards the jam bands or the neo-soul, Hip Hop. Where do you feel that you lie within this spectrum and what is it that influences you?

We’re influenced by aspects of all those genres. I think younger audiences see some of what we do as a throwback, maybe because of the horns or because we perform everything live without backing tracks. I don’t think we see ourselves occupying a specific point on that spectrum, which is cool because it gives us the freedom to combine elements of different genres on songs to create a unique sound.

One thing I love about the band is the versatility you have within what you do. Tell me about the creative process of the band?

We have a very collaborative creative process. Usually one to three people start with the first idea for a song, and at various points they bring it to more and more people in the group. Ideally once a song is finished everyone has had a chance to offer their own ideas and input.

What challenges do you face being a band the size you are? What do you feel are your strengths?

When we started the band we were just playing house parties and the occasional bar—we had no intention of pursuing it professionally. We’ve heard many times there’s no way to “make it” with a nine person band. From finances to scheduling there are some pretty obvious challenges. But there are definitely some benefits that come with that too. The diversity of our background and influences definitely come through in our music, and having nine people on stage gives us lots of live energy and a huge sound. Plus if you get sick of one person on the road there’s seven other people to hang out with!

Tell me about the new album and how that came about?

Making our first full-length album was a long process. We were able to take our time (partially by choice and partially because of our touring schedule) which allowed us to write a bunch of songs to choose from, and also revisit recordings and make adjustments. We were thrilled to work with Neal Pogue, a Grammy award-winning mixer and producer, who executive produced the album. We can’t wait to release the whole thing in a few months.

What are your favorite moments from “Up Top?”

It’s hard to choose, but I’d have to say my favourite moments of the song are the horn parts. The intro and the first four bars are always fun to listen to as well!

Not only is sound important but so is space. The band has performed in various kinds of clubs, venues, outdoor street parties, etc. What are your favorite kinds of places to play?

My favourite venues to play are indoor theatres—big stages, great lights and sound. But even though we don’t get to do it as often any more, playing janky house parties is something we all have a soft spot for.

What do you plan to bring to the table Monday, when you guys stop at the Hi-Fi in Fountain Square?

We’re always excited to play a new city for the first time, and we’ve got some unreleased songs in our set right now that are really fun to play.

What does the band have going on for the rest of year?

We’re stoked to play SXSW in March, and to go back to Europe in May! And of course, keep an eye out for our album, which will be coming out in a few months.

Andrew Duncan
Dug out from a pile of zines and hot sauce, Andrew Duncan has contributed to many publications through the years, including Chord and work with the ever so spunky Readyset...Aesthetic! He now resides deep within your membrane.

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