PHOTO CREDIT: Deviio
MY departure from Canadian music is brief…
as I speak with Sara May of Falcon Jane. She talks about the band’s formation and their new single, Go with the Flow. I ask about the video: a stunning and personal clip she directed and edited. She speaks about the upcoming album, Feelin’ Freaky, and what goes into it; what tour dates the guys have coming up – and whether they will head to the U.K.
The band select their favourite memories from music; a tune each to end the interview: Sara May discusses Ontario and the scene there; how the band has shaped and grown through the years – providing some advice to new songwriters emerging.
Hi, Sara May. How are you? How has your week been?
Feeling pretty-plez T.B.H.! Been a pretty great week hearing all the nice things people are saying about our new track!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure. I (Sara May) lead a band called Falcon Jane. We’re from a small town in Ontario, Canada. We make what we call ‘Plez-Rock’ music, -which is short for ‘pleasant-rock’. Basically, smooth; chill Rock music that’s soft around the edges but still digs deep.
Go with the Flow is your new track. What can you reveal about its story and history?
Go with the Flow was the last song to be written for our new album. It was created at a time when I was constantly being told (either by others or myself) to “go with the flow”. That’s not really an easy task for me: I’m a bit controlling and very analytical. To move along calmly with the current requires a certain amount of confidence, positivity and trust in the universe.
So; the song juxtaposes this ideal chill attitude with my eternal questioning and worrying.
The video is pretty interesting! Was it good to shoot?
The video shoot was super-fun! It was (just) me and my best friend driving to cool spots around my town and filming me sing a song in cool outfits. Sounds like the best day ever, doesn’t it?!
It was edited and directed by you, Sara May. What was the reason for that? Did you want to put a personal touch on things?
I’ve never felt so close to a song as I do to Go with the Flow. I love it! It feels like my baby. So; I needed the video to be very true to me. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to hand the reins over to someone else to make a video for this one - I would have been such a bad back-seat director.
The visuals came pretty easily to me and I have a background in filmmaking - so I just knew it was something I had to do myself.
Feelin’ Freaky is your upcoming album – the third from the band. What are the main themes and ideas that inspired the songwriting?
My songwriting process is pretty fluid: I don’t think about the songs before I write them.
Afterwards, I can look at a song and think: ‘Oh, that’s about such-and-such’ but, while I’m writing; I’m just tapping into whatever I want to say most at that moment …whatever feels truest to me and I write it down. So, the themes and ideas in Feelin’ Freaky are various. Death is always a big theme for me - so that’s in there a bit - helplessness and fear; love, purity; questioning what it means to be human.
I did feel pretty freaky throughout the process.
Do you feel Falcon Jane have developed since the start? Has the music expanded and grown, do you think?
I started Falcon Jane as a solo project in 2012. I was making weird bedroom Folk music that was crammed up with raw, cheeky lyrics - and it has, obviously, grown quite a lot since then. Now we are a five-piece band making music that’s full of righteous riffs, chill fills and sick licks! The lyrics still weigh pretty heavily and the authenticity in them has remained - but I’m older now and wanna sing about different stuff in a more mature way.
PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Poisson
How did you all meet one another? When did you guys start jamming together?
Falcon Jane seems to have an ever-changing lineup but Andrew (bassist & drummer) and I have been the core of it for the past four years. We met through our guitarist at the time and became fast friends! The rest of the members fell into place naturally: Aidan (drummer) and I met at a summer theatre program about eleven years ago and started hanging out again recently. Branson (guitarist) lives down the street from Andrew and Racquel (synth player) and I had a divine appointment by bumping into each other at a cafe like ten minutes after she bought my first album.
You are from Ontario. Is it quite an upcoming part of Canada for new music? What is it about the area that is proving attractive to many?
Southern Ontario is like the nucleus of Canada.
I’m not sure the exact number but a large portion of our population is here. That being said; Canada is a huge country with a very diverse population. Yes, a lot of new music comes out of Ontario - specifically Toronto - but there is new, interesting; creative music being created all across the country - and it’s so important to recognize those artists as well.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
We’ve got some gigs coming up in Toronto and small towns in Ontario - and we hope to tour western Canada this summer. Come see us:
March 3rd: Toronto, ON - The Smiling Buddha
April 20th: Woodstock, ON - Burnt Brick Café
April 21st: Flesherton, ON - Bicycle Cafe
April 28th: Guelph, ON - Brothers Brewing Company.
Do you think you’ll ever come to the U.K.? Do you listen to British music at all?
We would love to come to the U.K.! We’ve been talking about it lately, actually. Just gotta get everything in order!
I bet I listen to a lot of British music but I’m not the type of person to look into where a band is from: I just listen to the music. I’m always surprised when I hear musicians’ accents in interviews.
What do you hope to achieve, as a band, in 2018?
Fame! Fortune! Success! L.o.L! Just want to release Feelin’ Freaky and for it to be heard by as many people as possible…and start writing the next album, of course.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I loved our summertime jams last year - playing frisbee, walking barefoot in the field; laughing a lot and making really cool music in preparation for recording our album.
Rocky: A memory in music that sticks in my mind is when we played in Halifax. It was a magical night with magical people and magical music.
Branson: When we played the Gladstone the second time. It was (I think) our first show as a five-piece and I was like: ‘Holy crap, we just put on a killer show!’.
Andrew: I remember playing at Club Art a few years ago with Falcon Jane. It was fun because our big group of friends just hung out all day and then had a party at Jay’s house across the street. I remember just feelin’ real good about having such cool friends and being in such a cool band.
Aidan: That time I fell asleep at the Handle Bar and Andrew woke me up at the bar.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Be yourself, have fun; find people you really jive with and stick with them, roll with the punches; find out what motivates you, feel freaky; go with the flow!
Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Cook food, eat food; be outside in the silence. But music helps me unwind as well.
Rocky: Music can be chill - so it doesn’t really matter if I have time away from it or not but, I guess, like, nature hikes?
Branson: Definitely get time away from music - but to unwind; I guess I’d say playing sports.
Andrew: I never get time away from music because I’m constantly thinking about it, listening to it or playing it. I have a serious addiction...
Aidan: Going on hikes with my dogs; maybe listening to a podcast
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Sara: Our Father Star – How to React
Rocky: Nomadic Homes – Hidden Messages
Branson: Billie Holiday – Crazy He Calls Me
Andrew: Suburban Lawns – Janitor
Aidan: Slowdive – When the Sun Hit
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