ALL PHOTOS (unless credited otherwise): Shelby Fenlon
TODAY sees me assess…
a lot of Canadian talent! Whether there is something in the air or not; you cannot deny the Canadian market is packed and exciting right now. Favours have been chatting about their single, In the Night, and its amazing video; when the band came to be – they reveal whether more material is coming along.
I ask them whether there are some new artists we should check out; if they each have a favourite memory from music; what sort of gigs are coming up – as they are called ‘Favours’; I ask whether they have been asked any cheeky favours in the past!
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been a wild one. We made the music video for In the Night ourselves and only filmed it a few weeks ago! We worked until 2 A.M., colouring the video the night before its release to make the deadline. It is amazing to have the video and song as our first tune out in the world.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are a Synth-Rock band from Toronto who creates a blend of music from influences of both past and present. We love a lot of music from the '80s and music from today like Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra; so, we try to be somewhere in between them: Modern English and Depeche Mode.
In the Night is your new single. What is the story behind the song?
In the Night is a song Alex Zen wrote about ten or more years ago; he had floated it around different bands but nothing ever clicked. With Favours, everything came together in a perfect way that allowed the song to find its footing. Josh Korody recorded the song and polished it off. Adding a steady synth and bass in the melodies really picked up the tune.
The video looks like it was great to film! It has fantasy, colour and a great story. Was it great to be involved with?!
We wrote and produced the video ourselves with help from lots of friends. It was filmed in a vacant house that we had access to and cleaned up, which was a massive undertaking. The video borrows images from our favourite Criterion films like Edward Yang’s Yi Yi and Jubilee by Derek Jarman. The video also briefly features a skateboarding mini-ramp we built in the living room of the house, which provided endless entertainment before and during shooting.
Is there more material coming from Favours? What are you guys working on?
You bet! We recorded four songs in the studio with Josh when we did In the Night. We expect to head into the studio again this summer to record six more - and then we’ll have an E.P. ready for early-2019. More singles will be released along the way.
Can I ask how you got together? When did it all click?
Parth and Alex both played in former bands in Toronto (Pet Sun and Invasions). Jacq writes and directs music videos and films; Alex and Jacq met through their video work. Dan and Parth are both from Hamilton and have always wanted to play music together, so it was a perfect fit.
I am seeing a lot of great music come from Toronto. What is it about the area that leads to such invention and consistency?
There are tons of great bands coming out of Toronto and it might have something to do with the great water quality and excellent health care.
Which artists do you take guidance from? Who do you all count as idols?
Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra; Arthur Russel, Depeche Mode; Modern English, Talking Heads; Stone Roses, Joy Division. All those kinda cats.
What do you hope to achieve before the end of 2018?
We would love to open for some bigger bands and get on tour. We’re set to put out at least two more songs so, hopefully, we can get some traction and hit the road.
Have you all got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Alex: I was part of a music residency program at the Banff Centre which was by far the most lavish and exciting time I have ever had in music. I worked with some unbelievably talented producers and musicians there and really learned to hone my craft- which is part of the reason songs sound the way they do.
Parth: Touring through the States and getting to hit new unreal cities every night was a treat. Getting to see the White House one night and Fenway Park a couple nights later...all the while playing music you love (is the dream).
Jacq: Joining a band for the first time (Favours) and playing my first show was super-fun. I’ve been studying piano since I was little so it was nice to fiddle around with such an awesome synth.
Dan: A few years back; I had a lot of fun organizing and playing a show where we got to perform in warlock robes in a smoke machine-filled, black-lit room for a real fantastic crowd.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Kevin Parker – any day of the week.
The War on Drugs – any second day of the week.
Mac Demarco – every other week (because he is too wild to take on all the time).
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
We are still looking for advice: if you have any, please send it our way. Treat music like you would a prized pooch and really coax that pooch into the world with grace and dignity. Maybe it will love you back.
Where can we see you play? Do you have any gigs approaching?
We will be playing in Toronto and Ontario during the summer months. Stay tuned!
IN THIS PHOTO: Passport Radio/PHOTO CREDIT: Lexi Johnston
As you are called ‘Favours’; can I ask what the biggest favour each of you has been asked is?
Jacq: Someone asked me to shave their bum once…quite the request.
Alex: People ask for favours all the time but let me tell you: nothing comes free.
Parth: A friend once asked me if they could use my apartment to get busy with a Tinder date…while I was home...
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Typically, we work until we bleed but, when we do catch a moment of time to unwind, we pick up some cold brews and maybe a camera; make a film and hit the old skateboard. The usual.
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).
Alex: Caramello – Xenoula
Parth: Cut Worms - Don't Want to Say Good-bye
Dan: Birdland - Weather Report
Jackie: Mount Kimbie (ft. Micachu) - Marilyn
PHOTO CREDIT: Leah Wright