Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Oh hey! We’ve been doing pretty well…keeping everything afloat and navigating the new waters of the music industry during a global pandemic. It’s been challenging in a way that has enabled us to get creative on a few projects that we might not have otherwise had time for if we were busy touring. There’s always a silver lining. How are you?
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Mountain Woman”?
Sure. Mountain Woman was the fourth single that we released off of Iris before we shared the full album on October 2nd. The tune is about inclusiveness verses exclusiveness. In particular, the song amplifies the strength of the feminine and the importance to be truthful and proud of yourself regardless of societal expectations, stigmas and stereotypes.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
There’s definitely a few events that contributed to the lyrics in Mountain Woman. I think we all know what it feels like to be an outsider and how crappy exclusiveness can feel. The two passions that I hold near and dear to my heart (music and environmentalism) are not exempt from having exclusiveness and barriers within their communities. I guess this song aims to shine a spotlight on never being sorry for your identity or for your truth… It’s not necessarily about any one person but more about a movement, an awakening. Also, mean people suck.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
Mountain Woman’s music video was intentionally made to be really, really simple (peaceful drone footage of a west coast forest). We decided against a complicated video and let the song speak for itself. Recently we put a great deal of effort into two other new music videos for Demon Host and Bang Bang (our cover of Sonny Bono’s classic tune) – check ‘em out!
The single comes off your new album Iris – what’s the story behind the title?
“Iris” was pulled from a lyric in our song Demon Host. This tune grapples with human activity and our effect on the planet. The last lyric (“But there is something lovely, just like an iris in ebony, every flower needs the light”) describes hope at the end of the road where we recognize that there is potential to do better with human ingenuity, creativity and empathy as our greatest tools.
How was the recording and writing process?
Great. Writing songs is always a bit of a rollercoaster ride filled with emotional and mental ups and downs but by the time we were all in the studio with producers Gus van Go and Werner F. we were ready to enjoy the process of making a sweet n’ smooth album. We recorded Iris in Brooklyn, NY, which was an experience in and of itself (picture a bunch of west coast islanders in the hustle and bustle headquarters) but we truly had a great time and are really proud of how the album turned out.
What role does Victoria play in your music?
I’m happy to call the Pacific Northwest Coast my home and while there have been tempting reasons to move to larger music metropolises over the years, staying put has had its benefits as well. Victoria is a neat city filled with creative minds and forward thinking folks. Growing up in neighbouring Saanich on the traditional and current territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, I learned to cherish and respect the ocean, the coastline and the forests. It is integral that we preserve and protect what little we have left of the natural world and of biodiversity. I love that music can be a way to amplify these sentiments. I’m honoured to find inspiration in this place.
Did the success from your previous music work while working on this album put any pressure on you guys while working on this album or rather the opposite?
Hmm no, I don’t believe so. We had new musicians on board this time and the teamwork and comradery involved in making Iris was totally different than previous experiences. Everyone was excited to contribute and be creative together. Speak in Rhythms was a huge learning experience for me and Pat (lead guitarist, vocalist and occasional songwriter) and it was refreshing for us to take those lessons and pour them into the making of Iris.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Reflections and observations, frustration and patience, empathy and anger. I also really enjoyed creating arrangements that I knew would be exciting to sing and fun for the band (and audience) in a live show setting.
What else is happening next in Carmanah’s world?
We just finished creating some live performance videos of a handful of new tracks that we will be sharing soon. And we are actually in the process of writing and creating new music with the goal of making another album in the coming year. We are also biting our nails in anticipation for music performances, festivals and touring to start up again. Maybe we’ll see ya out there one day. Cheers 🙂