Fredericton, NB, may not be the biggest music hub in Canada, but it’s home to the noisy, mind-melting art rock group Motherhood. They’re gearing up for a string of fall shows, and the Ottawa date features a stacked lineup on November 8th at Pressed along with Winnipeg’s Tunic and locals Warp Lines (members of The Yips, Big Dick, Tropical Dripps, Million Dollar Marxists, Van Johnson).
While the distances between stops are long, Motherhood is no stranger to the road.
“The last 14 months have seen us across the country twice, and to Ontario and Quebec like 6 times (plus a heapload of NB shows),” explains multi-instrumentalist Penelope Stevens. “We recorded a full-length album, did a couple cool collaborations, and purchased a new tour vehicle. Needless to say, we’re pretty excited to take a couple months to relax (relax = finish our album, write a new album, and play locally…). We don’t like to risk touring in the winter months, but as soon as the snow melts we’ll be back at it.”
This is not Motherhood’s first time in Ottawa, as they’ve had the chance to play at Ottawa Explosion Weekend this past year and a handfull other venues in the past. They have warmed up to the city somewhat—minus a couple bumps along the way.
“Ottawa, interestingly enough, is the only city where we’ve ever had our van vandalized—twice actually!” Stevens admits. “But that hasn’t stopped us from really loving the Ottawa scene. One of our first shows was at Mugshots (RIP), and even though we didn’t really know anyone in town, a nice crew of people came out and supported us.”
“We’ve always found there to be a lot of sick bands to play with (Mushy Gushy, The Yips, Pippa, and more) and the venues are cool. House of Targ was always #1 on my bucket list of venues to play in Canada, and last year my dreams came true! It was as cool as I wanted it to be. The folks in Ottawa Explosion, Debaser, and booking Pressed are good folks, and we really admire the work people put into their scene. Ottawa seems a lot like Fredericton, close knit and supportive, and decidedly “other.”
2017 has shaped up to be a big year for Motherhood, with the band getting into festivals such as Sled Island, CMW, Ottawa Explosion, and Lawnya Vawnya. Even more, they’ve been exporting their irresistibly fuzzy, dissonant sound to small stages across the country. The band members are enjoying their road-heavy schedule.
“A lot of New Brunswickers move on to larger cities, so we get to catch up with some of our closest friends on the road. We bring gifts from folks at home and get to bring news about how everyone’s doing. We’re glorified carrier pigeons. Plus, we usually bring a road pal with us, and they keep things fresh. This time we have our bud Noah, who’s never been on tour before. His excitement will keep the posi vibes alive on the long drives!”
Their tracks “Guano” and “Yarn-Barred” were featured on the Greville Tapes Music Club, vol. 1, and their cover of Construction & Destruction’s song “The Oracle” appeared on volume 2 of the Pentagon Black compilation. With two LPs, an EP, and a split under their belts, Motherhood is on the verge of entering the studio once again to record another full-length for release in winter 2017-18.
“We write collaboratively in our studio, so the music comes from pretty much anywhere,” says Stevens. “Sometimes Brydon will bring in some lyrics or one of us will have a riff, but a lot of it is just hammered out through long jams, then we chop it up and forget 95% of it. The stuff that sticks is the stuff worth keeping. We’re composers, yes, but I think our talents actually lie in our editing. We don’t have any particular goals when writing, we just set a timeline—we’ll write for 3-6 months, then record when the time runs out. I guess it’s pretty weird, but it works for us!”
Be sure to catch Motherhood along with Winnipeg’s Tunic and Ottawa’s Warp Lines at Pressed on Wednesday, November 8th. $10 at the door, 8 pm. All ages, licensed 19+ show.
Less than a minute into Tunic‘s song “Disappointment” is all it took to get excited about this Winnipeg-born-and-bred noisy punk trio. This June, the band will be leaving beautiful Manitoba for a 2-week tour that will take them to the United States and across central Canada, including their first Ottawa show on June 6 at Pressed.
Their Ottawa date will also feature two of Ottawa’s most stoke-worthy bands: post-hardcore veterans The Dark Plains with Matt Deline (aka Ottawa’s Ian MacKaye) on vocals and bass, Andy Cant (from Okara!!!) on drums, and Chuck Saso (who must eat Shreddies for breakfast because.. well.. he absolutely shreds) on guitar, as well as Ultra Love who have just recently sprung out of the incubator, or maybe a time machine, bringing back a post-hardcore sound with a healthy (and unapologetic) dose of 90’s screamo influences. Needless to say, you will not want to miss this show, and in the meantime, you can get to know Tunic a bit better as guitarist/vocalist David Schellenberg answers a few questions for us. Have a read below.
Interview with David Schellenberg of Tunic
Ok, so first things first – who is Tunic and can you give me a short history of how the band came to be?
DS: Tunic is David Schellenberg, Rory Ellis, and Sam Neal. Tunic was started by Sam and I as a way for us to hang out, experiment and for me to try my hand at playing guitar in a band. Rory was my roommate at the time so he started playing bass after a couple jams. This was around 2012, I’m pretty sure.
How would you describe your sound?
DS: Abrasive, angular, noisy punk music.
Are you all originally from Winnipeg and what is the scene like in Winnipeg these days?
DS: We are. Winnipeg is a unique city with a lot of cool bands and artists. Since we’re extremely isolated by our geographical location we all have to put in a lot of work to get shows to happen and for there to be things to do, so Winnipeg is pretty cool, a lot of people work hard to make sure it doesn’t suck.
What are some of the pros/cons of being a band in Winnipeg?
DS: The only con is our location. Pros a lot of great local bands to do shows with.
Will this be your first time playing Ottawa? If so, what have you heard about the Ottawa scene?
DS: This will be our first time playing in Ottawa. I’ve heard some nice things from our pals who’ve played there before, they say it’s a lot of fun, so that’s exciting.
Sometimes it does feel like Ottawa and Winnipeg are worlds apart even though we’re provincial neighbours. Not to mention that there are probably a lot of great local bands from our respective cities that neither of us will ever hear. Have you all played in other bands in the past?
DS: We’ve all played in a lot of bands, too many bands really. Rory and I played in a bunch of indie bands we don’t need to talk about, and Sam played in a bunch of cool black metal and d-beat bands like Willing Feet and Noose that were super sick.
Help us get to know you a little better: outside of music, what other interests, hobbies or projects are taking up your time?
DS: We mostly work our jobs so we can do this band and other music related things. Sam does graphic design, Rory works in a school and I work at a bar.
Finally, what are you listening to these days?
DS: I can’t speak for Rory or Sam, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Spray Paint, The Coneheads, Wings, and Cocteau Twins.
Don’t miss tunic at Pressed on June 6 alongside The Dark Plains and Ultra Love, event here. For out-of-towners and roadtrippers, here are Tunic’s tour dates:
Tunic Tour Dates
May 31 – Reverie, Minneapolis MN
June 1 – The Burlington, Chicago IL
June 3 – Foam Doam, London ON
June 4 – This Ain’t Hollywood, Hamilton ON
June 6 – Pressed, Ottawa ON
June 7 – Smiling Buddha, Toronto ON
June 8 – Turbo Haus, Montreal QC
June 9 – Poisson Noir, Montreal QC