By Jess Wind
This will be Jackson Hollow’s first time on the Jam stage, but far from their first time in front of a crowd. The four-piece bluegrass band has been active for nearly three years and has performed all over BC, including at the Envision Concert Series and Cloverdale Rodeo, and recently won the BCCMA Traditional Country Award for the second year in a row. Working with a revolving cast, each member is a highly talented, and decorated professional musician in their individual careers. Mike Sanyshyn placed top 3 in the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championships and toured with country A-listers including Aaron Pritchett and Der- ic Ruttan. Lead vocalist Tianna Lefebvre is a 4-time BCCMA Award winner, including Female Vocalist of the Year. No strangers to performing, these artists bring impeccable vocals, instrumentation, and a traditional country vibe to this year’s concert series.
What’s your experience with Jam in Jubilee or other series like this?
Mike Sanyshyn: This is going to be our first time at Jam in Jubilee. Our bluegrass band Jackson Hollow has been active for going on three years at this point, and we’re made up of all professional musicians that have quite a history of performing live music all across BC, throughout Canada, and abroad.
How do outdoor concerts like Jam di er from other venues?
Sanyshyn: The weather and temperature can affect our instruments. Tuning is quite sensitive for acoustic instruments like we play. We’ll be paying more attention to our tuning and our surroundings. The wind, the temperature, the elements can be a little distracting to performing, but we do our best to just make do with whatever comes our way. That’s really just the main difference.
Describe your experience playing in the Valley and the music community here.
Sanyshyn: People seem really receptive and warm. Generally, it’s been a positive experience playing in the valley. The music community is growing. It’s quite active as far as I can tell. It seems like there’s a lot of music happening in the Fraser Valley, which is great.
What is it about the Valley scene that you can’t get anywhere else?
Sanyshyn: In general my experience is that the audience — they’re more of a listening crowd. They seem to be more attentive. More into maybe traditional music, I would say. They’re more of a traditional crowd, where they can appreciate bluegrass, roots, and fiddle like we perform.
By Nick Ubels
Alea Clark is the vocalist, lyricist, and guitarist in Douse, an art-rock project from New Westminster. The trio is completed by guitarist Patrick Farrugia and drummer Jeremiah Ackermann. Their critically acclaimed debut LP, The Light in You Has Left, has just been released on 12” vinyl by Kingfisher Bluez.
Did you always envision this project turning into a band? How did you get from your original more folk-inspired sound to where you are now?
Alea Clark: I wasn’t really thinking about an end goal. I initially started out thinking, “I want to be a solo artist, because I want to have control over what’s happening.” But the more I played with the guys, the more we felt like there’s something happening here that’s really good and we all want to be represented in that. I became interested in different things introduced to the guys’ influences, and Patrick [Farrugia] started bringing a lot of ideas. It looks kind of drastic, but it just kind of happened slowly over time and it made sense as we went along. Everything has changed from what I initially wanted to do, but it has definitely been for the better.
You’re still the chief lyricist and songwriter?
Clark: Songwriting is kind of a split job now, but I write all of the lyrics and my vocal melodies and my guitar parts, for the most part. I won’t let the guys touch the lyrics, but my guitar parts are open for changing and a bit more fluid. But the vocals are very rigid in what I want and that’s still very much my vision.
Do you find there’s certain themes or topics you’re consistently drawn to?
Clark: It ends up being a lot of work- ing through di culties with people I encounter or phases in my life sur- rounding di erent people and how we’re pushing each other, sometimes in good ways, sometimes in bad. So that was a lot of the themes of the last album, and moving forward I’m trying to separate from that and not write so much from this… I’m very hung up on writing from an empowered perspective, but I’m also interested in exploring some stu I’ve been dealing with that’s been a bit more detrimen- tal to who I am as a person. I want to tap into that a bit but I haven’t had a chance to. That’s where I want to go, direction-wise.
By Alex Rake
Dark indie post-punk? Artistic math-rock? Blessed, featuring Drew Riekman, Jake Holmes, Reuben Houweling, and Mitchell Trainor, doesn’t easily fit under any description, and they like it that way. With their sardonic guitar licks, brash vocals, and a tight, unrelenting beat, one thing is for sure: their set is not to be missed.
Let’s talk labels: Post-Punk. Indie. What do these words mean to you? What does “punk” mean in a post-Post-Punk world? Or “indie,” in a post-major indie label world?
Drew Riekman: The only time we feel a need to use labels on what we create is when people ask us what we sound like, and even then it seems easier to mention influences rather than genres. People attribute certain characteristics to certain genres, that we might not when using those words (e.g. post-punk, etc.). We create what we like to create, regardless of sound. We try to not let perception from others constrain what we feel the band is capable of sounding like.
You guys are a touring band. You do it often and for long stretches of time, at least compared to many other Abbots- ford bands. What is it about touring that compels you?
Riekman: Touring is a great way of making the world feel a lot smaller. When you’re now so easily connected to everybody, everywhere through social media, touring provides a great opportunity to take advantage of the internet and create real, face to face interactions and friendships with artists doing similar things as yourself, or with similar ideas and ethics, globally. At least, globally eventually, as long as you continue to tour and build. I think most of what com- pels us to tour is meeting with old friends and creating new ones.
Do you have a mission or vision state- ment as a band?
Riekman: The band doesn’t have a mission or vision statement per se — at least that’s not our perception, but it could just be se- mantics that we feel uncomfortable with, because when I say this next part, it defi- nitely comes across as a mission or vision statement I suppose. [laughs] We just want to create records that we’re all proud of and share them with our friends and peo- ple who are interested. Playing shows with our friends around North America and the world. The satisfaction that comes from finishing a recording, be it an EP or record, and then releasing it, playing it, and see- ing people react to it, is massive. I believe we’ve made the right choice in dedicating ourselves to the project, as it’s provided a lot of opportunities we already hadn’t expected. And we’re eager to see where the next couple years take us.
By Valerie Franklin
West Coast indie dream-rock quartet FRANKIE features Vancouverites Nashlyn Lloyd, Francesca Carbonneau, Samantha Lankester, and Zoe Fuhr. The band has travelled everywhere from Haida Gwaii to the Southern Baja, and the musical influences of their travels shine through in their beachy, atmospheric rock, laden with layered guitar and ethereal harmonies. Ask them where the name came from and they might tell you it’s a guy they all dated. Or maybe not.
So, you guys just came back from a tour of Vancouver Island. How was that?
Nashlyn Lloyd: It was great. We did really well in Tofino — I think it’s our surfy, laid-back vibe. We always get a great turnout there. And then we played in Victoria too at a biker bar called Wheelie’s, and had such a good time. We’re actually not playing many shows because we’re working on an album right now.
How did you guys decide to play dream rock?
Lloyd: It actually just sort of happened. It was like all the stars aligned. Francesca and Zoe had one show booked, and then we all joined in within a couple of weeks, and then we played whatever songs were written. Our sound hasn’t really changed since then. Our musical preferences outside the band are a bit different. I have a solo project outside the band that’s more electronic, but with four people in a band with equal say, it’s a combo, it’s a piece of everyone, and that creates a whole new story in itself.
You guys are from Vancouver. What’s your connection to the Fraser Valley?
Lloyd: We’ve played at the Basement in Abbotsford before. I remember one of the other bands we played with was called Kin, and I thought they were really great. And we’re friends with Aaron Levy from CIVL.
Anything else you’d like to tell people?
Lloyd: Tell them to get ready to sway.
Read the full Jam in Jubilee zine here.