Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Fur Trade

Fur TradeFur Trade’s debut record Don’t Get Heavy is coming out on July 25th, and we can’t wait to see what other uniquely funky tunes they have to offer. To learn more about the band and their music, AMBY spoke with Fur Trade’s Parker and Steve about music videos, summer chicken scents, and their upcoming record!

AMBY: Hey Fur Trade! What have you been up to lately?

Parker: We’ve been working on an 8 bit version of our single ‘Voyager’.   Also, it must be noted that this was written while listening to Mariah Carey’s ‘Music Box’ for continuity’s sake….

Steve: We’ve been arranging a strings version as well. Once we made the 8 bit version of Voyager, we had the midi just sitting their staring at us… and Logic will let you convert midi to chart notation..(aka ‘every good boy deserves fudge’ style). We’re thinking of recording it in the bigger studio down the hall from here and filming it with security cams.

AMBY: How did Fur Trade come to be?

Parker: Steve and I decided that it was time for a change.

Steve: I always said Time For A Change would be the name I would use for a baby clothing store. I also want to start a studio called Mixed Signals… or Weird Dynamics.

AMBY: You have such a unique sound. How would you describe it to those unfamiliar with your sound?

Parker: To those unfamiliar with our music, I would ask that they listen to it.

Steve: And if they still refuse, I’d describe it as hard yacht recorded in a way that only modern technology could allow.

AMBY: We read on your Facebook that you’ve recently finished your album Don’t Get Heavy! What can fans expect to hear?

Parker:  Fans can expect to hear what happens when Steve and myself are locked inside of a studio.  Through entrapment, boxed red wine, and the occasional vice.. we simply make what we make together.  It is a collection of our influences and our inspirations.

Steve: It’s always a 100% positive experience.. no negative vibes ever. We might say yes, no, yes, no, no, no, yes, yes to brainstormed ideas… but we’re both critical enough of ourselves that we don’t need to be critical of each other.  Oh, and Tugboat Pl. is the name of the studio. It’s a street in Vancouver and I liked naming it after a street …nod to Abbey Road.

AMBY: The video for Don’t Get Heavy is quite bizarre and intriguing. Who or what inspired the video?

Parker: The video was inspired by the works of Fritz Lang.  German Expressionism was and is a huge influence of ours.  We spent a night editing our favourite scenes of Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ together and made a video of our favourite moments.

Steve: So much original music comes from re-imagined or re-worked pre existing music.. especially in hip hop and electronic. so no shame in doing that with video as well …we’re livin a post-youtube existence.. it’s bound to happen more and more. I’ve been sticking to public domain but I’d like to branch out beyond that.. I strongly believe in “it’s easier to apologize than to get to permission.” I also like the idea of just getting music out to people sooner than later and filling the gap between a still jpeg with your music playing behind it… and a full on ‘music video’

AMBY: We have one question regarding your artwork. Where did the concept of using smeared make-up come from?

Parker: Before recording vocals for one of my other projects, The Gay Nineties, Steve and I went to Vancouver’s ‘The Cheaper Show’, an amazing art show, which showcases up and coming artists.  Whilst drinking Grolsch and wandering through the party, we stumbled upon Brendan Meadows’ piece on display.  Our minds were blown by his photograph of his daughter in a directors chair.  We vowed to track him down and work with him on every level that we could.  We were lucky enough to get to use that particular photograph as our album artwork.

Steve: yeah he is a talented and generous guy to let us use that amazing shot… it reminded us of the theme of Kids These Days. we’ve been emailing back and forth with him for years now… if there was such thing as a photographer being a member of the band, he’d be in the band. But we are much more fascinated by photographs of other people than ourselves… so we stick with that.

AMBY: Does living in Vancouver, BC have an influence on your sound? And if so, how?

Parker: Our studio is near a chicken meltdown plant, and the scent in the summer is so thick that you can scrape it off of your tongue.

Steve: Yes it is a REALLY big plant on the other side of the train tracks… beautiful area with the ocean and mountains and ports a couple hundred feet from us.. but it smells disgusting outside.

As for the city itself, I find I am way more able to focus on just music here and not be distracted by partying too hard. Something about the vibe here calms my demons… demons that might be a bigger pain in the ass if I was living in one of the dirtier industry-heavy cities

AMBY: If you could hang out with three of your influences for a day, who would you choose and why?

Parker: I would personally choose Dave Longstreth of The Dirty Projectors, Stephen Harper (to dick punch him) and Prince.

Steve: Well I’m assuming you mean living influences… Michael J. Anderson (the 3’7″ gentleman from Twin Peaks) because I believe he would be willing to dish some truth about David Lynch and cast; Larry Page (Google co-founder) because he has grown from Burning Man attendee to creating personalized Hal 9000s for each of us; and Rupert Neve, so I can casually name drop him in any recording session and instantly gain dominance.

AMBY: What’s the best moment you’ve had as a band so far?

Parker: Triumphant fist pumps.

Steve: when we know/think we are on to something good.. we will turn the speakers up REALLY loud .. and vibrate violently throughout the building. .. I like those moments.

AMBY: What’s the best song of the year so far?

Parker: Tame Impala’s ‘Elephant’.  I have spent far too much time driving in Vans and cranking this while screaming at fellow band mates how great it is.

Steve: it’s not from this year, but I have an intense, unrelenting respect for Al Jarreau’s Roof Garden. I also love what Django Reinhardt does to my serotonin

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Fur Trade that nobody knows yet?

Parker: That eventually we’re gonna tour.

Steve: That we have close to zero control over what happens in our lives.


Thank you Fur Trade, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout

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