James Farwell Of Bison B.C. Talks New Album "Lovelessness"
The downer foursome of Bison B.C. are out now with newest album "Lovelessnes," which guitarist James Farwell describes as "not love songs, songs about love, it’s important we make that clear. Love is violent, and can kill you or keep you alive."
While enjoying some down time before taking the devastating love (and lack thereof) on the road next year, James took out some time to explain what's been happening in the group lately, dealing with turning 40 in the metal touring lifestyle, and how new Bison B.C. tracks come together ("It starts with a drunken riff, then a drunken song"). Below you can also find his thoughts on negative press and what's happening in Vancouver's metal scene.
xFiruath: It’s been two years since “Dark Ages” – what has Bison B.C. been up to in that time frame?
James: Lots of touring, and working on the new album. We also have been trying out being citizens in our own city. Getting to know our friends and loved ones again. Dan got married, I turned 40, Masa started hiking, and Matt went to Europe with his other band Haggatha. We were busy living our lives, for ourselves.
xFiruath: Can you fill me in on the writing process that Bison B.C. goes through? How does the music go from a band member’s thoughts to a full blown song?
James: It starts with a drunken riff, then a drunken song. Then I bring it to the dudes and we edit sober. Write drunk, edit sober, always. Everyone has such a different take on style and ideas about arrangement. It’s always a great experience seeing how the thing changes when we are arranging together.
xFiruath: Where was “Lovelessness” recorded and how did that process go?
James: We went to Chicago to work with Sanford parker. We were at Electrical Audio Studio where we recorded bass and drums, then soma studio for everything else. It was a great time! We really got into tour mode, meaning we remained uncomfortable and hungover, sleeping in uncomfortable places and getting no sleep. Which I think adds the intensity and grit on the album. We really wanted a more live sound and I think Sanford helped us achieve that. He’s a solid dude, He’d tell me when something sucked.
xFiruath: Is there a continuing theme throughout the album, and what sort of lyrics are found on these songs?
James: I think the theme revolves around love, and experiences dealing with feelings that come from that emotion. Not love songs, songs about love, it’s important we make that clear. Love is violent, and can kill you or keep you alive. I have been struggling with it for a while. I’ve had a lot of death the past year, which is connected to love, I believe. I’ve really been tested. I think it has to do with everything, it’s a pretty broad swipe, it’s the place where I live, the people around me, music, art, life.
xFiruath: I see your Facebook fans got pretty riled up recently over a negative review. Do you guys frequently read the reactions to your albums, and do you recall the first negative review you read and how it affected you?
James: I couldn’t give a fuck. I’m 40, I can finally do whatever the fuck I want and not care. I’ve maintained this lifestyle for over 20 years. As far as that review, we posted it because we thought it was hilarious and wanted to share it with our friends. We love laughing, it’s better than crying. I love seeing the way different people think, and how polarized the world can be, including both that review and the reaction of our loyal fans who would take a bullet for us and we love them for it.
xFiruath: Where is Bison B.C. heading out on tour to support the new album? What’s on the horizon for the band for the next few months and the coming new year?
James: In the new year we will tour north America in the spring, then head over to Europe late summer or something. It’s all in the works right now. We can’t wait to play the new material live. Until then we are just relaxing in Vancouver, working on some new stuff and trying to enjoy our lives.
xFiruath: What’s happening in your local scene lately and do you get a good reaction in local live shows?
James: The scene is getting pretty awesome. The polarization between scenes is starting to subside. Vancouver always had a problem with no cross over. I think Bison did well though, with attracting people from different scenes. Its more common place now. Lots of underground punk, good heavy bands as well.
xFiruath: Outside your own music, what bands and albums are you most interested in lately?
James: I just saw OFF play last night, that was good. Seeing Swans in a couple of days, they are pleasing. I have been enjoying lots of different things these days. Been really digging on some old pop punk and black metal. Spinning Chemical People records and 1349 and Carpathian forest in tandem.
xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to discuss?
James: Thanks for caring, and we’ll see y’all in the future! Oh and fuck our fascist prime minister Stephan Harper for not caring about the arts and free Pussy Riot! Peace on earth!
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