Stoll has more fun with boys in the band
It’s rare that the terms “organic” and “original” can be used in the same sentence anymore to describe an album, but that’s the immediate impression one gets upon first listen to The DoneFors’s debut effort, How To Have Sex With Canadians. The band’s sound is as enigmatic as the album title, hearkening back to groundbreaking Canadian artists like the Rheostatics and Jane Siberry, while at the same time defying any easy categorization.
Fronted by Toronto singer-songwriter Janine Stoll, the group was originally hand-picked from members of the bands Mr. Something Something and SuperstacK to back her for her last solo release, This Is Where We Bury It, but she soon realized that their unique chemistry was spawning new ideas.
“The songs from my solo album got completely rearranged when we played them on stage, and it was soon apparent that we were becoming a band of four equal parts,” Stoll says. “From my perspective, it’s a lot more fun taking on the world of indie rock as a band rather than as a solo artist, and also just being a woman, I think I have a tendency to want to take care of a family. It makes me want to work that much harder.”
She goes on to say that the foundation of The DoneFors is making music that all the members find creatively fulfilling. That notion certainly shines through on How To Have Sex With Canadians as evidenced by the high level of musicianship, as well as the unconventional song structures. Stoll says that she willingly embraced putting herself in an entirely new situation when it came to making the album, and she’s thrilled with the results.
“I’m the only one in the band who actually didn’t go to school for music,” she admits. “They think about music in almost a mathematical way, whereas I’m more emotionally centred. So they’ve really challenged me and pushed me to get outside of my own limitations.
“There’s been no hesitation to incorporate reggae or jazz or country, even though people have cautioned us about being too all over the map musically.”
Stoll continues, “We’re going to stay experimental, but I think there’s a few tracks on the album that we feel are pointing the way to a sound that we’re going to try to stick with. It might not be until our third or fourth record when that takes hold, and I like to use Radiohead as the perfect example of a band that took a while until it found a space where it was comfortable.
“Such a statement clearly shows Stoll’s commitment to The DoneFors, even though she has a new solo album entitled Melancholia about to come out as well. “That album was actually recorded long before we did The DoneFors album,” she says. “It’s just been a process of getting it mixed and finding the right time to get it out. The band actually has a break next month so that’s when I’m hoping to release it. It’s a much quieter record, but after that we’re planning on keeping The DoneFors busy for the rest of the year.”
Live: The DoneFors with Blank Blue Sky, Maxwell’s Music House, Waterloo Thursday, Feb. 26 $8 9 p.m. 519-498-5705
DoneFors showcase experimental side of Toronto singer with their CD How to Have Sex with Canadians