The DoneFors Drug you with Beautiful Sound
Let’s face it, there are too many bands out there. The sheer amount of music available, whether it is online, live or through recordings, has grown exponentially in the past decade, as now a simple ProTools set-up can recreate studio quality sound in a bedroom, garage or rehearsal space.Yet, quantity does not often marry with quality. It’s time to describe some new music, a lovely band from Toronto called The DoneFors. Formed by full-time members of Janine Stoll’s supporting cast, The DoneFors are members of the now defunct Erin Smith band, the brilliant Mr. Something Something and Superstack. Led by Stoll, the quartet began writing in 2006, while on tour supporting her then new album, This Is Where We Bury It. The resulting music struck at something new, a sound untouched by any of the members’ previous projects. Therefore, armed with an in-house studio and some downtime from the aforementioned, The DoneFors sat down and recorded an album, one they have titled How to have sex with Canadians.So the band, in essence, is not new; but this music is. And given all that’s out there vying for time and attention, this album is one for the top of the pile, much like the bands the members perform in alongside. “At first we formed as my backing band in 2006 after the release of my solo CD,” affirms Stoll. “But quickly, those songs quickly morphed and new songs were added to the catalog until it became increasingly apparent that all of us were making equal creative contributions. So by 2007 we decided to surgically sew ourselves together, change our collective status to common-law, take family vacations, and have musical make out parties. We’re in love now. And love hurts. But How to have sex with Canadians is the best baby that any of us have ever birthed. So the pain is well worth it.
“While the quartet only had a few weeks to record, the result is quirky, boisterous pop, filtered through global grooves and Stoll’s trademark pipes. Taking from Americana music, power-pop and ’80s funk, How to have sex with Canadians is as fun as its title, offering just as much advice musically as its moniker promises.
“We took a relaxed approach to the making of the record,” explains Stoll. “The big session was the weekend in April ’08 where we hunkered down, ate lots of cookies and hummus, drank coffee and champagne while getting takes. It was rewarding to do three or four takes, have a listen, choose our favourite takes and then except it as that moment in time. Nothing you can do about it now. In terms of challenges, the main hitch we faced was having to take small hiatuses from the mixing phase due to the touring and traveling schedules of each band member. But the breaks in the process proved beneficial in the end analysis as they allowed us to return to the album with fresh ears and new insights.”
As the title suggests, there are moments of musical salacity afoot here. Instead of plying the surface of what makes us and our relationships tick, Stoll and company speak starkly, honestly and at times, crudely, all in an effort to tell the truth, but still have fun with it. “There are certainly prevailing glimpses into different human relationships on this record and perhaps recurring themes of the darker and possibly deviant elements of the human experience,” adds Stoll. “The different moods of each song were a crafted choice in an attempt to create an album that was both cohesive and complete. All of the songs were rehearsed and arranged before it came to recording them, but again, that was based on how we were approaching the capture of the live DoneFors experience.”
“Plus, How to have sex with Canadians differs from previous recordings we’ve done together in that the entire album was produced from the inside out. From the writing right down to the mixing it was a team effort including three collaborative co-writes, ‘The Narrator’, ‘Mouth Full of Marbles’, and ‘Lemons From Argentina’. They seem to be the tunes we’re most drawn to because they represent the direction that we’re headed in, rather than where we’ve come from. Being that we’re still a young band, we’ll continue to nurture a sound that distinctly includes our various paths, pasts and influences.”
Together, the personnel in The DoneFors have recorded and released some of the best alternative and roots music of the past half-decade. Most of that was done independently, without any label or financial support. The campaign surrounding How to have sex with Canadians pipes along the same territory, as it’s being released independently and supported by a tour the band booked in-house. The result is four musicians who, while directed, do not take themselves too seriously, a trait benefits their frolicking pop.”With us, you will see three guys sporting beards, playing instruments and sometimes singing alongside a girl with no beard, potentially wearing a skirt-based outfit singing and playing guitar. There will be jokes told, and people in the audience will laugh, and relate in a way that makes them feel warm and fuzzy and happy to have made it out to the show.”
Plus, Stoll assures the secret to how the album was titled will be released at a show, as she remains tight-lipped about how the band decided how their debut’s title. “Canadians are a hardy, yet tender people,” retorts Stoll. “Show them love and it shall be returned, tenfold. But you have to buy the record to really understand. Good title though, eh?”
After the tour, the band will return to other projects temporarily, whilst simultaneously throwing ideas around in order to schedule some future recording time. Stoll, as usual, is relaxed about the band’s future, chance of success and direction. “We plan to take a nap, write more songs, make some music videos, flirt with record execs, perfect our baking skills, plan future tours, and spend some time day dreaming about the next great album we make together, tentatively being called “How to gag and spank an Albertan in a polite and pleasurable way”. So here you have it, a new band well worth wasting hours with. The DoneFors may be exactly what Canada needs; a pop band with a heart, a conscience and a sense of humour. Go learn how to have sex with every Canadian you like at one of their CD release shows. Hamilton is this week.