Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers probably throw pretty fun parties. (courtesy of the band)
We have also been described as 'Hawksley Workman meets Calexico' and 'a gypsy version of Queen.'
—Lindsey Collins, bassist
Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers isn't your average band. For one thing, there are a lot of them and between all the members, they've studied just about every style of music out there. They also blow smoke out of their trumpets and draw inspiration from German fairytales.
Since the band has just released a new video, SCENE asked bassist Lindsey Collins to tell us a bit more about his eclectic group.
For someone who hasn't heard it, please describe your music.
The patented recipe for Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers consists of one cup of gypsy jazz, two tablespoons of swing, one teaspoon of folk and one and a half cups of musical theater that is chilled in a frozen Manitoba basement for two to three hours or 'to taste'. We have also been described as 'Hawksley Workman meets Calexico' and 'a gypsy version of Queen.'
How did you all find each other?
Our original lineup formed through friendships and musical studies at the Canadian Mennonite University. We picked up several members through peer groups of music educators, as well as through talented musicians for hire on the local scene. We recently completed a 'changing of the guard' for all positions except for two original sentries; Jesse Krause (vocals/guitar/violin) and myself. Prior to this recent metamorphosis we maintained five out of six original members for just over five years, with only our drummer duties tipping the hat to Spinal Tap.
Can you describe the concept behind the video?
The video closely follows the song's narrative; which is based off of Hans My Hedgehog, a German fairytale documented by the Brothers Grimm. The story tells of a hedgehog born to childless parents that desperately want a child. This hedgehog, which is a lion in Flying Fox's version, goes through many trials and tribulations due to his extreme dissimilarities. This theme is a universal experience that afflicts much of childhood - the struggle to be accepted amongst one's peers. At the end of the video there is also a depiction of Samson battling a lion, which was the inspiration for the album's artwork by our good friend Seth Woodyard.
What was the shoot like?
Preparation for the video involved much cutting out of Seth Woodyard's cardboard designs of trees, lions, deer and children. All of the shadow puppet scenes were shot in a musty basement rehearsal space we were renting last spring. Curt Wiebe directed various members of Flying Fox on how to best operate the cardboard shadow-puppets while lying on the floor beneath a white cloth backdrop. Towards the end of a 12 hour work day the shadow puppets were increasingly made to fight and act inappropriately towards each other in between filming.
Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers - with or without their shadow puppets - will be celebrating their new video with a show at the Park Theatre on December 9. Riel Gentlemen's Choir will also perform.