Bart
Gig Seeker Pro

Bart

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


"BART"

Christopher Shannon did have a certain yellow, adolescent male Simpsons character in mind when he named his new band Bart.

"There's an implicit mischievousness to the name that made me feel like the band could sound like anything and get away with it," explains the Toronto musician.

And get away with anything they do. Their four-song debut EP, released in November, has stacked harmonic vocals courtesy of Shannon and co-founder Nathan Vanderwielen, mathily ricocheting rhythms, psych-prog songcraft, ambient studio textures and plenty of guitar-fuzz fun.

"Nathan and I were just trying our best to please ourselves because at the time we didn't think Bart would ever play live. But Jay [Anderson], Andy [Scott] and Lane [Halley] all seemed genuinely into the music when they heard the recordings, so it was easy to get them on board for shows."

At times the music nods to late-70s progressive rock, a genre often derided for its overblown, over-indulgent tendencies. But Bart members weren't concerned about that kind of blowback during the record's making.

"Our strategy was to lay it on as thick as possible until it started to sound worse. Also at that time I was really into music that could be described as 'vocal porn' - so I think the record was an attempt at making something within that category.

"None of us has that kind of big personality, so hopefully we'll be able to avoid seeming like excessive human beings forever."

Though Shannon says he "wouldn't mind doing Bart full-time," the members are in myriad other Toronto bands: Biblical, Doctor Ew, Marker Starling, Comet Control, the Bicycles, Hooded Fang and Fake Palms.

Their favourite albums, meanwhile, include Caribou's Andorra, Nils Frahm's Felt, Slint's Spiderland, Jennifer Castle's Pink City, Bo Hansson's Attic Thoughts, Thomas's When I'm Weak, I'm Strong, and self-titled efforts by McDonald & Giles and Karma.

With such varied influences and musical history, it's hard to guess what the new band's dream gig might be.

"I actually dreamt that we played a show with Deerhoof, who were the backing band for God, and we were in the movie Hot Tub Time Machine - the original. Is that taking 'dream' too literally?" - Now Magazine


"Bart: The Wavelength Interview"

Purveyors of: Angular yet somehow dreamy progressive psych rock nuggets that provoke and confound with a sense of mischievousness not far removed from their jaundiced namesake.
File next to: Deerhoof, Yes, Tame Impala
Playing: #WL15 Night 3, Sunday Feb. 15 at The Garrison

Emerging out of the joint union between members of The Elwins and Ruby Coast, Bart were initially a primarily studio based project between members Christopher Shannon and Nathan Vanderwielen, but has since definitively solidified its line-up. Bart released an EP back in May, Bart by Bart (Idée Fixe Records), which drew on strong progressive influences and modern indie impulses.

Why Bart?

Haha, literally because I left another band a couple of years ago and Jay [Anderson] hit me up to start a new project, to which my only condition was that it be called Bart. Really for no reason other than I liked the sounds of it.

If you guys get a saxophone, will you change your name to Lisa?

I think that would also require a huge musical shift. We'd have to really focus on the saxophone and provide a jazzy soft-rock backing à la http://youtu.be/QCeptauC-0Y

How did all the pieces of the current Bart line-up fall into place? Also are there other musical projects you guys are currently attached to?

Nathan and I started the project at his old studio in the east end. Jay was always our drummer, we had worked with him on the Slowpoke record earlier that year and he's obviously sweet. At some point, Lane [Halley] came by the studio for a jam and we had a real good time with him, and then Andy [Scott] kind of just emerged as our bass player — it's almost like he's just always been here.

Nathan and I produce music out of our basement, but mostly just concentrate our creative output on Bart. Lane is a member of Hooded Fang and also a great songwriter in his own right. Jay and Andy are both in Biblical and Doctor Ew, among many other things.

Bart seems to draw on a lot of ‘70s psych/prog influences, what attracted you to these sounds, and how do these impact your creative process?

The sounds of records from that era and the amount of creativity and musical exploration that was happening at the time is hard not to be inspired by, especially when you have all the same tools on hand.

How does a typical Bart song come about and has the songwriting process evolved since the band has expanded?

There is no typical way that a Bart song happens, because having access to a studio really opens up a lot of doors with songwriting and allows you to initiate a song from so many different angles.

What’s next for Bart?

We're working hard on a full-length that should be due out on Idée Fixe in the early fall, and just playing as many shows as we can, tryin’ to earn our chops.

— Interview by Adam Bernhardt - Wavelength


"Bart Smiling Buddha, Toronto ON, June 21"

Another band making lineup additions in the event of a live set was Bart, who first started writing and recording as a two-piece. Co-founders Christopher Shannon (formerly of the Elwins) and Nathan Vanderwielen (formerly of Ruby Coast) led the band through their set from the stage front, each handling guitar and vocal duties. An impressively practiced pair, the two were able to execute their indie rock riffing alongside challenging, high-register harmonies without fail.

Their supporting cast was nothing to sniff at, either. In a live setting, Bart became a supergroup of sorts, bringing members of other notable Toronto bands into the fold. Even with six-string support from Hooded Fang's Lane Halley, making for a trio of guitars, there was still enough sonic room for all three axemen to work their way around the intricate leads without overshadowing one another. Bolstered by a reliable rhythm section of drummer Jay Anderson (Biblical) and Andrew Scott (the Bicycles), the amount of polish displayed by all members was a treat to watch. - Exclaim


Discography

IF010 "Bart By Bart" 7" Record
IF012 "Holomew" Forthcoming full length

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

On first listen, it’s unpredictable. On second listen, it’s imprinted to your memory. Bart is the sound of harmonized guitars copping horn lines one minute then elephant talk the next, rhythmic changes on a dime, and the bass playing non-stop lead lines. But the most striking sound of all is the singing. Voices harmonized, voices layered, voices moving in all directions. All of it sounding perfectly natural and timeless. 

Band Members