The Wisk
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The Wisk

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"Interview with Marco Pitino"

Wisk? Upon a dictionary search, we find no entries. Upon a Google search, we re-learn that it’s a detergent. So, you guys like cleaning? Does the Axeman do the sweeping? Just kidding. But seriously, explain.

The Wisk is taken from the word “whisk”, but I thought the “h” looked a little ridiculous so I deleted it. The concept of The Wisk originated when I started writing songs like mad; it was spilling out of me uncontrollably. I had a vision of collaborating with different musicians, inviting friends to share the stage with me. Basically, to throw it all together and “wisk” it up! When I decided to start my own band and began contemplating different names for the band, Chris Murphy liked the name The Wisk and started making jokes for brilliant ways I could market The Wisk. “We wisk you a merry Christmas” and acronyms for W.I.S.K. such as “Where IS Kiss?”, or “What IS Krumping?” He made me laugh so hard that I chose The Wisk over the other band names immediately.

So, who made the mess to begin with? How did ya’ll meet?

After playing bass in various bands over the years, I decided I wanted to start my own band. I had all this creativity inside me which needed to come out…I’ve always written songs, but never considered fronting my own band. Now that I’m putting all my energy into this, everything is coming together naturally. I have this incredible vision for The Wisk and it seams everyone wants to help me get there. It’s nice to have so much support from people. Just came back from playing a couple shows in Montreal where everyone helped me with everything; I met new friends who allowed me to use their rehearsal space, put me up in their houses and helped me feel at home.

The band. Well, I met Paul Swoger-Ruston years ago when he was playing in King Apparatus and I was playing in Spinecracker. Paul and I briefly played in Sound System with Mitch Girio, so it made sense that when we decided to record an EP, we went to Mitch’s studio. Mitch then hooked me up with Richard Benoit, who mastered the EP. I met Jesse Porter recently while playing in Drowning Girl so he played a show with me at The Rivoli and then played drums on our EP. Cathy Marchese and Tantrum-Lynn have also been a big part of The Wisk from the beginning. They have put a lot of creative energy into The Wisk and helped encourage me to follow my dreams.

I enjoy playing with different musicians and seeing what spices they will bring to The Wisk. I like playing as a duo the way I did this weekend with Sandra Boyer on drums, but I also love playing with ten people on stage and adding interesting instruments.
I think the joy of The Wisk is that it is always growing and changing the way we do as people, and there’s a certain excitement which comes with that.

How often do you guys get together to rehearse?

I personally play guitar, bass and piano everyday because it’s my passion, but I rehearsed with Sandra only once for an hour before our show on the weekend. She had only heard the songs once before but she’s a pro and picked it up quickly. My songs have a lot of rhythm changes and I tend to write naturally in odd time signatures like 7/4 and then switch to 4/4 after the intro, so she did great. It’s one extreme to the other with me; I either write a simple four-chord song with one rhythm or there will be an intro, pre-verse, verse, pre-chorus, and chorus all with different rhythms and time signatures. It can be challenging for someone to pick up on the spot, but they love it once they learn all the changes.

Are you still finding a sound in your music, or do you collectively know which direction you’re headed in, for now?

I definitely have a distinct sound as The Wisk and, being a bass player originally, I like to add punchy rhythms in my music. I also feel my music is evolving and I am excited to hear what my first album will sound like. I really want to collaborate with multi-instrumentalists so that I can move around from guitar to bass to keyboards. I’d also love to find some one who can play computer-type techno electronic sounds and mess around with that. The electro-indie-pop sound really appeals to me right now.

Your songs are definitely original. Jordan, ma’am, you consistently tip-toe the line of singing and slight falsetto, but never sounding like someone else. Is there a musical artist you yourself, or as a band, like to think you sound similar to?

My influences range from jazz artists Charles Mingus & Billie Holiday to The Who, Led Zeppelin & Elvis Costello to Fishbone, The Specials & English Beat. I listen to a lot of new stuff, too; I’m really into Regina Spektor, Menomena, Joel Plaskett and Coco Rosie these days. People have compared my writing style to Costello, who is a huge influence for me. But hey, I’ve also been compared to Sheryl Crow, who I really respect but never completely digested her albums until this year on a road trip with Bonnie Fedrau.

So you just finished recording an EP, right? You have 6 songs up on your MySpace page. One is a demo, and it sounds like the second is halfway there. So what’s the deal? How many songs do you guys have?

I’m writing constantly and have more songs than I can afford to record. In the beginning of The Wisk I recorded “Below Magnificence” with Brennan Galley who added some special touches to the mix. I also recorded a song with my friend Michael Goodwin who did all the cool techno beats on “Everybody Has Heart”. He introduced me to all kinds of electronic music and inspired me to incorporate that into my music. I have Cubase at home so I record all my songs in what I call Jordan’s Chalk Studio which is really just a cool name for my bedroom because it’s written on my floor with a star thanks to my room mate Kristy who used to work at Holts and has those awesome sticky letters for decorating walls. I have enough material to record a full-length album, or possibly two. Studios are expensive so I’m doing it in pieces. My home recordings are sweet and intimate, but they turn out a little thin in the end and I’d prefer to take my music to the professionals. My friend Dave Markahm just opened a studio in Montreal so I plan to record there in June or July.

It sounds like “Come Save Us” is about a man, or boy, that fell down a well. I really do enjoy this indie-folk-rock tune. Is this a personal experience?

I actually wrote “Come Save Us” for Haydain Neale, after he was hit by a car last year. I was thinking about him everyday and wanted to write a song for him, but when it came out it ended up being about someone who suffers from depression. The “Come Save Us” chorus is really about how we’re all going fast against the grain and how we all need saving sometimes.

If you ever fell down a well, like Bart did in that Simpsons episode, who’d you want to come save you? Please don’t say Sting. I enjoy his work, but why doesn’t he at least buy some hair?

If I fell down a well, I would want Aleisha Hailey to come save me and then I’d record a song with Uh Huh Her. One of my favourite books as a kid was about a boy who fell down a well. Tikki tikki tembo no sir rembo ba ba rushki miki miki membo. His name was so long that it took forever for his brother to tell his mom that he had fallen down a well. If anyone has a copy of that book, please tell me the name of it so I can get it to read to my nephew. He would love it!

The Wisk is playing Rancho Relaxo on the 21st of February. You know we had our 2nd anniversary there not too long ago. It’s a really nice space. Is this your first gig there?

It’s my first gig there with The Wisk. I’ve played there before with Spinecracker, The Threat and Leviride. It’s a great space with awesome staff and good food. I love playing there. We’re playing with The Miles, so it should be a fun show. I heard they’re awesome and have a lot of energy.

What’s your favorite song to play as a band? Moreover, which song moves YOU the most while you’re playing a show?

“Take It To Nassau” is my favourite live song because it starts out electro and has a catchy rhythm which I can’t stop playing and the chords are structured like a rubix cube it’s really fun to play on guitar. It has a visual pattern which shifts and although it’s simple, it is also quite complex. I recently wanted to write a comic book and the theme would be “Making Simple Things Complicated” with all kinds of hilarious ways in which people can do that in life, like the way kids run up the down escalator, just for fun.

www.torontoindie.com - Toronto Indie


Discography

Ep & mp3's available online at http://cdbaby.com/cd/wisk

The Wisk completed a three song EP with Mitch Girio & Mastered by Richard Benoit. The EP includes the talents of Jesse Porter on drums and Paul Swoger-Ruston switching off on guitar and bass with Jordan B. Wright whose sweet raw vocals will keep you singing along for days. A special bonus track of Everybody Has Heart is included on the EP recorded by and with techno beat master Michael Goodwin.

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Bio

"...songs are definitely original...consistently tip-toe the line of singing and slight falsetto, but never sounding like someone else" Marco Pitino, Toronto Indie.com The Wisk is a new indie band with electro pop sweetness, punchy rhythms and catchy lyrics. This all girl power trio fronted by Jordan B. Wright with tantrum-Lynn on bass and Cathy Marchese on drums is ready to take Toronto by storm.

The Wisk now has new custom made t-shirts...send us an email with size and color preference and we'll have one made for you handmade by Secret Agent KR.

If you would like to play a show with The Wisk or book us at your venue please send us an email so we can wisk it up together! thanks for all the support everyone! let the years of wisking wonderful music continue! anything is possible...my dreams are what I make them...imagine the magic we can make...