Danielson Famile Fetch the Compass Kids

"The reaction is pretty varied," Daniel Smith deadpans. "People either like us or hate us." True words from the mouth of Danielson's lead weirdo, who has stewarded his family band (including brothers, sisters and spouses) through to this fifth album since first emerging to nab an A on his Rutgers art thesis with the project. With Daniel's unique, delightful and occasionally grating falsetto, he leads the literal bells and whistles through their paces, with documentarian Steve Albini behind the soundboard. "My sisters are dancers, my wife has been part of various choreographed projects - everyone in the band plays something they've played their whole lives, since childhood," he says. Combine this vision with his bone dry sense of humour, performances in doctors and nurses uniforms with everyone's name stitched on, and music strongly informed by their Christian faith, and the Danielsons have occasionally been a tough pill for some. "If people don't want to be happy, they're not gonna like us. If they prefer to remain miserable, they leave the room. I'm very interested in humour and deep, spiritual supernatural wisdom - that combination to me is a wonderful struggle." For a bandleader whose mantra has occasionally been "the more ridiculous the better," one aspect they'd like to perhaps downplay is their faith. "First of all, I try not to think about it too much," Daniel opines honestly. "People call us a Christian band, but I've never once said that. In fact, we're not a Christian band. That to me insinuates that it's music for a certain group of people, and we're not that." One of the first releases on Daniel Smith's new label, Sounds Familyre, is a more faith-full recording however, by pater Famile Lenny Smith. Recorded by Daniel with the participation of the whole Famile, Lenny's is a more straightforward Christian album that befits his apparent working relationship with the pope. It will certainly be easier to follow his suggestion to "please pick up your instrument and sing and play along" but it is Danielson Famile that will provide the most interactive fun and creative potential (Secretly Canadian)