Published May 09, 2008Having released their major label debut, Volcano in late 2007 and already completed a Canadian winter tour and SXSW showcase in Austin, TX this year, things just keep heating up for Montreal's Hot Springs. May is looking to be the band's busiest month yet. At the beginning of the month the group shot a video for the second single off Volcano, "Fog and Horn" which will involve "little marionette versions of ourselves playing the music," according to a post on the band's MySpace. Nadia Moss, the artist responsible for Volcano's album artwork will be helping to make the miniature people and gear puppets. Following the video shoot, the Hot Springs had to gun it to Calgary for the first date of their cross-country tour supporting Danko Jones, which took place last night (May 8). After the gig, principle songwriter/front-woman extraordinaire Giselle Webber took some time to answer a few questions about touring, songwriting and a short claymation musical film the multi-talented rocker will be providing voice and music for.
I noticed that you're missing out on this tour's B.C. dates and didn't have any during your winter tour. Are there any other provinces you haven't made it to yet?
It is rotten to miss BC two times in a row, man. I spent all my darling childhood in those mountains! It is not a boycott, I can assure you, just scheduling problems with video shoots and this and that. We've been as far east as P.E.I. but Starvin' Hungry says we gotta hit Newfoundland if we know what's best (for us). The farther you get, the harder the rockin', and we want chairs to fly. Which is why I wanna hit Nunavut, especially after playing in Greenland!
How did you end up as tour companions with Danko Jones?
We really like to play for drunk dudes with hockey-cuts. They are awful passionate and give you hi-fives.
Have you found it difficult to write material with so much touring happening?
There was this mad scramble between these two tours to get a few new songs arranged. Many are written for the new album inside my head, but the band hasn't been able to play around with them. On top of this, I am working on a claymation musical called Rose + Violet for the NFB. All of that music had to be written while on tour, and we are the type of band that squishes six people into a motel room, so... much singing in the shower, let's say. Sometimes motion helps my brain move. I write by taking long walks and singing at the top of my lungs outside somewhere. So it's tricky in cities I am unfamiliar with, cause I gotta find the factory parts where nobody lives.
What can you tell me about the new material you're working on? Any titles or working titles you'd care to share?
I was thinking of calling it Chûte. I was trying to make a record of a single flavour but the brain in my head is of pinball nature with nothing staying in the same place for very long. So I'm flirting with things that scream pop at you, along with this dark sort of tribal dancey [sic] stuff. There is a little more oom-pah-pah, with a huge focus on the rhythm section. Also, there is much more singing from the rest of the band - boy/girl voices with big booming Fred and soft whispery Anne. I am having a lot of fun with guitar playing lately. All of the sudden I got very fearless with that instrument. Many people are afraid of their guitars, you see. It is fabulous to smash out of that. The singing range is much greater. I like this because it sounds spooky. Some of the songs are very very trippy. Also, I just got a bunch of Yma Sumac records.
How did you get involved with the NFB project Rose + Violet?
Luc Otter came to this hip-hop show I was emcee-ing and decided I should be the voice of Violet - the shy Siamese twin acrobat attached to her overzealous sister by the hand.
Was there a story you had to write songs around or did the songs you wrote inform the story?
The story was already written. It's a collaboration between two animators from France, Luc Otter and Claude Grosch. My songs only inform the choreography of the animation. They gave me very much freedom with the music. There are about five songs in it and the film is 26 minutes long. So the songs are short but I get to make lullabies and circus music, love songs and trippy shit, so I am having a gay old time with all this. The music will be arranged in Luxembourg where I'll have access to orchestras and electronic-type people. I am very much a fan of animation, as most nerds are, so this is all very exciting for me.
For some excitement of the live ass-kicking rock variety, check out the Hot Springs at one of the following dates:
5/9 Edmonton AB, Jet Nightclub
5/10 Lloydminster AB, Kooler
5/12 Saskatoon SK, Roxy on Broadway
5/13 Regina SK, Distrikt
5/14 Winnipeg MB, Silverados
5/15 Thunder Bay ON, Kilroy's
5/16 Sault St. Marie ON, Kights Inn
5/18 Brand Bend ON, Grand Bend Motorplex
5/21 Waterloo ON, Starlight Room
5/22 Hamilton ON, Casbah
5/23 Toronto ON, Sound Academy
5/28 Oshawa ON, The Dungeon
5/29 Kingston ON, Merchant Tap House
5/30 Ottawa ON, Barrymore's
Hot Springs "Headrush"