Hamilton, ON-based filmmaker and indie rock enthusiast Mitch Fillion has quickly established SouthernSouls.ca as the most impressive online archive of performances by emerging Canadian musicians. With his own thoughtful vision as a filmmaker, Fillion captures prolific, underground artists in unique spaces, playing compelling renditions of songs in their repertoire that are often hastily re-arranged in public or unconventional spaces. And he does this a lot; since September, Fillion has filmed over 200 videos by 125 bands ― including Snailhouse, Bahamas, Grand Analog, Laura Barrett, Electroluminescent, Fox Jaws, and Shotgun Jimmie ― with new additions featured weekly.
"It started out as a film about Hamilton music but it expanded to bands from all over," he explains. "It became too overwhelming ― this huge project looming over me. I also wasn't as fond of the earlier videos because I was progressing as I went along. So it made more sense as a blog, where I could see myself improving and building upon something."
Briefly a student at Sheridan College, Fillion cites la Blogotheque's "Take-Away Shows," as his main inspiration in conjuring performances that look and sound incredible. He seems to thrive on collaborative concepts that spring from improvisation. "Like for the Will Currie shoot before they played Hamilton, I figured they'd have some acoustic instruments to play but they ended up bringing nothing at all," Fillion chuckles. "So we ended up finding an old piano backstage, the drummer used a loading crate, and the bass player sang all of his bass lines. It was really thrown together and in the moment. Those are my favourite ones. The best shoots are the ones where I show up and half the band doesn't even know I'm gonna be there."