Exclusive: Vancouver's Brasstronaut Gear Up for Mount Chimaera

Exclusive: Vancouver's Brasstronaut Gear Up for <i>Mount Chimaera</i>
Vancouver six-piece Brasstronaut have finished the multi-headed beast that is to be their debut album Mount Chimaera. The chimera is part snake, part lion and part goat, and like the mythical creature, the album is made up of many genres drawing on the traditions of pop, jazz, electronica and klezmer.

Though they originally planned to title the album just Chimaera, the band decided to change the name to that of the mountain that is rumoured to be the source of the beast's name for their own safety.

"[Norwegian black metal band] Mayhem has an album called Chimera and we thought we might be murdered," joked band leader Edo Van Breemen in recent interview with Exclaim!

The album is set for release on March 1 from Unfamiliar Records. Van Breemen runs the label with Gregg Ipp and it's also the home of Canadian indie darlings Japandroids and Snailhouse, among others.

Brasstronaut's album was originally recorded at the Banff Centre when the group did a residency at the arts institution. But when listening back, they realized they needed to put some more time into the eight songs that make up the album.

"It took us two months to realize we didn't want to put [the original mixes] out," said Van Breemen.

Re-recording some sections and remixing others, the album was put together in a variety of settings, including Vancouver, New York, and Oberlin, OH. They added two new members to the band during this process and spent a lot of time tweaking the masters. "It's anything but a lo-fi record," Van Breemen remarked proudly.

The record has a full sound with instruments that give Brasstronaut a distinct sound, drawing on the trumpet, flugelhorn, glockenspiel, lap steel and a breath-controlled synth known as an EWI.

"Your breath controls the timbre and intensity of the sound [of the EWI]," said Van Breemen. "You get a much more human sound."

Brasstronaut will be touring through Canada and the U.S. in support of Mount Chimaera starting in February. They'll be joining Woodhands for part of the tour, as well as label-mates Makeout Videotape, though they haven't confirmed for which dates yet. Mac DeMarco from Makeout Videotape may even play a bit with the band on tour as they will be short a guitarist for part of their trip through North America.

Mount Chimaera:

1. "Slow Knots"
2. "Hand Behind"
3. "Lo Hi Hopes"
4. "Six Toes"
5. "Hearts Trompet"
6. "Ravan"
7. "Same Same"
8. "Insects"

Tour Dates:

2/20 Nelson, BC -€“ The Royal On Baker
2/24 Edmonton, AB -€“ The Pawn Shop *
2/25 Calgary, AB -€“ Broken City *
2/26 Saskatoon, SK -€“ Amigo's *
2/27 Winnipeg, MB -€“ Lo Pub *
3/1 Fargo, ND -€“ The Aquarium
3/3 Chicago -€“ IL -€“ The Dark Room
3/9 New York, NY -€“ Piano's
3/10 Brooklyn, NY -€“ Littlefield
3/12-13 Toronto, ON -€“ Canadian Music Week
3/15 Jamestown, NY -€“ Mojos
3/17-20 Austin, TX - SXSW
3/22 Rochester, NY -€“ Bug Jar
3/24 Montreal, QC -€“ Divan Orange
3/25 Ottawa, ON -€“ Blacksheep Inn
3/27 Hamilton, ON -€“ Casbah Lounge

* with Woodhands