How FET.NAT's Olivier Fairfield Is Coping with Isolation: Learning Trumpet, Film Soundtracks and Listening to Vangelis

Including a feature film score from Last Ex

Photo: Calum Slingerland

BY Matt BobkinPublished Mar 28, 2020

Olivier Fairfield has been holding it down for years as the drummer for acts like Timber Timbre, Andy Shauf and Last Ex, but his most notable recent work has been with Hull avant-punk outfit FET.NAT, whose latest album Le Mal landed on the short list for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize. With the world in isolation to combat the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, we caught up with Fairfield to find out what's keeping the prolific percussionist busy under quarantine.

What's your self-isolation setup? 

It's a house in Hull, Québec that I share with my partner Chloé, our two daughters and son. So far, so good. Everybody's well and safe.

Are you working on any music while on lockdown? 

Currently working on a record with Victime's Simon Provencher. We did some sessions a few months ago and now using all this homebound downtime to get it finished. looking forward to putting this out. Also, Last Ex (Simon Trottier and I) is continuing work on soundtracking a feature film called Nouveau Québec by filmmaker Sarah Fortin. For now, we're all remotely working in our own homes. In a time like this, I'm extremely grateful to have a studio at home where it's possible to play and record music.

What are you watching and listening to? 

Right now listening to Vangelis's soundtrack to l'Apocalypse des animaux. The music is very calming but the title, not so much.

How do you feel about the response to coronavirus? 

I'll just repeat what's being said: Stay home, distance yourselves, self-quarantine. 

Have you picked up any new hobbies or routines in isolation?
Actually, yes. Right before self-quarantine, I bought a trumpet and have been teaching myself how to play it. It's been fun and funny.

Find out what other Canadian musicians have been up to under self-quarantine with our Isolation Nation questionnaire.

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