Unified Vision Anchors New Lion Bear Fox Record

Photo by Tyler Simpson

Comprised of Chris Arruda, Cory Woodward and Ryan McMahon, B.C. folk-inspired trio Lion Bear Fox is a trio that has found strength in numbers.

The three musicians originally joined forces as solo musicians on a spring 2012 tour that took them through Western Canada. While each show on the tour served to highlight their respective talents, the notion that something greater could come from performing together was evident by the time the tour concluded in Winnipeg.

The decision to move forward as a band quickly paid off for the trio. In 2012, Lion Bear Fox was selected as one of the Top 20 Unsigned Bands in B.C. as a part of the Peak Performance Project. The next year, the band released its debut EP, We’d Be Good Men, supporting the effort with more than a dozen tours that brought them to virtually all corners of Canada.

And now, approximately seven months since their last appearance in Metro Moncton, and just two weeks before the trio’s self-titled full-length debut is set to be released, Lion Bear Fox are set to return with a show at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre this Friday night.

“There were numerous occasions over the last three years that we attempted to make a start on the album, but it just wasn’t meant to be,” Lion Bear Fox’s Chris Arruda says. “It was a combination of factors: we wanted to be sure we had the right songs for the effort, but it also took us a little while to determine what kind of band we would become. I think each of us went through a time where we had a vision in our heads over what this band could or should be, but it was feeling forced in some respects. I believe we had to come into our sound in an organic sort of way.”

Arruda shares that when it came to the making of their upcoming album, the trio ultimately wanted the record to reflect the band’s live show, which incorporates elements of folk and rock, but with an occasional bite.

“That was the goal from day one, to have a record that represented Lion Bear Fox in concert. It’s not always the easiest thing for bands to do, let alone one where you have three voices coming together to tell one story. Naturally, when it came to the making of this album, our voices had to come first, but together with Nygel [Asselin, producer of Lion Bear Fox’s upcoming album], we also created some great soundscapes of instrumentation.”

According to Arruda, producer Asselin played a key role in helping bring the trio’s vision to life. Not only were the three members of Lion Bear Fox immense fans of Asselin’s work on Half Moon Run’s latest record, the group recognized early on that having someone from outside the group serve as producer and potential mediator was going to be necessary.

“We’ve all been big fans of Nygel’s for a couple of years now. Where each of us in the band have nurtured solo careers, I think each of us brought a number of different ideas to the table for the making of this record. Having Nygel be the guiding force and sharing what he felt worked and didn’t work was critical to the record. Today’s music business is almost completely driven by singles, but we’ve always been intent on writing and releasing a record as a cohesive piece of work,” Arruda says.

What: Lion Bear Fox
When: Friday Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton
Tickets are $27 for subscribers, $29 for others. Advance tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre Box Office, by phone (506) 856-4379 and online at capitol.nb.ca