A lot of acts claim to wear their influences on their sleeves. Few do it quite as openly as Moncton’s Heethcliff, however. But it is that willingness to bring such a wide range of influences to the table that helps make Heethcliff and their debut EP Hunter’s Home such an interesting listen.
Performing at Plan b Lounge in Moncton next Wednesday evening, Heethcliff vocalist/bassist Leo Paul Melanson says that the individual musical tastes of Heethcliff’s members range from Mr. Bungle and jam faves Phish to heavy metal acts like Carcass. Yet there is much common musical ground to be found among the group’s membership as well. It is in this space where the group truly coalesces.
“Everyone in the band has their own personal favorites that they listen to,” Leo says. “It is those individual influences combined with those common between everyone in the band that helps make for an interesting and varied sound that we feel is still very much focused. We strive to find something that we do not get bored of playing but rather find something that collectively excites us.”
Heethcliff drummer Geoff Moss admits that the group’s members having such diverse musical tastes can sometimes make finding common ground challenging but that ultimately, nothing is impossible.
“The diversity sometimes makes finding a median difficult when choosing influence for songwriting, or picking a cover song to pull out of thin air,” Geoff shares. “We feed off of each others musical tastes and ping pong ideas that may be old and used to some of us in the band, but is new and fresh to others. It is always exciting to build something new from that kind of place.”
Originally formed by Leo and guitarist-vocalist Pierre Hebert eight years ago, the group ended up being resurrected (with help from Geoff) approximately two years ago. Geoff, Leo and Pierre began writing music as a trio but sensing they wanted to diversify their sound, added Christian Leger (saxophone) and Josee Mills (trumpet) to their ranks. The current incarnation of the band has been performing over the last year.
“Expanding our solo horn to become a brass section with the addition of Josee to the band really helped bring our songs to a new level. It really helped mature the overall sound of the band,” Leo says.
This past May, the group released their debut EP, Hunter’s Home. While the recording of the EP began in early 2013, Leo says that it was the addition of their horn section that ultimately helped take the EP in a new direction.
“Adding Josee to the group was a new and exciting concept to the band, which resulted in wanting to putting more emphasis on that aspect for the making of Hunter’s Home,” Leo says.
What: Heethcliff with Red Rails and 60 LPs
When: Wednesday July 30, 9:00 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton