Comprised of Luke Ertman and Jeff Ramsay, the Alberta-based duo Fool’s Tongue have chosen the road less travelled. Rather than making music for the lowest common denominator, the heart of the duo’s newest record, New World, lies close to the worldly music of Peter Gabriel. The duo is currently preparing for the first public performance of New World this coming February in their home province.
Fool’s Tongue member Jeff Ramsay spoke with The MusicNerd Chronicles last week about the making of New World and how they are preparing to launch the album in a live setting.
Luke has a background in writing music for theatrical productions. Did that have any influence in helping the band find its sound?
Luke has been lucky enough to write music for many theatre shows ranging from Rural Alberta sounds to Jewish Klezmer to Middle Eastern music while also having a background in orchestration. When we decided to go into the studio and make a record, we found those influences coming to the forefront.
There is a theme running through New World, which isn’t all too common for the bulk of records these days. What compelled you to want to tell a story with these songs?
We were interested in the idea of God (or in our case, a woman) calling out the protagonist’s name as he dreams however the Bible story really goes downhill from there in terms of a narrative. So we decided to go with an Alice In Wonderland theme from there on. It’s a story about finding yourself, love, purpose and forgiveness. We thought that having a general story line helped inspire us to write. When you can write a song about anything, it is sometimes hard to decide what to write about.
What are you looking forward to the most with bringing these songs to the live stage in February?
We actually feel that the album will make more sense and be more engaging when people can see what’s happening as opposed to simply listening. This isn’t going to be a theatrical piece but it will have elements of staging and character development for the audience. When you adapt an album for a live audience, you have to remember that they can’t press the pause button to catch a breath. So it becomes important to build in moments where the audience can sing along or clap along and not need to worry about the intricacies of what is happening on stage.
Article published in the December 26, 2013 edition of Here Magazine