The MusicNerd Q&A With The Heavy Blinkers

Photo by Mat Dunlap
Photo by Mat Dunlap

Easily one of the best albums to emerge from Atlantic Canada in 2013, The Heavy Blinkers’ Health marks the orchestrated-pop’s band first studio effort in more than eight years. Led by Jason MacIsaac, Atlantic Canada’s own Brian Wilson, Health boasts an obvious influence of Smile-era Beach Boys throughout the record’s 16 tracks.

Jason spoke with The MusicNerd Chronicles this week about the road to Health and why it won’t be another eight years before new music springs forth from the band.

The Heavy Blinkers maintained a pretty consistent record release schedule up until 2005’s The Night And I Are Still So Young. But then you had this long stretch with no new music being released. What were you up to during this “downtime”?

There were literally a few years where I did nothing on Health whatsoever, as I wasn’t feeling terribly inspired by it. In addition to that, the band was peeling away one member at a time, which was hard on my level of enthusiasm. In the interim between Heavy Blinkers albums, I started producing albums for other artists (Jenn Grant, Brent Randall) and also did quite a bit of music for a local theatre company called Zuppa Theatre. Most significantly however, I started to write music for television and film full-time, which is how I spend most of my days.

Given the long layoff between releases, was there any trepidation on your part in the time leading up to the release of Health?

I knew that the material was sturdy and that it warranted release, but I was secretly terrified because the only music industry that I had ever known has been vaporized by the internet. I didn’t know what the heck was going to happen to this album, if anything. Also, releasing a follow-up album with new vocalists isn’t always warmly received, so in the back of my mind, there was always a fear on that front as well, despite the fact that the singing is utterly amazing. Truth be told, I’m more nervous about the follow-up to Health because I want to get that album out in a reasonable amount of time and making records the way I do takes an unreasonable amount of time.

It must feel great to have had the record receive such a great response.

I truly couldn’t be happier about the critical response as well as the response from listeners. People truly do care and are engaged. The amount of kindness that has been extended to the album has been overwhelming.

Article published in the November 28, 2013 edition of Here Magazine