Well Mark from Woodpigeon saw the names of Viking Moses and Supermoon when I posted the artwork for Split 12" Vol.4, who happen to be great friends of his, and basically made the throwaway comment on the FB post 'when do I get to be on one of these?'
We've been pals for a long time, and I pretty much said 'fuck it, why not help me put together the next one'. So right off the bat Mark suggested FOONYAP who he had no idea I already loved, and LT Leif, whose album I had just bought because of his recommendation a week or so ago on social media, so those were two really easy ones to settle on immediately.
Initially everything flowed smoothly, people came in and recorded and we were chugging along just fine. It looked like we would be finished, well, probably a year or so ago really.
Then the fourth artist we had lined up dropped out. That was fine, of course, these records aren’t going to make anyone famous so it really only makes sense to do it if you think it will be fun. We’ve had people drop out before too, and it’s no hassle, but given the three acts already recorded were Canadian, it made beautiful sense when I found another Canadian act who I thought would fit perfectly on this record.
I’m half-Canadian myself too. You’d never know it to hear me speak, but my Dad was born and raised in Montreal, so making an all-Canadian Split 12” just seemed too appealing to shy away from.
When I was a kid we’d go and visit the Canadian side of the family, and my dad and I would always go into a music shop to buy something new for the inevitably epic long-distance drives and I remember being fascinated by the fact that in Canada all Canadian releases had a wee red maple leaf sticker in the top corner so you’d know they were local.
That was how I first found bands like 54-40, The Cowboy Junkies and The Tragically Hip, and the idea of having a release of our own with that wee maple leaf in the corner is really nice to think about. I almost imagine ten-year-old me looking at it in a shop when faced with a 14 hour car journey, thinking ‘what the fuck is this, then?’
The only problem, of course, is that Canada is a really long fucking way away. The logistics of sorting out that one, final recording session proved to be an absolute pain, and it ended up taking a year and a half between the first band recording their tunes and the last one.
Still, it was worth it. After all that, when I finally got to put all these songs together and the finished record started to emerge, it was a wonderful moment of vindication. Whatever it’s taken to make this record was worth it, as the combination of artists is absolutely perfect, the songs work beautifully together, and I am absolutely delighted with it.
But I’ll tell you what, I think I might make the next one in a month or two, just to remind myself what these Split 12”s are really supposed to be about: simple! Quick! Spontaneous! Ah well, whatever.