The Montreal-based band takes into account their creative and personal experiences when it comes to making new music. This album is a reflection of the collaborative process, which they all value tremendously. They are ecstatic to be able to share their sound on this upcoming tour.
The vivacious energy of Fleece is contagious; their passion for music, creativity, their audience and each other shined through during this interview. The band’s song writer Matthew Rogers, along with co-founder/drummer Ethan Soil, vocalist/guitarist Megan Ennenberg and guitarist Jameson Daniel all have significant feelings about the album which were all thoughtfully expressed.
The Statesman: So right off the bat, the album cover, the graphics are amazing. So could you please tell me about the album cover and what it means to you guys?
Daniel: “It’s stunning and atrocious, is what it is. It’s really just a personification thereof. I was… messing around with a collage with my mom, and we were doing like, couture with the alien head… I showed that to the band… everybody put their own spin on it.”
The Statesman: What is the main inspiration behind the tracks on this album?
Soil: “The album is about… our lives over the past three, four years and how wild and half-stunning and half-atrocious it’s been. In terms of naming the songs, we usually pick names based on lyrics, or just kind of a summary of the song.”
Rogers: “Yeah, journal entries from the soul for others to take what they can and what they want from it.”
The Statesman: What would each of your favorite songs be from the album and why?
Soil: “Changes all the time. Right now… it is probably ‘Something Real’ because of one specific drum thing that I do that I just think is so cool.”
Ennenberg: “I think ‘Something Real’ is my favorite track too, just because the way that we wrote it was so organic and seamless. We really were jamming it in the practice room one day and we sort of got a good idea of what it sounded like and we stopped and said, ‘Okay, let’s try it again,’ and we played from front to back the version that is on the album, on the first try… it felt really right.”
Daniel: “My favorite one is ‘All my Money’… I love the way it begins… it’s one of the ones that’s a live take on the record… It was really fun.”
Rogers: “‘All my Money’… and ‘Like It A Lot,’ I’d say I like it a lot!”
The Statesman: I know Matt mentioned that the song, “Like It A Lot,” is about letting go of power and feeling good, can you elaborate on that idea?
Rogers: “In the band, I used to be the composer and the one who was kind of writing all of the songs… I had to let go of that because I wanted it to be a collaborative process and a lot of this album was learning how to feel good in collaboration versus having control… I’ve had many experiences over the years… feeling really vulnerable… laying within the feeling of just being wherever you are and kind of making the most of it… That [song] was really one of those journal entry ones.”
The Statesman: What was your favorite part of the creative process, overall, when you were coming up with this album?
Daniel: “Probably writing the songs in the practice space… Just being with your friends… We spent a week in a cabin recording and it was absolutely beautiful. It was a really, really magical week.”
Ennenberg: “We really like hanging out with each other and we really like making music independent of each other. So, when you put those two worlds together, it’s exactly what we want to be doing… When we were writing, we wrote about three albums’ worth of material, over the last four years… All of the songs on this album are all songs that we really love and were so excited about putting energy into… each one felt really, really right, in terms of the direction we wanted to go in, musically… Those songs were all incredibly fun to build together… We hope that comes across in the music.”
Soil: “… we played most of these songs live before they were recorded, before we even knew what they were gonna sound like. That was really fun to share the writing experience with our fans, the audience, got to influence our choices for these songs.”
Ennenberg: “We’re really enthusiastic about connection. I feel like we preach communication and connection… We want to write songs that connect to people.”
The Statesman: What are you most looking forward to on this upcoming tour?
Rogers: “Traveling, so excited to go see new places. We’re in Texas right now; we’re already over the moon about how Texas everything is.
Ennenberg: “Everything is so Texas!”
Matt: “I am so excited to hang out with some fans after our set, and just talk to them and like, hear what they like and what they don’t like about the album, just be friends with new people.”
The Statesman: So, looking back on past tours, Matt stated that the term ‘Stunning and Atrocious’ was often used by all of you guys to describe ‘literally everything’ when you were touring back in 2018.
Soil: “… definitely was used by mainly Matt! We picked up on it as a way to kindly roast him.”
Ennenberg: “And then we realized just how spot on he was in using it in the first place.”
The Statesman: Can you give an example of a moment that was both stunning and atrocious, and why?
Ennenberg: “We do check-ins a lot… we talk about what we might need more of or less of and things like that. So, we were having a check-in and I, being the only woman in the band, had been thinking about some stuff about what I was needing from my male patriots to feel heard… I was sharing those things with them on this beautiful trip, and we’re driving through the desert in New Mexico. I was feeling so heard and helped by my amazing friends, then, we run out of gas!”
The Statesman: As I was going through your songs on Spotify, I came across ‘Just A Sec’. Why include this little instrumental?
Soil: “We were just noodling around… We just liked the feeling of that noodle!”
Ennenberg: “It really is emblematic of the warm-up moments… It’s like setting the mood.”
The Statesman: It sounds like the composition of this album is very reflective of who you guys are as people and as a band, because everything just sounds so organic, the way you put it all together… The next question is about the song “Upside Down”, one of the lyrics is ‘If two men just ain’t right,then I’m living in a world that’s upside down’. With that being said, how has the experience of being a part of the LGBTQ+ community impacted your music?
Rogers: “I mean, I’m just a gay in this world… I’m definitely in a world that’s right side up… And what’s it like being LQBTQ? Pretty awesome… I mean, growing up was hard as f***, but now it’s like, just a part of me.”
The Statesman: So it’s basically taking experiences from your life and putting it towards your music.
Rogers: “Totally… [‘Upside Down’ is] about just looking at people and getting energy from walking by people and appreciating their beauty and sexiness… it’s about ‘How do you get yourself to feel good?’”
The Statesman: Who is your biggest musical inspiration overall?
Rogers: “The biggest musical inspiration for me? Each other… Just jamming with each other and like, hearing each other’s stories… everybody’s coming together to bring it all together.”
Soil: “How can we align with all of our beautiful differences?”
Ennenberg: “And bring them together and create something new.”
Soil: “I don’t think any of us are ever trying to sound like anyone. We’re also never trying to sound new or unique, we’re just doing us, we’re just going for it.”
The Statesman: Is there anything else you’d like to say to have on the record?
Soil: “I want to say… ‘Stunning and Atrocious,’ aahhh!”