Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Sound is everything to Ontario band Ohbijou.  For their new and third album, Metal Meets, singer Casey Mecija says the group went on retreat to work on the aural qualities of the music, as much as the composition:  "We spent a lot of time away writing and arranging it at a cottage. We were trying to come up with ways to push our sound from the first two albums. I think we've been able to take each others' musical capabilities and come up with a sound that is something that reflects all of us."

The group is hardly set up like a traditional rock band.  Casey plays the relatively normal guitar, ukulele and piano, but little sister Jennifer chimes in with violin, and a variety of odd keyboards, while the other four members bring in banjo, trumpet, glockenspiel, cello, lots of synths, whatever works.  Strings play a huge role, so arrangements are key.  "We bring these ideas when we're all together and arrange them as a group," explains Mecija.  "We all have input on each others' arrangements. That's why this album is one of our most cohesive, we did a lot of pre-production to get the songs ready."

The big change this time, and the major expansion for the group, is the addition of treatments and sonic adventures, aided and abetted by producer Jace Lasek.  "We really tried to create an environment for each song," says Mecija of the final product.  "We have never used effects that much until now, so we wanted to have this grandiose sound. We're not an exploding band, the level of our sound can get louder, but were not really considered a loud band. We explore the dynamics."

One thing that keeps them grounded in pop music is the lyric content.  "It's very much a love story," Mecija admits, "and we're just trying to communicate that with a different language and a different way of playing instruments. It's a hopeful album set to a moody environment.  I often use that word, environment, because we house songs in different environments and they can become anything that way."

You can be part of the Ohbijou environment as they take Metal Meets on the road.  Here are the upcoming dates:

Oct 20 – Sackville, NB – George’s Roadhouse
Oct 21 – Charlottetown, PE @ Baba’s Lounge
Oct 22 – Fredericton, NB @ The Capital 
Nov 9 – Sudbury, ON – The Townehouse
Nov 11 – Thunder Bay, ON – The Apollo
Nov 12 – Winnipeg, MB – West End Cultural Centre 
Nov 13 – Saskatoon, SK – Amigo’s 
Nov 14 – Edmonton, AB – The Haven Social Club 
Nov 16 – Calgary, AB – Palomino Smokehouse   
Nov 17 – Canmore, AB – Communitea Cafe
Nov 18 – Nelson, BC – The Royal 
Nov 19 – Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore Cabaret 
Nov 20 – Victoria, BC – Lucky Bar

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