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Falklands driven by blood, sweat and backgammon

By in Culture


HOLLY CULP
Arts Editor

One of Edmonton’s most promising musical exports is Falklands, comprising Mark Budd, Lee Klippenstein, Jason Stevenson and Jerf (just Jerf, apparently, similar to Prince in that he is in the process of changing his name to a cryptic symbol… not really).

Described best as an amalgamation of power-pop and punk, their sound is, thankfully, devoid of the ubiquitous and vague label of being “indie rock.” This is rock music, folks.

With the release of their first full length LP Think About It coming up on Sept. 28, Falklands are getting set to tour the nation, which will give them plenty of time to hone their backgammon skills.

“We are big backgammon fiends,” admits Budd. “It keeps us busy. Tensions run pretty high and we play high stakes. We bet T-Shirts and old Nintendo 64s.”

Aside from some western tours where the aforementioned Nintendos switched ownership countless times, the band has never done the great trans-Canadian tour before.

“Basically, we’ve only ever toured from Vancouver to Winnipeg,” said Budd. “This tour will be the furthest east that we’ve ever been. It means that we’ll get to go to a lot of places we’ve never seen before.”

The album is unique in that it was not released on CD but only on vinyl and digitally.

“The physicality of an album is an important concept and part of the reason we released the album on vinyl,” said Budd. “Being able to hold the finished product in your hands and look over the artwork, the insert, all while listening is all so much more rewarding than double clicking on an album and forgetting about it.”

The album was recorded in Vancouver at The Hive Studio with producer Jesse Gander who has worked with bands like Japandroids and Bison BC. Working with Gander was totally unlike any of their previous recording experience in a variety of ways.

“We’ve actually recorded in kitchens,” said Budd, in regards to two of the band’s previous releases. “We’ve never recorded with a producer of Jesse’s calibre before now but he’s also a good friend of ours, so it’s kind of like having a few beers and recording in a kitchen except it sounds 20 times better…. Jesse also plays in the band Plus Perfect that will be playing with us at the show.”

To say that Falklands are upstarts doesn’t quite cut it. The band has released two EPs and two seven inch singles on top of their full length LP in less than two years.

“We formed in the winter of 2009; that’s quite a bit of recording,” admitted Budd.

If you’ve never seen a show at Caffe Sola, do not allow the word “caf锝 to deter you from seeing this band as there is, thankfully, a separate venue apart from the actual café.

“I’ve stupidly tried to get shows at cafes before,” said Budd. “They’re usually like, ”˜Umm, you’re a bit loud for us.’ ”

What can you expect from the show?

“Three words: Energetic, spontaneous and sweaty,” said Budd in describing what people can expect from the show. “And, um, probably a hangover the next day,” he added.

When evaluating the potential value in attending a show, I find the prospect of a hangover to be extremely promising.

As for the name Falklands, none of the members actually hail from the islands off the coast of South America. They are, in fact, mostly from in and around Edmonton (save for Jerf whose origins remain a mystery, a.k.a. Vancouver). The name refers more to how we imagine any band feels when they make music.

“Aside from the geographical reference,” said Budd, “it’s about having a place where you can get away and get off the radar. In a weird, ultra-meaningful way it’s about how we feel when we play music with each other.”

If you’re in need of some new music, you can download Think About It in full at falklands.bandcamp.com.

Falklands will be at Caffe Sola on Sept. 30.

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