Mother Mother – Toronto, ON

The last two days were great. Mother Mother was in town gearing up for the release of their new record Eureka. They’re a fantastic band who are really starting to take off, and for good reason. They’re insanely great on record as well as live.

Jeremy checking his bass in the Q studio.

The day started at the CBC facility. They were pre-taping a performance for Q with Jian Ghomeshi. I was there just to make sure they got in and set up.  I really want to work in that building one day. It seems like a really great place to work, and a lot of people probably think the same thing.

Stumpy and his most favourite console.

After seeing the band off on Q, I headed over to the Much Music studio on Queen Street. My good pal Stumpy was doing lights for Much that day, so it was good hanging out with him for the hour while I was waiting for the backline to arrive.

Soundchecking at Much

It was fun working at much again (I was there two weeks ago), I always really enjoyed working in broadcast, and going from CBC to Much in one day really reminded me of that. The best part of it though is always sitting in on the broadcast mix.

Dialing in the broadcast mix

It’s really interesting working on a broadcast mix.  Sure, you have these really great studio monitors that can make almost anything sound great, but you also have to think about how people will be hearing it at home. The lowest common denominator is a person with a terrible mono television at home, and you have to cater to that. There was a little mono speaker built into the Studer console, and it’s really interesting trying to make a mix sound good on that as well as on good studio monitors.  By the same token, you have to think of all the people who will be watching it online with their laptop speakers, or iPod earbuds.

I made my way home for the night with Jeremy’s bass head which needed repair. I took it to Super Fuzz Audio in the morning, and they were able to make a bunch of repairs for us that day. They’re a great repair shop. Try them out if you have an amp that needs some love.

We had to rush that repair because they had to play at The Phoenix that night. We did the usual load-in/fight to make the gear work that The Phoenix is somewhat known for. It’s usually pretty decent there, but there always seems to be something that comes up.  We got through it and things seemed to go well.  My friend Dayna was selling merch for the band that night.  Unfortunately the thing about doing merch is that you usually don’t get to eat dinner, so when Phil and I went to get burritos, I grabbed one for her, and I apparently nailed the order!

MM killing it.

With the show being CMW the band went on at 11:30.  They played a great set. They came right out of the gate with O My Heart. I like when bands come straight out of the gate swinging (except at festivals when I’m still dialing in the band during said first song). They played 18 songs, and the crowd was really into it, as was I. I’m definitely guilty of dancing around a little bit on side stage when I’m doing monitors/guitar teching. Max from Arkells always used to give me a hard time about not looking like I’m having any fun while behind the console, so since then I’ve started allowing myself to get into the music, and I find I actually enjoy moving around a bit. There was this one photographer who was really annoying and was literally climbing over some of our gear to get some shots. That ain’t classy. I’m a big fan of only allowing media photographers to shoot for the first three songs, which is pretty standard. Obviously photogs who have been hired by the band, or have made other arrangements are different.

The show was really great and I love working with MM. They are absolutely amazing musicians and it’s fun to watch everyone on stage. Ali is an incredible drummer, Jer is a great bass/sax/clarinet player, Jasmin and Molly are insane on vocals and keys, and Ryan is probably the best guitar player I’ve worked with.  Actually, he’s tied with Dale Murray, but that’s kind of an apples/oranges comparison.

The show wrapped around 1:00am. We loaded out and I was out of there shortly after 2:00am. Late night, considering I had a load-in to be at for 7:00am.

2 responses to “Mother Mother – Toronto, ON

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