The new recording by the Saskatoon alt-country quintet was recorded in a cabin in Alberta, a setting that helped produce a haunting, cosmic roots-rock record of harmony and handsomely unsettling effect
Bass guitar. Was inspired by the War on Drugs’ album Slave Ambient, from 2011: “There’s a warmth to that record, and a sonic energy. I got a hold of that record’s producer, Jeff Zeigler, to see if he’d be interested in working with us. He showed interest in coming up to Canada, but I was happy that Jonathan Wilson [a California producer who has worked with Father John Misty, Dawes and Chris Robinson] ended up recording the album instead. But what I liked about Slave Ambient was the large sound created in what could be classic songs. It’s an inspiring record. As for us, we were experimenting. We weren’t playing it safe.”
Organs and piano, was influenced by early Pink Floyd: “I bought a Hammond M102 organ for $40. I put it through my Leslie speaker, and I thought it sounded great. Our producer brought out an effects pedal that a friend of his makes. It’s a, which is based on a . I plugged it into the organ without telling anyone, and I thought it sounded cool. I thought I was 10 steps ahead of the world, when it came to making the organ sound differently. But later we happened to be watching Pink Live at Pompeii. There was a close-up of keyboardist Richard Wright, who had a Hammond M102 with an on top of it. So, my hopes and dreams of creating this new thing were dashed. It had already been done. Still, it was cool to come across it. So, Pink Floyd was a retroactive inspiration, you could say.”
Lead guitar. Was inspired by the Band’s eponymous second album, from 1969: To record the album, they used Sammy Davis Jr.’s house in Los Angeles. Levon Helm lived in the house, and they set up the board and all the recording gear there. They recorded freely, which is kind of what we did. We rented a cabin in the woods. We all lived there, and recorded when we felt like it. On the Band record, there are quirky things like the 6/4 time signature to Richard Manuel’s Jawbone or the bass tuba instead of a bass guitar on Rag Mama Rag. We had a bit of that. Things that happened accidentally became interesting parts. If we were in someone else’s studio, we wouldn’t have wanted to spend the time and the money just to learn how to play a song.”
The Deep Dark Woods plays Edmonton, Nov. 1.; Saskatoon, Nov. 2; Regina, Nov. 5; Toronto, Nov. 14; Burnstown, Ont., Nov. 15; and Ottawa, Nov. 16.