According to their CBC Music page, the saying “All Fruits Ripe” is Patois for ‘everything is all right’. This week Arthur got the chance to sit down, relax, and share a beer with the three fine Peterborough musicians united under that easygoing name.
Evan MacDonald, Travis Haws, and Nicholas Lymer have been lighting up the local scene recently and in this interview they talk about their music, recording their upcoming album, and why Peterborough has such a great music scene.
Talk a bit about how All Fruits Ripe came together. How did you guys meet up?
Evan MacDonald: I met Nick last year and realized that he played bass. We moved in together so we always practice and jam together.
Travis Haws: I met [the guys] at Trent Radio. I work there and Evan has a show on the station so we kept bumping into each other. I heard him play on the radio and I really dug his style so we just started talking.
What about your sound? What are your influences?
EM: I guess I don’t really think about it that much. [Our music] is definitely very singer-songwriter influenced. The first band I ever fell in love with was Tom Petty and ever since then I have always had music around me. It is also influenced by the stuff I’m studying, environmental stuff; I like to bring that into my writing. I wouldn’t use the term organic but I try to keep it as natural and simplified as possible.
TH: I started as playing drums in grade five and my teacher brought me up playing jazz. I was into that for awhile then I got into progressive rock for a long time so for a lot of my life I have been playing really technical music. For the last five years though I’ve really started digging reggae and folk but I never had an outlet to jam with other musicians. That’s why I got pretty stoked when I bumped into Evan.
Nicholas Lymer: For me, I started playing the bass out of necessity. Where I grew up there were a million guitar players and I actually went to buy a guitar and the guy at the music store said ‘No, I won’t let you. Buy a bass.’ My influences from the beginning have been Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I went through their entire discography and learned every one of their songs. For a long time my main genre was funk.
EM: That’s what’s so great about playing with other talented musicians. I started out on my own but there is a lot more freedom when you are with others. You can solo, or stop playing and clap. With these guys I feel as though it is just a really nice fit, and it’s fun.
So I understand that you guys have bought some new recording stuff. What are your plans for the next album?
EM: We really want to do it as live as possible. You can build a track [piece by piece] but to me it just doesn’t have that same feel. We want it to sound as much like us as possible when we play live and the album will be really just something that we can share with students and family and friends.
You talk about your desire to get a sound as ‘close to live as possible’, do you think that recorded music loses something when artists build it up through individual tracks?
EM: That’s a good question. I think it depends on the type of music. I don’t think it would lose anything because it is very possible to make that “Wall of Sound” when you build it. You can make it sound really nice but when you do it live it just captures… something.
TH: It captures the energy and chemistry of the band.
What about the decision to ‘do it yourself’ versus going into a studio? What was the thought process behind that?
TH: To be honest, I like recording. My brother does it a lot at home and it is something that I want to try to get better at. This album finally provided me with an excuse to make that jump. In my experience recording on your own definitely gives you lot more leeway in terms of doing what you want to do and you’re able to do it on your own time.
EM: Doing it yourself you could maybe lose another opinion from someone, an engineer. Maybe you need that professional advice but I think it’s fun just to coming together [and recording]. Nick is very technically savvy as well and he has a very good ear for music. For us I think it just gives us the freedom to express ourselves.
Peterborough is known for having an exceptional music and culture scene. What has been your experience in the city and how has it influenced you guys as artists?
EM: Well, I think that Peterborough is blessed with venues that support local talent. They will give you a chance and there is something special about that. If you look around this city there is so much talent. Any night you can just wander in and there are great people playing. This city is just so supportive of artists and there is so much that’s on offer.
All Fruits Ripe will be bringing their folk-reggae-funk-singer/songwriter sound to the Red Garnet on March 22 and The Red Dog on April 10.
Check out their tunes out online.