With a band name like The Wilderness of Manitoba, you might not know what to expect. Based upon their tunes I’d have to assume that the wilds of Manitoba (a providence in Canada) are a quiet and peaceful place, full of sunshine and chirping birds, a perfect place for a relaxing afternoon stroll through a forest of tall evergreen trees. At least that’s what I imagine when I listen to the soft vocals, delicate harmonies, and lazy slide guitars that accompany the strumming guitar or banjo and give the band it’s distinct sound and feel.
To give you an idea, here’s one of my favorite The Wilderness of Manitoba tunes:
These folksters are actually based out of Toronto, Canada, but they just did a tour of the United States in support of their album, When You Left the Fire. We wanted to learn more about them so we caught up with Will and Melissa from the band as they were passing through Southern California and had them take Local Music Nation’s “Band Exam.” Here’s how they did:
Multiple Choice:choose one of the following three options. Feel free to ad lib or create your own choices.
Form of caffeine: Coffee, tea, energy drinks
Will: Coffee for sure. Although beer has often made an appearance as a selected alternative.
Melissa: really good free trade organic coffee (for most of us, some of us don’t do caffeine)
Super hero: Superman, Spiderman, Batman
Will: Spiderman. But only because a super bat spider man hybrid was never created.
Fight boredom on the road: Cards, Reading, Music, DVDs
Will: Various forms of media, reading, writing and iTunes university.
Melissa: Reading, photography, also lately we’ve been listening to some amazing European History lectures from Yale on podcasts.
Fill in the Blank:
My favorite song to listen to on the road is:
Will: At this very moment in time, it’s parallelograms by Linda Perhacs or anything by Joni Mitchell because we’re in California but ask me tomorrow!
Melissa: My favorite song to listen to on the road is – Something quiet with introspective lyrics, maybe like Joni Mitchell or Simon & Garfunkel but I may be biased because we are listening to Joni right now.
Favorite guilty pleasure music is
Will: All 80’s all the time.
Weird skill/talent no one would expect from me
Melissa: I was in school for and apprenticed in silversmithing and jewelry design and from time to time, I still teach at the studio that I worked at because I love being there and teaching people cool stuff about making jewelry.
I am currently in __________. One thing I like about this town/city/stretch of highway is ___________________.
Melissa: We are currently in San Clemente on the way to LA. One thing I like about this stretch of highway is that it’s not rush hour and the fog actually makes things seem pretty peaceful.
Essay Questions: (pick two but you can do more if you want)
What is the first thing you do when you come home from a tour?
Melissa: Sleep for hours! Make nice meals in my kitchen, cookies for my friends, catch up with as many friends as possible. And when I’ve done that, I go into the jewelry studio and make stuff!
Tell us a story about one of the songs off When You Left the Fire.
Will: Hermit – was written about a man living on the edge of town, lionizing a lady from afar who lives in a house nearby. One night her house catches fire and she walks away from it all, leaving it burning alone and desolate in the distance. She goes on to become somebody of significance (who exactly, isn’t really determined) but people from all over know of her and want to be in her presence. The man who lives on the edge of town (the hermit, so to speak) in truth, cared for her more than anybody (even knew the lines that danced around her mouth) but never got over the fear of approaching her. In the end, he contemplates leaving the shadows and fleeing for the big city to find her (which is what the triumphant instrumental section at the close of the song is about)
What is your favorite Canadian sweet treat?
Melissa: I’m originally from Ottawa so I would have to say that eating Beaver Tails (kind of a flat donut with a waffle-like texture, covered in cinnamon sugar and served hot) after ice-skating on the canal in the winter is a lasting memory of a Canadian treat that I will always carry with me. Black licorice is good too!
Pretty rad right? Well these cool peeps are back to touring in Canada but you can check them out and buy their tunage here. We hope they come back down to the states soon!