Bruce Peninsula

Bruce Peninsula (The Band, Not The Place)

Bands with choirs. There aren't enough of them. Sure, sometimes there's a choir on the album or EP, but then when you see them live the choir is absent or prerecorded.


So, when I heard that Bruce Peninsula's five-girl choir was the real deal, I was immediately interested. Then, I listened to their first, full-length album -A Mountain Is A Mouth- and set up an interview with Matt Cully (guitar and sings with the choir) at Sneaky Dee's.

Matt ordered the quesadilla. He didn't get the quesadilla, but he ate what he got and didn't dwell on it. I would have dwelled, but probably not complained. That's because I am a whiner and don't possess the balls to do anything about it. I had a Labatt 50, which reminded me why I never order Labatt 50.

Less about me and more about Bruce Peninsula.

"There are five core members that make up the spiritual family. Then there's an extended family of, I would say, six others that come in when they can; sing with us when they can; and record with us when they can. We've played shows with just five people, we've played shows with twelve people. The additional members are the choir and additional percussion. They help us to try and achieve the scope of our music live and create an exciting show for people."

I hadn't heard enough about the choir, so I demanded more.

"The choir was an addition from the beginning and it's always been a part of our live show. It's a very important part, and it's allowed us to add a lot of really cool pieces to our set. It's allowed us to have parts with just a choir -like when we play churches we usually do that- and it's allowed us to achieve a lot of our goals as writers."

Then, I asked the obvious question.

"No, none of us are from the Bruce Peninsula."

But... but then... why...

"Well, initially we liked what it evoked for people living in Ontario. The sort of landscape of the Bruce Peninsula. Remote from the city, but still accessible. It was a big part for all of us growing up -camping and stuff. Kind of a spiritual connection with nature and how we relate to it. So for people living in Ontario that would be an immediate connection. And then when they hear the record and see us live, hopefully it's in that same space in their mind and it sounds like some sort of primal expression or exploration of nature."

As a related point, Matt just went camping at the Bruce Peninsula last summer and considers himself an outdoor guy. He has led canoe trips in the past. On the other hand and not-so-related point, I refuse to sleep on the ground and hate mosquitoes more than olives. And I really don't like olives.

As of January 28th, BP embark on a mini-tour and you can check them out at the Horseshoe Tavern on January 31st. If you miss that, or really enjoy the show and want to see them again, they are having their official cd release party on February 22nd. It is being held at the Polish Combatants Hall with Snowblink and Alex Lukashevsky.

"We were looking at churches and we were looking at places that would fit a lot of people, but at the same time retain a certain atmosphere. We wanted it to be a special venue, some place that was not a club or bar."

Although it hasn't been officially released, you can purchase A Mountain Is A Mouth online and will be available when they play the Horseshoe Tavern.

And yes. There will be a choir.

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