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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26
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Joined At The Jaw

Craig Silliphant
Published Thursday September 4, 04:43 pm
Guitar and drum duo The Faps puts some serious fun into weirdo rock

The Faps

Thursday 11

The Horse Room

There’s weird for the sake of being pretentious — like a single plum, floating in perfume and served in a man’s hat — and then there’s weird for the sake of good old-fashioned, loud and sweaty fun. Saskatoon-via-Moose-Jaw noise pals The Faps are definitely in the latter camp; they’d been knocking out funny, noisy, weirdo rock together for the better part of 10 years before starting this incarnation of the band.

“What we do is really energetic and fun,” says drummer Blair Colwell. “It's pretty eclectic at times, but in a way that's supposed to put a smile on your face rather than make someone feel left out or confused, which I think experimentation can do sometimes. We keep it loud, but don't necessarily fit into other loud genres. Really, it's just a party.”

Colwell and guitarist Skylar Cafferata (both share vocal duties) met outside The Wildlife Centre in Moose Jaw back in the day, at a time when The Jaw had a thriving little punk scene. Oddly enough, their fathers also played music together in high school.

“We jammed once and fell in love with each other’s unhinged approach to music,” says Cafferata.

Their sound is deranged in the best ways. Considering the racket they make, it’s actually pretty stripped down, leaning heavily on the minimalism of the drum vs. guitar combo.

“We try to get as much as we can out of the two instruments,” says Colwell. “We've talked about adding loops or triggers or more pedals, but ultimately we don't want to busy up our set to the point where there's no room for improvisation. We're also not looking to play Rush covers any time soon, so the tunes are simple yet sporadic — and that's how we like it.”

It works to a wonderfully strange, time-bending effect: weird, post-modern song structures tell you you’re in the present, but the simplicity of the aesthetic makes it feel like you’re listening to a relic from the past. Their Ded Lake EP was recorded in 35C-heat in a tiny room with no airflow in a rented building in Mortlach, SK, which no doubt helped to create the dizzying, fever-dream aspects of the songwriting.

“I’m not sure if you’d call it songwriting,” says Cafferata. “We basically go through cycles of creating something beautiful, then driving ourselves a bit crazy trying to find peculiar ways of ruining it.”

There are a lot of inside jokes in the music, from the lyrical content to the name of the band itself. We’ll let you figure out the latter for yourself, but here’s a hint from Cafferata.

“Our music is definitely masturbation,” he says. “I think most art is. You create an experience out of pleasure and exploration, and sometimes frustration. It’s not necessarily self-absorbed or egotistical, because I think the intention should be to facilitate enjoyment for everyone.”

The band is hitting the road for the immediate future. They’ve done a few tours before, but this latest sojourn — from Montréal to Vancouver Island, with a show almost every day — will be their biggest yet.

“Four weeks of sweat, beer, breakfast, and buffoonery,” says Cafferata.

The tour passes through Saskatoon on Sept. 11th for the release of a new 7” split vinyl release with Saskatoon surf-psych rock outfit Wizards, for a house concert at The Horse Room. (Contact the venue on Facebook for a street location) The show will also feature the bands A Ghost in Drag and The Basement Paintings.

“Forget all the horseshit of your day and come be a weirdo for once in your miserable life,” laughs Cafferata.

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