By Chris Jassmann
Their debut album might have come out just last month, but White Rock band Their There’s Familiar Skin has been in the making for six years.
The band was formed in grade 8, when multi-instrumentalist Harley Small and bassist Adam DeSouza met in a drama class. After meeting guitarist Ross Jenkins, they were introduced to drummer Jess Derochers. Trumpeter Rory Hislop and saxophonist Adam Gough would join later.
After playing together for years, Harley said that, “we just had all these songs that we had been playing for so long already. Then Adam came up with the title ‘Familiar Skin’.”
The title alone, when pitched to Ross on Facebook Chat, prompted him to write out an entire new song on the spot, which became the title track for the album.
“We had recorded stuff before; like different, little EP things. We were never really happy with any of them,” Harley said. “The only thing we had released before was the one single, ‘Dead of Winter’, and even that we weren’t really happy with.”
That’s when the band got in touch with Evan Morgan, a producer who engineered the album in White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios.
“He’s just…brilliant,” Harley described, after struggling to find the right word.
“[Familiar Skin is] 50 per cent Evan and 50 per cent Their There. I’m really glad we met him.”
A few weeks before the release of their debut album, the band’s high school friend Sebastian Galina released “I Won’t Change” on Vimeo, a stylish half-hour documentary showcasing each member of the band during their recording sessions. By the halfway point of the film, it’s hard not to feel just as excited as they are to finally release their first professionally recorded production, a process which took some time due to budget restraints.
“We basically paid for the whole thing with the help of our families,” Harley explains, “so the bulk of it got done in six days. We went in there, two weekends in a row, and did all the bed tracks…”
“Through the whole recording process there was probably only one instance where we actually got caught up trying to figure out particular parts, because for the most part everyone knew all these songs well enough that we could go in and bang them out.”
Their ability to record the album in a small window of time is a testament to their friendship outside of the studio.
“They’re my five best friends, basically. I mean… we always have our little fight, then we might mope around for a bit, but the next day we show up for practice and it’s fine. When you’re playing in a band with five people, you can’t have an ego. You can’t want to stand out. You have to let everyone do their thing, and I think that that’s something that we’re all very good at, luckily.”
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