Oh, Canada … shooting the breeze with Faye Blais


It’s no secret we love Faye Blais at Yes Ma’am. Fresh off the back of recording her new album in LA, she’s back in Aus (hooray!) touring again. Splitting her time between Canada and Australia, Faye does the gypsy thing right, and with her warm vocals, make-you-melt-a-little-bit lyrics and that damn likable personality, we’re guessing that you’re about to fall in love with her.

We caught up to talk music, memories and final meals with our favourite indie-folk Canadian.

YM: What’s your earliest musical memory?

Faye Blais in white blouse FB: Sitting around the fire at my family’s cabin in Northern Ontario as a young kid, listening to my uncle play a cover of John Prine’s “Grandpa Was a Carpenter”… my grandpa actually was a carpenter.

YM: What’s been the hardest thing about working your way up in the music industry?

FB: That’s a tough question. Maybe it’s that there is no end to the “up”. It’s such a mysterious place. Every step up the ladder seems to add a few rungs.

That being said, every step is filled with more amazing moments and inspiring human beings … but it seems to be the wobbliest ladder you could possibly have pulled off the shelf (another carpenter reference, already?). So although the trip is mostly dreamy, sometimes it’s scary as hell, and you just don’t know where you stand. Also, trying to value what I do, in dollars.

YM: Sydney’s Pilot Darcy has recently done a chill/club remix of ‘The Pursuit’ – what’s it like to hear your music reworked in an entirely new genre?

FB: I love it. I’m often joking (but usually quite serious) about my multiple personalities – which feed my constant craving for something new. As much as I love pouring my heart out in an indie-folk kind of way, I am often struggling with finding the time to focus on new/different creative projects and sounds. It’s something that I am starting to pay more attention to and see the value in – for myself as a balanced artist, and person. Collaborating and sharing has been the instigator lately, including Pilot Darcy’s remix. I remember listening to it for the first time – while she was visiting me in Canada – I was so excited (and still am!).

It’s like having someone add fluorescent paint to your charcoal sketch. A whole new layer.

YM: You’ve recently returned from recording in LA – how was that?

FB: Ah-mazing. I had the opportunity to work with some incredible ladies out there. A powerhouse team of like-minded artist/producers, who totally speak my musical language, and have the skills to blow small ideas into big ones. In short, you can expect an indie-electro-pop side project. With a new name. Oh, and getting sweaty on stage!

YM: What’s the best gig you’ve ever done?

FB: So many good ones. The first one that comes to mind is an unexpected gig I came across here in Australia – at the Oddfellow’s Hall in Yass, NSW. It was set in an old building on the main street, where the upstairs had been converted into a gallery of amazing art by the artist who ran the concert series.

This little community came out of the woodwork, filling up this incredible space, for one of the most intimate, acoustically pleasing, uplugged gigs I’ve ever played. The energy in the room was unforgettable.

YM: Career highlight?

FB: I initially wanted to go on about how it’s all been one big highlight, really, and that I’m just so grateful to have been splitting my time between Australia and Canada, and so many other amazing places, chasing the sun … then I remembered Byron Bay Bluesfest – last year. Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Rufus Wainwright, Mavis Staples, Iggy Pop…. It was unbelievable.

Faye Blais with GuitarYM: What’s coming up next?

FB: So much to say – I can’t keep secrets!!! I”ve just kicked off my Australian tour in Tassie this past weekend, and am now heading up the East Coast and back, over the month of April, with Victoria Beard (from Jungal) on bass. There will be a ton of special guests throughout it – it’s going to be a blast. I’ll be touring in Canada next month, with the amazing JD Edwards, for three weeks in Ontario, and out in Western Canada for a couple of weeks in July/August with Genevieve Chadwick (gasp!)! (We just have way too much fun on the road, and she’s finally coming to Canada!!). Aside from those tours, I plan on taking time off of the road this year, to focus on writing, and new projects. Indie-Electro-Pop, French, and a ‘Love Songs’ album. Who knows what the year will bring! I can’t wait.

YM: OK – you’re in prison, on death row. You get a final meal. What would it be?

FB: A big bean burrito, filled with guacamole, salsa and rice. And a green curry to start. With a chocolate mouse brownie cake (do those even exist?!). Not the most ideal combination, but I might as well shoot for three courses.

Catch Faye in Sydney this Friday night at the Eastern lounge or see full tour details: www.fayeblais.com

1 Comment

  1. Was listening to faye blais album in the car. This girl is amazing! And what a great article :)

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