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Photo by Rima Sater, from Run Coyote's Facebook page.

Run Coyote bring mist, romance, and mystery to Black Squirrel Books

By Jeff Kingsbury on January 20, 2017

London residents Run Coyote are taking a break from recording the follow-up to their 2014 album Youth Haunts to play a pair of Ontario dates: first in their new hometown of Toronto on January 19th, and onward to Ottawa on January 21st.

No strangers to Ottawa, the band play a handful of shows in the Capital City every year to packed yet intimate rooms, the perfect setting for their dark electric-charged rock n roll sound. Run Coyote play at Black Squirrel Books with Sparklesaurus and Trunk on Saturday the 21st (Doors at 8:30pm).

Apt613: You’re not from Ottawa but it is a frequent stop for the band. What keeps you coming back for more?

Ottawa has a really cool and supportive music community that seems to be constantly growing. We always have really good shows and it’s a lot of fun to meet new people and see the friends we’ve made with each trip.

Plus the late night drives back to Amanda’s aunt and uncle’s home (where we stay) in Kanata, blasting late night pop radio (lots of Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson) and dancing in the car.

Run Coyote has had an impressively defined aesthetic since the very first release. What music or other art most inspired how you originally wanted this project to sound like?

Thanks for the compliment. I’ve always wanted to make interesting pop music, but the sound of the band developed pretty organically. We all like many different types of music, but share the same love of 1960s pop and folk music, surf guitars, and the sounds of Spaghetti Western films. We all love the Beatles, but we really bonded aesthetically over songs like Sammy Salvo’s “A Mushroom Cloud.”

Although I write most of the songs on guitar with melodies and lyrics, I feel like the arrangements are really built around a groove created by the drums and bass. The song has to swing. The drums sit you back in a groove and the bass carries you through the song, directs you. I wouldn’t call the guitar parts sparse, but they only do what they have to – and they usually do that with a lot of twang!

Jake and I both use Fender guitars through Fender amps with a pretty clean amp setting and lots of tremolo and slap back delay. I just really like the idea and sound of creating a lot of space in a song and then all the subtleties can jump out at you.

With the new album we’re working on we really wanted to focus on nuance and mood. We want to create an atmosphere or a scene, like a film: it’s late at night, there’s mist, there’s romance, there’s mystery, and there’s usually a criminal or a cowboy.

Are you changing anything up for the writing/recording process this time around? Are you still working with Simon Larochette?

Yeah, we’re working with Simon again at the Sugar Shack studio in London, ON. We already have half the album tracked, and we’re heading back into the studio next month.

The band’s stage presence is contagious and you’re a very dynamic front-person. Who inspires you the most from a live standpoint?

15625797_711032995726826_2447656552787883596_oFor me, music is a very personal. But at the same time I’m probably at my most outgoing during a performance. I love sharing live music with an audience. It feels like the most natural way to communicate for me. Music also just makes me dance.

I think a performance should be theatrical — it gives me another way to express myself while I sing and play guitar. It’s another outlet to convey something to the crowd. Plus it’s more fun.

I was initially inspired by watching video of Bob Dylan performing during his 1966 tour with The Band. He’s just throwing his hands everywhere and every syllable he sings seems so important to him. Also the first time I watched the Talking Heads’ film Stop Making Sense, I loved watching David Byrne perform – it just looked so fun.

What was your favourite live show in 2016 and what are you looking forward to this year?

My favourite show I saw was Andy Shauf at the Mod Club. His songwriting is excellent and the live arrangements had so much nuance and dynamics! It was the quietest I’d ever heard a band play in a packed, rock venue. Plus the amazing Olivier Fairfield was on drums!

There are a lot of albums coming out this year that I’m excited for. Timber Timbre and Dirty Projectors in particular—hopefully I can see both of them live.

Run Coyote play at Black Squirrel Books on Saturday, January 21st. For more information, see the Facebook event. For more on Run Coyote, visit their website, or find them on Facebook, Twitter, or Bandcamp.