Back At It

Category: music 134

Weak Size Fish talk about reuniting and their busy summer schedule. 

Photo: kelscass photography

Bands come and go. Especially in a university city like Fredericton. Students migrate from all over the place and spend years living together, often is shitty apartments while they plug away at various forms of higher learning. For those who play music, getting together to blow off some steam and leave the books behind for a few hours is an important coping strategy and a healthy form of therapy.

Every once in a while, one of these therapeutic get-togethers results in something special. Weak Size Fish is a great example.  Comprised of musicians from around the Maritimes who all found themselves living in Fredericton for a period, the group quickly moved from the living room to the stage gaining a strong following in the process.  Their reggae sound proved to be the ideal escape not just for the players involved but for music lovers throughout the city, across the province and into Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  For many a music fan on the East Coast, there’s nothing like a hefty dose to reggae when it’s 30 degrees below outside.

The band released their debut album Off We Go in 2009 and as the title suggests, things grew pretty quickly from there with increased club and festival performances supported by a growing fan base.

In 2012, Weak Size Fish released their follow-up album, Shakedown, and called it quits soon after. That’s what university bands do. Engineered by Evan Hanson and produced by the band’s Nick Mazerolle and Mitchell Bernand, Shakedown has been called “one of the most underrated New Brunswick albums of the past 20 years” (Tim Rayne – former host of CHSR’s Instant Breakfast) and remains a go-to for many.

Fast forward roughly five years to the spring of 2017 at a weekend shoot for RayneMaker Productions’ upcoming film The Capital, and there among the nearly 20 acts lined up for the weekend shoot is the one and only, Weak Size Fish.  They’re back.

“I guess what the decision to reform comes down to is performing in a band is such a unique experience that we all needed again,” said bassist Andrew Thomson. “It’s like this weird blend of good vibes with vulnerability. This time last year we were living in BC, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. None of us saw it coming, but our paths lead us back to NB, minus Matty [Bernard] and Logan [Beaton], our most recent alumni whose presence is missed. The opportunity for us to write and perform again was something we couldn’t pass up. You could tell by the excitement in conversations at the start of last fall that we weren’t just going to let this chance to share​​ good times pass by.”

As anyone would expect, reuniting after a five year break is bound to introduce new challenges and maybe even uncover a few old differences that were lost or at least forgotten over time.

“One thing I’ve noticed is that it was way easier to play until the bar closes 5-10 years ago,” said Thomson. “We still love it regardless. The shows have been such a fun time for us and the vibes have been really positive over the past few months. The energy we put into the band as a group is similar to the past, but our relationships have developed over the years so I think this collective energy has also become a little more refined. 

“Getting back on the wagon has definitely been a reminder that there are going to be hiccups, whether it be on a stage or in the management of the band,” he said. “The difference now is that we are better at managing those ups and downs. Things often don’t go the way we expected, but it seems easier to roll with the punches than it used to. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and laugh off our mistakes. Other times things unexpectedly go well in our favour too.”

So far this summer the band has played Feels Good Folly Fest and Evolve as well as dates in Fredericton and Saint John. And before the summer’s out, they’ll have hit up stages in Charlottetown, Moncton and St. Andrews as well.

“One thing I know for sure is that things in life will change,” said Thomson. “It may not be what you expected, but it could actually be a blessing in disguise. Although people and relationships change over time, it’s seriously awesome when you have those connections that just pick up where they left off. I’ve learned that life constantly takes us in different directions, but true friends share a connection that time or distance can’t affect. At the end of the day, we’re just a group of buds trying to have a good time and that’s definitely something that won’t change.”

Upcoming Dates:

August 18 – St. Andrew’s, The Red Herring
September 1 – Moncton, Tide & Boar
September 2 – Charlottetown, Fishbones
September 14 – Fredericton, Wilser’s Room

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