Bonnie Doon is an Ottawa based Post Punk band composed of Keltie Duncan, Madison Watson, Lesley Demon and Gina Vinelli
BY EV OSMANOVIC
THE BAND HAS BEEN HEAVILY INVOLVED IN BOTH THE LOCAL MUSIC AND VISUAL ART SCENES IN OTTAWA FOR YEARS. EV OSMANOVIC CAUGHT UP WITH THE PUNK BAND AFTER THEY RELEASED DOONER NOONER AS AN LP LAST FALL. THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN EDITED FOR CLARITY AND LENGTH.
EV: SO YOU GUYS RELEASED DOONER NOONER ON LP, HOW LONG WAS THE WRITING PROCESS FOR IT? DID IT COME EASILY AND SMOOTHLY OR WAS IT KIND OF LIKE A LITTLE ROUGH RIDE?
Gina: Uh…Wellittookalong time. What? Three years [laughs].
Lesley: Yeah well I mean, we didn’t plan to make an album but we kind of more made an album more with material we already had because opportunity allowed it. There’s two tracks that are actual- ly on our EP . . . actually one track that’s on our EP.
Gina: Yeah only one.
Lesley: And yeah I mean it’s interesting because people are like “Oh your album is interesting” but we just wrote these songs and that’s our band.
Madison: We didn’t intend for it to be an album. Our song writing process is super collaborative and um, we play a lot of gigs. [All laugh]. So it takes a lot of time for us to write songs because uh, like some songs will come easily and in one session we’ll be like “okay yeah we did it!” but sometimes it takes months just because we’re usually rehearsing for a show and so we don’t have as much time as we’d like to dedicate to writing.
YEAH I COMPLETELY BELIEVE THAT. LIKE I’VE SAT DOWN BEFORE AND YOU KNOW, WILL ALWAYS START SOME THING NEW INSTEAD OF JUST CONTINUING WITH SOMETHING SO . . .
Madison: Yeah true. And I also got pregnant twice in the process [laughs].
WOW YEAH, SO THAT MUST HAVE TAKEN SOME TIME OUT OF THE PROCESS …
Madison: It pegged it down a little. It didn’t matter as much as it could’ve.
YOU GUYS HAVE A VERY UNIQUE SOUND. IT’S LIKE POST PUNK BUT THERE’S SOMETHING ELSE IN THERE AS WELL SO WHAT INSPIRES YOUR MUSIC OR WHO INSPIRES YOUR MUSIC?
Madison: We’re inspired by everything. I think that we are inspired by artists who have their own thing going on and that in- cludes a lot of artists from Ottawa . . . and this little guy sitting on my lap right now.
[TALKING TO BABY: HE’S VERY CUTE . ..HI!]
Lesley: I wanted to create a sound for the part that I bring. Something kind of strange but I guess stu that I don’t normally see. I didn’t want to be recreating the thing that garage rock Otta- wa sounds like. It’s loved but I wanted it to be something new, something creative! I’m an artist, that’s my job and I just want to be creative and try new things. I mean, dark and creepy things too and so that can be a part of that process.
Keltie: Well, I guess for the drums I listened to a bunch of surf punk or old surf rock but oth- erwise I just sort of let the front part of the band come up with something and then I’ll respond to what’s happening in the room.
It’s not like I don’t listen to music and I’m not inspired by stu , but from my point of view I feel like on my end I’m responding to the rest of the band instead of try- ing to match a style or studying rudiments somewhere and trying to work it into a song. It’s sort of free- ow.
Gina: I think we all do that a little. Whatever comes? It’s not a lot of premeditation for me. It’s like whatever the feeling of the song, or what we want to explore, and where the feel- ing of the song naturally goes. [Collective agreement and some laughter] Is that vague enough for you?
YEAH THAT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE AND THAT’S ACTUALLY A REALLY GOOD WAY TO PUT IT. I FIND IT INTERESTING THAT YOU GUYS DON’T REALLY TRY TO MAKE YOURSELVES SOUND LIKE SOME- BODY ELSE AND INSTEAD IT’S LIKE YOU GO WITH WHATEVER YOU GUYS THINK IS GOOD OR WHATEVER YOU FIND IN THE MOMENT BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE PULL INSPIRATION FROM OTHER BANDS?
Keltie: Yeah I mean, we’ve talk- ed about this. When we started we didn’t have that much expe- rience so we didn’t know what sort of limitations. So even just the composition of the band that idea is so unconventional. With two bass players, multiple vocalists, and all these di erent kind of sounds.
Madison: We’re making it up as we’re going.
Lesley: When we rst started out, we tried to cover songs but we just didn’t care. We could never really make it sound like the original because we didn’t know how so we would make it sound how we could make it sound.
YOUR ALBUM HAS A VERY INTEREST- ING FLOW. IT’S A MIX OF LOUD AND AGGRESSIVE AND SOFT AND MELLOW- ER AND IT’S DEFINITELY YOUR OWN THING. HOW DID YOU COME ABOUT PUTTING IT TOGETHER? DO GENRES CONCERN YOU AT ALL OR MUCH?
Keltie: Everything is inten- tional with that. We worked, we would come up with an order, we would sit . . . We would listen to it. You know we’re all individual record collectors and DJ Gina Vinelli is a DJ and like I play records sometimes. We care a lot about music and we enjoy a lot of music.
Madison: We wanted people to be able to sit and listen to the record and enjoy it. We didn’t want it to just be “these are our songs”. We wanted it to be a lis- tening experience because that’s what we like. And although we didn’t sit down and go to a cabin and write our album in its entirety in this super intentional way, we have it found, we have songs, and we stuck together in whatever way we stuck together [laughs].
Lesley: Our next album is gonna be..
Madison: It’s gonna be a concept album based on the story of the two women who had es- caped from prison in Edmonton and then caught in an escape room. That’s what we’re riffing on. That’s what our inspiration for the next one is.
Lesley: Women in prison [agreement] and woman out of prison. And in an escape room . . . and back in prison. It’s our wholesome prison. [All laugh- ing.]
I’M DEFINITELY GOING TO LOOK OUT FOR THAT ONE. SO KELTIE AND LES
LIE ARE BOTH INVOLVED IN VISUAL ARTS FROM WHAT I HEAR, SO DOES THAT- DES YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH IT INFLUENCE YOUR MUSIC AT ALL? DO YOU INVOLVE THAT HEAVILY WITH YOUR MUSIC OR ALBUM?
Lesley: I feel like we’re all, you know, very artsy influenced people. We all enjoy art. I don’t know, it’s hard to quantify how it impacts our albums but I’m definitely interested and do some performance art based work and that definitely has creeped into our songs .
I really do feel like performance, especially with a band that performs pretty regularly, or has per- formed pretty regularly at live shows, it is me having fun but it’s also a creative expression and I like to see how people react to it. Like things people wouldn’t normally see on stage to elicit reactions from people. I like to ge tarise out of the crowd.
Keltie: For me it was specifical- ly the visual arts performance of the album. We’re all pretty active in the art community one way or another and we’re big supporters of what’s happening in the local scene Gina: We saw the show at Possible Worlds which is the artwork by JG and I think we were all really taken by it and captured by it so that’s kind of how we settled on using that artwork.
Lesley: Yeah, it was a pretty easy decision when it was brought forward by someone in the band. We were like “yup that’s the one.” there was no debate. We all knew it when we saw it.
Keltie: I was gonna make a joke about my standing perfor- mance of wearing all black and nobody’s noticed yet but.
Madison: We just dress up like clowns and Keltie’s just wearing black.
Gina: Yeah, we’re more absurdist.
ALRIGHT, THIS HAS BEEN FUN! I DON’T KNOW IF YOU WANT TO ADD ANYTHING OR—
Lesley: Thank you for not asking us what it’s like to be an all-female band! This is the first time we haven’t had that question!
Check more from Boonie Doon and listen to their album “Dooner Nooner”