Sled Island: Tigers on the prowl
Seamless integration and fluid, catchy melodies are likely the elements that stick out when first listening to Vancouver-based septet Fond of Tigers, however, guitarist and band leader Stephen Lyons admits that a great deal of the band’s preparation for a set comes at the last minute.
“As soon as something is set in stone I want to change it, sort of like flipping a coin and saying if it turns up heads you’ll do something and then when it is heads you do the opposite because it forces you to make the decision you inherently wanted without knowing you wanted,” Lyons says during a phone interview from Toronto.
Fond of Tigers initially began as solo project but slowly morphed into a full cast of musicians that have be together off-and-on since 2003. Lyons believes much of the vocal-less instrumental group’s appeal comes from the variety of shows they are able to put on depending on the members’ physical and emotional state.
“Our sets are pretty varied depending on how we shape them, we have quite a lot of material now,” Lyon said, noting that the group recently played two separate shows in London, Ont. that ended up being completely different experiences for band members and fans alike. “When we started out we seemed to be playing the same songs but now we have a number of sets, so depending on our mood we kind of shape it differently.”
Sled Island Spotlight
Fond of Tigers
Show: Wed., June 24th at Central United Church — 07:00 p.m. — All Ages
For the band website click here.
Lyons says on a recent tour through Ontario his group found “some really nice pacing and archs, just kind of zoning in on all the dynamics. It can go from pretty intense to quite beautiful and open-sounding so it’s not monolithic in that way.”
The group hopes to carry that momentum into Sled Island in what will be their first performance in Alberta.
“Sled Island festival is great, seems like it’s doing a lot for music in Calgary and that whole region. When you get over 250 bands coming through it spills over into all of Alberta and beyond, it’s great,” Lyons said. “We likely would not have had the push to go to Alberta were it not for the festival.”
Lyons hopes to see more Sled Island-type creations come to Vancouver area, noting that the group often feels “isolated in the far west.
“The interaction at a festival like this is just phenonmenal. It helps musicians to interact with one another and it can give that push to take your music to new levels.”