This past April, Timber Timbre released their most ambitious record, their sixth – Sincerely, Future Pollution, a collection of nine, beautiful and cinematic songs, drenched in sounds of the past that are tied together with singer Taylor Kirk’s noticeably haunting voice.
The group started their journey in 2005, with their debut album Cedar Shakes. The group followed that record up with Medicinals, before singing to the Canadian record label Arts & Crafts for their 2009 self-titled release. As the band began to pick up recognition and a larger fan base, different players were brought in to help expand on the different soundscapes for the group. Montreal musician Mathieu Charbonneau was brought into perform keyboard and piano duties for the band in 2011 and since, has released Creep On Creepin On’ , Hot Dreams , and Sincerely, Future Pollution with the band.
How did you end up performing on Creep on Creeping On, and subsequently joining the band?
Simone Trottier, who has been with Taylor for quite a while, played in a few projects with me in the past. When they were working on Creep On, I think Taylor had the idea of having someone coming in to do the keys. He used to do everything himself in this band. So I was recommended.
Now, three records in together, we’ve been more involved in terms of where we come into the process of making the records. For Sincerely, Taylor the basic structures, but then we spent three months working on the songs before going into the studio. For the other records I’ve been a part of, Taylor had more of a vision and idea of every sound, but this record was more experimental.
Listening to Sincerely, it’s easy to hear your input – it is very synth and keyboard heavy. What was it like working on this record?
Well, we did all the work for the songs in Montreal, recording demos and getting the songs together. We then went to La Frette Studios just outside of Paris, France for three weeks. Before we went to Paris, we worked on finding the right sounds with a lot of different synths. Then we came home, did some overdubs and editing and then it was mixed in a week.
What was it like working in Paris? Have you gone and done destination records like that before?
It was my first time recording in France. It’s in a small village that’s outside of Paris. We didn’t go into town once. It’s kind of an old small castle that the owner transformed into a studio. It’s a pretty special place .You get stuck in a bubble and record 14 hours a day.
Looking back at the record, what does it mean to you? Do you ever listen to it?
Well, most literally, the title takes themes from the record and puts them together in a nice way of words. It’s kind of a resume in three words of the different kind of images that are thrown out there. There is some irony behind it, which suits the record too.
I haven’t listened to it a lot. Usually when I finish a record you don’t want to hear it anymore because you work on it so much. This summer I heard it at a radio station and it made me happy. That’s a good sign – I wasn’t anxious or sad about it. When you finish a record you don’t know what to think about it, you can’t hear it properly because you hear everything that went into it, which can be tough. It was nice to hear it from some distance, I was happy.
So you’re a full time member of Timber Timbre. Are you a full-time musician when you’re not on tour or making records with the band?
When I come home, I’m a family man – I have a daughter and a wife. That’s a big part of my life. When I’m home, that’s what I do. I also have other bands and projects with other people. I’m in another project, a French singing band called Avec Pas D’Casque who have released five records. I’ve done three of them with them so far. I also have recorded a couple of solo piano records.
What do you think of when you look back on what you’ve accomplished with Timber Timbre in the past six years?
Well, I’ve learned that making records is such a treat. It’s amazing to immerse yourself into a record. It’s just so fun. These are my best friends and it’s the music I want to be making. When you think about it, those two things are enough to keep anyone in a project. If it’s friends and you enjoy the music, that’s what you want. I feel like I’m very lucky to be working with these people.
Timber Timbre perform in Patridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on Nov. 15 with Boyhood. Ticket information can be found at firstontariopac.com