The release of Golden Famile’s self-titled debut album brings with it the spark of interest garnered from it’s haunting lyrics and melodies.Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, it’s singer-songwriter front man, Darrell Angus incorporates a number of folksy back-woods feeling instruments like the banjo, accordi-organ and harmonica to obtain just that eerily “wind-blowing through the trees” feel. As described by the band’s independent label, Music for Cats: “The sound is distinctively Canadian,mixing porch tales and folk tradition with guitar dramatics.” Darrell appears tough, but in the vein of Will Oldham and before him is quickly exposed for the sensitive soul he truly is. Top this with the light-hearted brevity of his supporting cast: Richard Jeffrey (guitar) and Michael Sheridan on drums, and you’re quickly aware of the humorous balance created in the midst of all this depth, something I got to experience first hand upon interviewing them...

PB: Tell me about the origins of the band

DA: It started out as just me playing solo acoustic gigs here and there. When I was making the record I utilized the talents of a couple of friends who have since become part of the band. We're a three piece now but we'll probably expand in the future.

PB: How did you go about the writing and recording of the record. What were some of the more unusual instruments used on the album?

DA: Most of the songs are fairly old and were first done on an old 4 track machine. My good friend, Richard Jeffrey(who also plays guitar in the band) acquired an 8-track so I basically started over from scratch. Everything on the record was played by Rich and myself except some of the drum tracks which we did with Mike Sheridan( who has since become our full-time drummer). Most of the instrumentation is pretty standard however having 8 tracks enabled us to put all kinds of sounds in various songs. You have to listen hard to hear them sometimes though. The most unusual instrument on the record is the optigan which is basically an old wheezy air organ I picked up at a yard sale.

PB : Can you tell us about the Music for Cats label ? How did you hook up with them?

DA: I've known Karen(label boss) since grade school. We lived right across the street from one another for a long time too. She's a totally amazing person who I suppose just decided to create a label for local artists to release their music. She's very hard working as she runs it all herself and she does a great job. Karen gave me the opportunity to release my music and that means a lot to me. (http://www.musicforcatsrecords.com)

PB : Describe your current band mates

RJ: rock n roll warriors... these guys are players... oh yeah, and Darrell is the youngest.
DA: I've known Richard, our guitar player, for about 15 years. He was the one who encouraged me to pick up a guitar in the first place. I've known Mike(drummer) for around 5 years. He's a very talented fellow who also plays in a great band called Kepler. Both of them are really easy to get along with which makes our band dynamic work very well.
MS: Rich is the tallest...

PB : Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?

DA: Inspiration comes from everywhere. It could be something I hear or see. Sometimes its just a melody running through my head. Most of the time its just me sitting with an acoustic guitar meshing various chords together until I find something that I like.

PB : Now, having known you in the past to play in bands like the Desecrators and the Hired Thugs who really had the whole bluesy/ swampy/ garagey/ punk thing down, can you tell me at what point your taste in music seemed to change so radically? (both in terms of what you play, and what you listen to). Is there something in particular that brought about this change, and as such, what would you say your influences were now?

DA: I don't think my influences have changed much over the years. I've always drawn inspiration from country, folk and blues. In my younger years I listened to a lot of garage punk and played in bands that performed that style of music. Listening to bands like the Headcoats or the Oblivians actually made me explore older music even more. As far as playing goes, I've always had the idea to do a project like this and I guess I've finally gotten off my ass to do it. Lately I've been turned on by a lot of Scottish rock. I think bands like Belle and Sebastian and Mogwai are very cool.

PB : Describe the first band you were ever in

RJ: 3 of us covered in mud. We were really dirty cats.
DA: We were called the Mudcats. It was during high school and we would play old Cure songs and Jesus and Mary Chain. I played with Rich in that band too. We used to play at coffee-houses and parties.
MS: Four stupid kids with bad haircuts and lots of conflict.

PB : What band would you ideally like to tour with now?

RJ: Jr. Gone Wild but I guess Dylan would be pretty good too....
DA: Hmmm..that's tough. There are so many amazing musicians out there but if I was going to pick I'd have to say Neil Young.
MS: Kyuss.

PB : What's a Golden Famile live show all about ? Are things truly golden?

DA: We usually try to mix it up a little. Sometimes we use different instruments or we try changing the tempo. I've never liked seeing a live band that sounds exactly like their record. We try to entertain as we really get off on polite clapping. Things are quite golden for me at the moment. I just got married to a beautiful woman...we have food on the table and a roof over our heads so I can't complain.

PB : What's the scene like in Ottawa, Canada?

DA: Its very family orientated. Most people are friendly to one another and don't just stick to one genre of music. I see familiar faces at all kinds of shows. There are too many good bands to mention but I'll plug Kepler, Castor, Weights and Measures and The Glads.

PB : What's next for the Golden Famile?

DA: We'll be starting to work on a new record early in 2002. Most of the songs are already written for that. We're hoping to add more piano and pedal-steel on this one. Live wise we'll be playing with Richard Buckner in January.

PB : Do you like monkeys?

DA: Only when they're wearing roller skates...
RJ: Of the 82 I personally know (they rent the place next door) I like 79. 3 of them are real s.o.b.'s.
MS: I believe the correct term is 'apes'. And hell yeah, I hail to the chimp.

Okay thanks guys











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