Marc-Antoine Robertson makes epic sounds in the most mundane of locales— his bedroom, his kitchen, and his producer’s parlour.
“I spend a lot of time hanging out in these places, and they're filled with things that make me want to write—like the record collection and movies I have stashed in my room,” the frontman of Halifax based indie pop quartet SoHo Ghetto says of the cozy nooks where he wrote the band’s panoramic debut, *Thou or I or Both* (released on August 26).
Beloved local producer Daniel Ledwell—husband of Haligonian musician Jenn Grant—helmed *Thou*, recording SoHo Ghetto’s instrumentation in the snug living room of his own abode. He would rather be hospitable and make his collaborators comfortable than bring them to an expensive studio. He says: "I used a lot of mics to record SoHo's piano and drums, and chose the right mics to get that sound. But in general, today's technology allows you to make that epic sound anywhere you like."
Robertson tries to be equally flexible: "I can write backstage or in the backseat of a car, somewhere noisy or quiet. Plus, I live with Rich Aucoin, meaning I constantly hear epic music coming up from the basement. So I’m surrounded by the right things and the right people. If you can create that world for yourself and trust in it, you can write anywhere."
Robertson adds that having a house mate like Aucoin—Canada's intergalactic indie-dance maestro—is certainly inspiring, despite the fact that "he never takes out the compost. But I steal loonies off his desk for laundry, so it’s a trade off." Kidding aside, he says being part of such a tightly knit scene—where esteemed talents like Aucoin and Ledwell are so near by—also makes him feel at home.
He works to be equally hospitable onstage: "My bandmates used to tell me I closed my eyes too much. So I started making eye contact with the audience. It would help me give them a rush. It's hard, because of stage fright, but soon your confidence builds and, before you know it, you’re trying to stare everyone in the eye."
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