Where We Practice: Three Sheet

Halifax’s alternative hip-hop ensemble is back with a new band member, and a new album.

Crissie Brenton

After years of touring, two albums and multiple music awards, Halifax's alternative hip-hop group Three Sheet took time to cool off after last summer. The band—including beatboxer and vocal scratcher EMC (AKA Eric McIntyre), emcee Expedyte (AKA Matt Kliffer), vocalist Vanessa Furlong, Kevin Tilley (bass) and Ryan O'Quinn (guitar)—recently added DJ Uncle Fester of The Extremities (AKA Shaun Ryan) to the mix. "We've got a huge thrust of new energy," says McIntyre. "Now with Fester, we're really evolving creatively. Every time we jam, the songs are getting crazier and crazier," Furlong adds. "It comes through in our songs that we've been through a lot together."

"I think Rage Against the Machine is a good comparison. We're not as loud as them, but we have our moments," says Kliffer. "Also The Roots because of the beatboxing and scratching from EMC." Along with melodic guitar and bass, and soulful vocals from Furlong, Three Sheet has a unique setup. "There aren't many bands who primarily use beatboxing instead of drums," says McIntyre. "We've been adding so much to our old songs, and the new songs, too, that with Fes, we can actually recreate it live. It's amazing what turntables can do. And we're doing more instrumental stuff, routines and scratch battles."

"Usually we practice right here at my house, but sometimes at EMC's, Fes' or Vanessa's," says O'Quinn. "That's always been the weird and cool thing about us. We don't have a drum kit so we can make noise anywhere. We can move anywhere anytime. We're super malleable." The band writes and records in-studio together, but for the last year, McIntyre has put over 400 hours into digitally producing the next record. "It's everyone's best writing," says Ryan. "EMC got me involved to DJ and thump up the mix."

Three Sheet will perform its first show with Uncle Fester at The Carleton on Saturday, and then gear up for a string of spring and summer shows to support the new album, out first digitally on June 1. "This third album is a bit darker," says Furlong. Kliffer elaborates, "We've got a full range on this record. It's dark, and some songs are political. But if every song is political, it's like, alright, chill out. But we do have that, and also dance ones, a few bangers and satirical party shit. It's fun overall."

Three Sheet w/DJ Uncle Fester, Chelsea Amber
Saturday, March 19, 10pm
The Carleton Bar & Grill 1685 Argyle Street)

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