Tonight, I'm going to see Plants and Animals at Ritual Nightclub. Last week, I was lucky enough to interview drummer/vocalist Matthew "Woody" Woodley for a piece I decided to write for Couch Assassin.
Stay tuned for my review of the show. In the meantime, feel free to read my article below. Shout out to Couch Assassin for posting my piece and to the lovely and talented Natalie Zed for her assistance.
Plants and Animals: The End of That is Only The Beginning
Plants and Animals will be taking over in the National Capital Region this weekend, playing back to back shows in Ottawa
and Wakefield. I recently spoke
to drummer/vocalist Matthew "Woody" Woodley about the band's upcoming
shows and what 2013 has in store for Plants and Animals.
Montreal’s beloved indie rockers are no strangers to Ottawa. Last
year, they played at Ritual Nightclub and at the RBC Royal Bank Ottawa
Bluesfest. "Ottawa is great; we always like to play [here]," said
Woodley. He then shared his fondness for the renowned venue in
Wakefield. "I love the Black Sheep Inn," he added. "It’s honestly one of
my favourite places to play."
2012 was a huge year for the band. They released their third LP "The
End of That" in February. When asked how the new record is different
from the first two LP's, Woodley shared one major difference. "We tend
to write in the studio a lot. And with [this album], we didn’t so much.
We wrote a lot at home and then went into the studio with the goal to
bang it out over two weeks. So the process was different, and I think
for better and for worse, we’re not going to do it that way again... The
shortage of time puts too much pressure on getting things right. I
think we’re meant to work slowly and to plug away at things, and put
together the puzzle slowly rather than write out a blueprint and
To support "The End of That", the band toured for the better part of
2012, all across North America and hitting a few spots in Europe.
"Everything is blurred together in a sense," Woodley explained. "I feel
like the highlight is the entirety of it all." Last summer, they played a
few music festivals, including Bluesfest and Osheaga. Woodley said that
the group will likely play some festivals this upcoming summer but
nothing is confirmed as of yet.
Woodley feels that playing big outdoor festivals can be quite
different from playing the more intimate shows: "[People] are there for
the experience. You have to project a different energy from the stage.
It’s not as easy as the intimate stuff. I wouldn’t want to play outdoor
festivals all year round but it’s like having a summer picnic. The
variety [of shows] is great."
This spring will be an exciting time for the band; "The End of That"
will be officially released in France this April. This is a big deal for
the band, especially since the album was recorded in France, outside of
Paris. "It sorta feels like a homecoming in a weird way, even though
it’s very far from home," shared Woodley. The band will play a few
shows in France, then return to Canadian soil. Upon their return from
France, the group will play small regions around Quebec, which,
according to Woodley, is a long time coming. "We’ve taken a long time to
branch out into the regions of Quebec and connect with the francophone
world, in a way that we have in the English speaking world, which is too
bad... but now it’s great." According to Woodley, this is especially
important since the band is one third francophone and they live in
So will 2013 be as hectic for Plants and Animals as 2012 was? Woodley
doesn't think so. "I think it’s going to be a quieter year in a sense,
because we’re going back into creation mode," he explained. "We’ll
certainly be playing but it’s not going to be intense touring the way it
was in 2012. Our focus will be more on writing and recording than
touring, for sure." However, don’t expect to hear new material at their
upcoming shows. "Nothing from record #4 is at the stage where we’re
ready to play it live," added Woodley.
Having been together for over ten years, it's almost impossible to
think of a time where Plants and Animals wasn't on our radar. But did
the band members always see themselves have a successful career in
music? Not quite. "I originally didn’t ever see myself make a living
playing music," said Woodley. "I thought I was going to pursue other
things and play the weird music that I liked and just do it as a very
serious and passionate hobby... All of a sudden, there was this shift
and we all decided to try and give it a go as a band in the world. And
here we are."
So what should we expect from Plants and Animals in another ten
years? Woodley isn't quite sure. "I hope we’re playing together, but I
don’t know if we’re going to spend as much time trucking around the
country in a van as we do now."
If that's the case, then we should all take advantage of their
current touring schedule. Be sure to catch Plants and Animals at their
upcoming shows in Wakefield and Ottawa.