New Fries aren’t afraid to fight

NEW FRIES with PRIVATE JOY, CARL DIDUR and FOUNTAIN at the Garrison (1197 Dundas West), Thursday (December 1), 9 pm..


NEW FRIES with PRIVATE JOY, CARL DIDUR and FOUNTAIN at the Garrison (1197 Dundas West), Thursday (December 1), 9 pm. $10 at the door. See listing.

New Fries are a lot of things maybe all the things. Their description of their music just the bones mostly, with a little meat makes sense, but it also makes sense when they say its layers on top of layers.

The songs are dense and complex, a ratking of rhythm and tonality, with fearless jump-cut songwriting and opaque, allusive lyricism. But theyre also arresting and immediate, a rush of nervy energy made by four strong personalities bent on upending, provoking and making space for one another.

The Toronto experimentalists first EP came out three years ago, and since then theyve built up a national following that would make most local bands envious. Theyve done it by being unapologetically risky and iconoclastic. Telephone Explosion has just released their third EP, a 10-inch recorded by Holy Fucks Graham Walsh that plays like a Gravitron ride and is appropriately titled More. A Lot would have also worked as a title.

In conversation, they dont stop being New Fries: tossing ideas in every direction, finishing each others thoughts, turning every anecdote into a miniature Rashomon. We met up with them minus dark wizard bassist Tim Fagan near their rehearsal space to talk More. We gave them the floor, and it went kinda like this.

Anni Spadafora, guitar and vocals: More is a disaster! Youre like, That was 17 minutes? I feel like they threw me into the gutter and I hit every little thing all the way down to the sewer.

Jenny Gitman, drums: Its the longest 17 minutes!

Ryan Carley, keyboards: Its just a 10-inch record, but it kind of messes with your perception of time, because a lot happens.

Spadafora: Whatever we have, we use. Theres no preciousness that way, and its very reflective of what were making at that time.

Gitman: We just gave ourselves a deadline, and when we met it, we were like, Oh no, we only have 17 minutes?

Carley: But I think it became something more than we thought it would, which is good. The actual recording process was quite quick, but the mixing process was key. We found little ideas that we were able to mess with while mixing and treated them like another level to the record. The process was pretty fun. But also insane and annoying.

Gitman: Ryan had to go for a walk one night.

Spadafora: Were not scared to fight. Were not the type to hold back. Its not in a malicious way, we are just cool to tell each other how we feel.

Carley: Yeah, you have to go to war if you want to make something that pushes through multiple layers and gets beyond what you can do on your own. You throw something out and it gets smacked down, you throw another thing out and it gets smacked down, but one time you throw something far enough that no one can swipe at it, and youre like, Oh, thats where were going now. And you keep crawling forward all the time. So if its a good idea, it doesnt get smacked out of the way. [pauses] Theres a lot of smacking.

Gitman: We dont have etiquette or technique or anything.

Carley: Ive tried my best to destroy technique in this band.

Gitman: Theres a kind of freedom in saying, If you cant play it well, then you can just play something else.

Spadafora: Because youre doing it your way! Im way more curious about seeing someone play in a way thats truly theirs. I dont care how terrible it is. If its truly theirs, that is way more interesting than someone playing really well. Were always playing with bands who have really well constructed or, like, complete music. Were very deconstructed, very incomplete.

Carley: None of our songs are even in any key.

Gitman: I dont know what a key is.

Spadafora: I think were all just willing to be fools and thats why it works. Were just having fun. Who cares!

Carley: Its a bag of garbage. Fun garbage. Tumultuous, terrible garbage.

Spadafora: Yeah, there are more than enough people doing this shit well!

music@nowtoronto.com | @streetsbag

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