In light of Bellwoods’ Quebec tour which launches this week, Forget The Box had the opportunity to catch up with Morgan Cameron Ross (formerly of Birds of Wales), who makes up half of this catchy folk pop duo, completed by Alan Snoddy (formerly of Stars).
As of today, Bellwoods lifts off with a live performance on Musique Plus then off to Rimouski, Rivière-du-Loup, New Richmond, Forestville, Baie-Comeau and then back to Montreal on the 24th. Along for the ride is Juno-nominated French Canadian artist Bobby Bazini.
What are you listening to these days?
Ross: I’ve had the new Half Moon Run album in my head for weeks.
If your life was an Olympic sport, what sport would it be?
I have played soccer my entire life. I care more about the World Cup (Viva Argentina!) than the Olympics, but I still love the Olympics dearly.
Morgan, you are quite stylish. Do you own wax for that stylish mustache, if so any brand in particular, and where do you go shopping for your bow ties?
[Laughs] Mustaches are difficult things. It’s taken some good advice from my hairdresser. Bow ties are not too hard to find. There are some really great spots in Toronto and N.Y.C. to find them. Tying them is a different story though…
Agreed. Bow ties are hard to tie but very much worth the trouble. What’s your favourite guilty pleasure?
Ross: City planning and municipal politics.
What are your musical influences?
Ross: The Shins, Beatles, and Elliott Smith.
What inspires you to write tunes?
Ross: Depends on the song. Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about class issues. Stephen Harper gives me many reasons to be angry and write a song [laughs].
How did you and Alan Snoddy meet?
Ross: Alan was playing lead guitar for the Montreal band, Stars. My close friend, Maurie Kauffman, who drums for the singer, Lights, introduced us in Toronto.
What prompted this new project?
Ross: Alan came and played lead guitar for a few shows with me last year, and it molded into writing, and now, Bellwoods.
How would you describe your sound and what’s your favourite tune to play live?
Ross: We’ve made a conscious choice to incorporate numerous different instruments that we don’t normally use. We love the folky side of things. Our song ”Get Back Up” is a personal favourite of ours.
What do you envision for Bellwoods in the next couple years?
Ross: We have our EP coming out in the near future, and will be on the road for the next few months. We have a duet with Mary Lambert (who worked on Macklemore’s “Same Love”) coming out soon, and we’re really excited about showing everyone that one.
Have you traveled around Quebec before?
Ross: Alan is from Montreal, and played with Stars for years. He’s played throughout Quebec. My last solo album, was received well in Quebec, and I’m proud of all the great shows I’ve been able to play in Quebec. Lovely people, great shows.
See Bellwoods at La Sala Rossa (4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent) on Monday, February 24. Tickets are 14$ and available online here.