Get to Know the Artist: Fiona Noakes Band

By Chanhong Luu

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Photo credit: Deniz Berkin

L-R: Cliff Chamberlain, Fiona Noakes, Ben L'Ecuyer, Seedus, and Danae Tsikouras

Meet the Fiona Noakes Band, headed by, you guessed it, Fiona Noakes. Noakes is joined by lead guitarist/back-up vocalist Cliff Chamberlain, drummer/back-up vocalist Danae Tsikouras, bassist Ben L’Ecuyer, and guitarist Seedus. Dedicated to creating a music video for all of their songs, the Fiona Noakes Band has allowed Noakes to combine her passions of writing, acting, and making music together. Through their music, the band wants listeners to be proud of who they are and to embrace all of life’s struggles—the ups and the downs: “This is my apology for being me; I’m so sorry there’s no glory here for you,” an excerpt from their song, "My Apology," seems self-loathing, but it is sung with an upbeat melody, and when listened with the video, it takes a whole new meaning. Take a listen to the full song here and continue reading Gadfly Online’s interview with Noakes to learn more about the band.

Gadfly Online: Can you provide us with some background? Where are you from? What made you pursue a career in music?

Fiona Noakes: I was born in Toronto but moved to Ottawa when I was around 3-4 years old. Songwriting has always been in my bones from a young age: I remember coming up with songs in my head since I was a wee lass, but I never took the time to write them down. I also grew up in a pretty musical household (parents always had music playing at home), so music has always just been there throughout my life. I was grateful to have had my parents put me in classical piano lessons when I was eight. I also took music classes throughout high school and got my first guitar towards the end of high school. From there I started coming up with songs on guitar and got together with a high school friend, my former band mate, Tim Trant, to work on the songs together. I’ve always had a passion for performing (acting in film and theatre), and writing music was second nature to me, so it felt like a natural progression to try and pursue it on another level and to fuse both worlds of acting and music together.

GO: How would you characterize your music? Do you fit into a stock genre or create a fusion of genres?

FN: Our music is characterized differently based off of people’s definitions of the different musical genres. We usually use a few genres to describe our sound: indie alternative folk rock. I think also each band member (lead guitarist/back-up vocalist Cliff Chamberlain, drummer/back-up vocalist Danae Tsikouras, bassist Ben L’Ecuyer, and our most recently joined member on rhythm, guitar Seedus) brings a certain style/influence into the band based on the type of music they listen to/were influenced by, which is quite a wide range of genres including rock, country, ambient, metal, punk, etc.

GO: Who would you cite as your musical influence?

FN: Our music is characterized differently based off of people’s definitions of the different musical genres. We usually use a few genres to describe our sound: indie alternative folk rock. I think also each band member (lead guitarist/back-up vocalist Cliff Chamberlain, drummer/back-up vocalist Danae Tsikouras, bassist Ben L’Ecuyer, and our most recently joined member on rhythm, guitar Seedus) brings a certain style/influence into the band based on the type of music they listen to/were influenced by, which is quite a wide range of genres including rock, country, ambient, metal, punk, etc.

GO: Who would you cite as your musical influence?/p>

FN: I have quite a few musical influences. Tegan and Sara are my biggest influence; I also love Emily Haines, Metric, Mother Mother, The Pretty Reckless, the Kooks, Placebo, KT Tunstall, and Sarah McLachlan. In high school, I listened to a lot of Blink-182 and Eminem.

GO: What project are you promoting right now? How does this fit into your overall career arc?

FN: We are currently promoting our latest album, released this fall, called Fury of the Sea and our music video for our song, “Fury of the Sea.”

This album fits in our overall career arc, as it’s a reflection of us growing individually and together as a band. Since we had already been together for sometime when recording this album, you can hear more of a solidified sound and style shining through on this album. This is also our first full-length album we have recorded together.

GO: What do you hope to communicate to listeners through your music? What does music mean to you?

FN: As a band we hope to connect with listeners on a personal level through our music—for them to be able to relate to a song and realize that they are not alone in the world, in their personal experiences, and in their struggles.

For me personally, music is like therapy. When I write songs it is cathartic—it is my creative outlet. Listening to music is such a sensory experience—it evokes so much emotion, excitement, and nostalgia.

GO: What can we expect from you in the future?

FN: Fiona Noakes Band is trying to grow and reach audiences all over, including, but not limited to galaxies far far away. We are looking forward to playing in new cities and sharing our music with new audiences. We’re also super passionate about making music videos for our songs and have been shooting quite a few music videos lately. Expect our music video for “Ghost of The Abyss,” which is the continuation of the “Fury of the Sea” music video, to be released in the early new year, followed by the video for “The Dawdle and Your Stare.” We’ll be making videos for the majority of the songs off our CD.

GO: Whom is your music geared towards? How is it impacting them? In other words, why should we listen to your music and message?

FN: I don’t think our music is necessarily geared towards any particular demographic, but a lot of the songs do touch on personal struggles everyone has gone through at some point in their life (identity issues, struggling with the pressure to conform, heartbreak, relationship with society, etc.). Our message is to be proud of who you are and to embrace all of life’s struggles—the ups and the downs.

GO: Is there any particular song from the album you would like to talk about—the inspiration or story behind it, etc.? Feel free to choose multiple songs to talk about.

FN: Good question. Hmm…I think to really sum up the album more or less, it’s talking about a person who struggles with being different, with their own personal struggle to conform but also talking about love and how that person yearns to have that partner in life that accepts them for who they are—the good, the bad, and the ugly, and to be with them throughout their lifelong journey.

Source: http://www.gadflyonline.com/home/index.php/fiona-noakes-band/

LATEST ALBUM

Fury of the Sea

Listen to Fiona Noakes Band's latest album!

Our Band

  • Fiona Noakes

    Lead Singer

    @FionaNoakes

     

  • Cliff Chamberlain

    Lead Guitarist, Rhythm Guitarist,

    Backup Vocalist

    @Cliffygtr

  • Danae Thrips Tsikouras

    Drummer, Backup Vocalist

    @DanaeThrips

  • Ben L'Ecuyer

    Bassist

     

     

  • Seedus

    Rhythm Guitarist