Birds of play

An interview with Morgan C. Ross, lead singer of Birds of Whales

Touring extensively across the U.K. has garnered Birds of Wales a strong and supportive fan base overseas.
Touring extensively across the U.K. has garnered Birds of Wales a strong and supportive fan base overseas.
Credit: 
Supplied

1. Who are you?

Morgan C. Ross, lead singer of Birds of Wales and avid Starbucks drinker.

2. What do you do?

I’m the primary songwriter and lead singer of Birds of Wales.

3. Where can someone find you?

In the real world, people can find me wondering around the Annex area of Toronto, or at the Supermarket bar in Kensington Market. In the online world, you can find myself and the entire band on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and most everywhere else.

4. Where do you live and work and why?

I live in Kensington Market in Toronto, and work wherever my current Birds of Wales show is. I’m lucky enough to have music and the band as a full time gig.

5. How did you meet your bandmates and when did you start making music together?

I met my bandmates after auditioning them all in Toronto. We started playing together around four years ago.

6. What’s your writing process like?

When I write a song, I record a acoustic demo at home. I then send the band the acoustic version via email and let them come up with parts. The following rehearsal we lock ourselves in our space and play the song over and over again until the song is ready.

7. How was it working with Jeff Dawson on producing Belgravia Hotel?

Working with Jeff Dawson was a pleasure. Jeff is a heavy hitter, and really talented. We were locked up in studios in Vancouver with him for a couple months, and we got to know each other really well. I have never had that many Stella Artois’ and steamed burritos in my life.  

8. Do you prefer recording or touring?

Recording is one of my favourite things to do. I love being in studios, and love the entire process. This said, touring has some real obvious pros. We’ve been lucky enough to tour Europe five times in the last couple years as well as the US and Canada. I sure do love recording though.

9. Why do you think British audiences have been particularly receptive to your tunes?

British audiences have a really beautiful appreciation for music. People in the UK have really supported our music, and I can’t tell you how enjoyable it is to play over there.

10. What is Birds of Wales currently working on?

Our new album, Belgravia Hotel, is released on April 13 in Canada. We have a ton of other songs, but we’ll save that discussion for the next few records.

11. What are your current obsessions?

I was obsessed with Cinnamon Dolce Lattes for a long time, but lately I have had a strange need for Ms. Vickie’s Jalapeno potato chips.  

12. What inspires you?

The comments section of the cbc.ca website every time Harper does something stupid.

13. What’s the best and worst thing someone has said to you after a show?

I have had a bunch of people tell me this past year that they used our song, “My Lady in July,” as the first dance at their weddings. On the negative side—I remember one of the first shows I ever played in my life, in Vancouver, one of the 15 or so awkward people in the audience yelled, saying we sounded like Nickelback. I don’t really know why he said it though—we were way worse than Nickelback back then.

14. When someone says “Kingston”, you think…

Cute girls that go to Queen’s and a bar with a giant airplane in it.

15. What are your hopes for the upcoming gigs with Dragonette?

We have played numerous shows with Dragonette in the past, and they are a really friendly bunch of people. I really like their music too, so hopefully these upcoming shows are as fun as they have been in the past.
Birds of Wales play Ale House with Dragonette next Wednesday March 31st. Tickets are $10 and are available at Destinations, The Brass Pub, Sunrise Records and ticketweb.ca

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