Any band that performs music about “the sexual misadventures of heavy machinery, the nighttime journeys of little boys and lions born of a human womb,” let alone has a name like Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers, is well worth a listen. The sextet of classically-trained musicians from Winnipeg released their premier full-length album, Hans my Lion, in March of this year and have since been touring across Canada to promote it. After you check it out, be sure to take a listen to their original rock opera concept album The Wild Things, inspired, yes, by the iconic children’s story Where the Wild Things Are.  

SDTC: Your band name is incredibly cool! What’s the story behind it?

The ancestry of the name is as follows:
MothaFunkers (2 shows)
MothaFolkers (1 show)
The Dwarf Hamster Big Band (1 show)
Dorian Funk’s Blues (1 show)
Rudolph and the Scarlet Harlots (1 Christmas show)
Flying Fox and the Scarlet Harlots (1 hypothetical show)
Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers (probably at least 2000 shows)   

What are some of your favourite folk tales?
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris. Maybe not folk tales as such, but a wonderful read. 

How would you sum up your new album in one sentence?
Hans (lion + boy) => Mother => sexual education(machines + feelings) => Melodrama (lust + regret) => Epic Orchestral Denouement => Nudity on Cover.  

Where do you get your inspiration from?
We try to keep it pretty broad, but if forced to, on this day I would boil it down to J.S. Bach, Tom Waits, Jim Henson, and David Attenborough. 

If we were planning a summer road trip to Winnipeg, what are the top 5 places we would have to visit?
The Statue of Louis Riel at the Legislative building.
The Weird Naked Statue of Louis Riel hidden behind a church in St. Boniface.
The Mini-Donut shop at the Forks.
The unfinished Museum of Human Rights.
The Manitoba Museum to see the Nonsuch (it’s a big ship inside an even bigger building, neatest thing in Winnipeg). 

What band or musician, past or present, would you love to collaborate with?
I would love to learn from Gregory Kozak, instrument inventor and composer from Vancouver.  I wish someday to do something like what he does. 

What can we expect from your live show?
Hopefully improbably large puppet heads, sweat, and a sonic experience that will make even the plaidest indie hipster gain new appreciation for musical theatre.   

What does the rest of 2011 have in store for you guys?
1/3 of the band are getting married this year, so there’s that. We’re also hoping that a Best Operatic Indie Jazz Album category will be added to the Junos, for which we expect to be a shoe in.   

Check out Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers’  Myspace for tour dates and music: 

~ Caitlyn Holroyd