It’s a busy time for the bluesy swing ragtime roots duo that is Chicken-Like Birds, as both Ari Lantela and Jasmin Lynn Frederickton are hitting the long roads of the Canadian trail touring with their whimsical songs of muddy riffs, commanding upright bass and endearing story telling harmonies.
Pursuing their passion for live performance by kicking off their tour in late summer (check out the dates & cities below!), a truly exceptional band that continuously wows audiences with their love/hate fun antics and songs about country life adventures, independent woman and how to cook a mean cornbread.
I recently had the pleasure of yammering with Ari and Jasmine where we talked about them not being a couple, their move from Vancouver to Salmon Arm and recording a new album in the Fall. There is absolutely no slowing down for Chicken-Like Birds so better catch them while you can!
Jas: You start your yammering. That’s kind of our shtick is that we pretend that we hate each other on stage.
Ari: But we really do.
CG: I’m sure people can identify with that. With people that they love/hate.
Jas: Something that a lot of people think is interesting is that we are not a couple.
Ari: A lot of the times it’s assumed that we are a couple. Sometimes we have to awkwardly be like, “ so we are not a couple” …peoples eyes get shifty. Hahaha
CG: I’ve lived with guys and there have been times people have assumed that we are a couple because we live together but nope we are just friends.
Ari: There was this one time where I was talking to our friend Susan in Salmon Arm and I told her that we were not a couple, she’s like “I kinda’ guessed you guys weren’t banging”.
Ari: So I guess sometimes we put off that vibe…
Jas: We did start out dating when we lived in Calgary, that’s how Chicken-Like Birds first happened. We started jamming together, drinking together, making music and then I went tree planting for a few months and at the time Ari wrote a slew of songs about me…
Ari: I would say at least six…
Jas: And when I got back we started the process of moving to Vancouver from Calgary, I had told him that I was going to move to Vancouver and asked him if he wanted to come. In that process I actually break up with him.
CG: Oh no! Hahahaha
Jas: And then I ask him if he still wanted to come hahahaha
Ari: I had packed up all my shit, we are on the road in Revelstoke camping and she breaks up with me.
Jas: hahaha…but we work really well together..
Ari: We stuck through it
Jas: I like this guy, he’s good.
CG: It just didn’t work as a couple
Ari: But there are other things.
CG: It’s great that you stayed friends, some people can be very bitter..
Ari: Well there were times..
CG: Jas: hahaha
CG: I’m sure there have been, I’ve remained friends with a lot of my exes and there have been times where they haven’t been my favourite people in the world but you see the good in that person. And because you have this creative synergy it’s something that you don’t want to just throw away. It’s great that you were able to remain friends…
Jas: Is it? Hahaha… I’m joking ..
CG: You both live in Salmon Arm now?
Jas: We are roommates in Salmon Arm. We both lived in Vancouver for two years and then at one point my parents bought property in Salmon Arm. They said we could live there and it’s always been a dream of mine to live in the country. We were given this really good opportunity to just help with the property, we don’t even really pay rent.
Jas: Ari again followed me with whatever whim that I have …hahaha
Ari: You skipped the part where we both went to Salmon Arm to volunteer for the Roots and Blues festival. There is an in between story. We volunteered at that festival and snuck into the after party where we met this guy Patrick Alexandre who plays bass in this band called the F-Holes and he also plays with Little Miss Higgins in Winnipeg. So we were jamming and I had my suitcase drum there and he was using that and kicked a hole in it.
Ari: I was holding a grudge against him for a long time…hahaha. And then we moved to Vancouver and about a year later we go back to Winnipeg to play a festival. We had no idea that Patrick would be playing there as well.
CG: And you still have a grudge at this time…
Ari: Oh ya, I confronted him about it. He sells these beard oils so he gave me one of those and then I said we were good after that.
CG: We are even…hahaha beard oil… everything is all good now.
Ari: But at the end of that festival he asked us if we wanted to record with him so we are recording our next album with him. We are recording in Saskatchewan of all places.
CG: Is the studio in the middle of nowhere?
Ari: Maple Creek is a small town, maybe about 5,000 people. This hotel that we are recording at is called Ghostown Blues. In town they have a central church/saloon, it was trucked in from somewhere in small town Saskatchewan and around it they have all these cabins and rooms built into truck wagons and into the back of old trucks.
CG: Sounds really cool. You have been there before?
Ari: Yes, we played a show there on our way to the festival in Winnipeg.
CG: Is it haunted? Does it live up to its name?
Ari: Yes, it’s kind of does but we didn’t stay the night.
CG: You’ll know after you stay there during recordings.
Jas: It feels like a lot of things have come full circle for us. Salmon Arm is the perfect fit for us to live and it’s funny how things happened with Patrick. Now we have this album that we are working on that we are going to be honing all the songs as we go across Canada for our tour. We are going to incorporate a set of all our new material that we get to record at the end of our tour.
CG: It will be nice to play new songs. Have you played any of these new songs live yet?
Ari: We haven’t really played live any of the new songs with the exception of Bury the Dog and Chicken Coop. It will basically be a full new set of music, ten to 12 new songs so we are excited about that.
CG: I know playing the same songs over and over can be monotonous. It’s nice to change it up and play new stuff.
Jas: We have to play new songs, we have a couple of venues that we go back to a lot. No set is ever the same that’s for sure. No song is ever really the same.
Ari: It’s because we fuck it up…
Jas: It’s because we just flail…there is a lot of flailing on stage for us.
Ari: I feel like some of my favourite moments is when you fuck something up but it’s how you recover from it, even watching a show when you can tell someone has screwed up and watch them recover from it is cool.
Jas: It makes the experience more human.
CG: I think that it what makes a good performance. When you are watching stand-up comedians and how they deal with hecklers. Total respect if they take control of the situation and not freak out.
Jas: Reacting. For us we just get awkward.
Jas: We make it as awkward as we possibly can. That’s our shtick but it’s not a shtick it’s actually real. We are just really awkward people.
CG: To me just being yourself is cool.
Ari: I think that’s it we try to be ourselves as much as possible.
Chicken-Like Birds is involved with Cover for The Cause, cover songs by donation and requested from you the fans with proceeds benefiting Music Heals.
So here’s your chance to request a cover song from your favourite artist, have it performed by Chicken-Like Birds and support local music therapy programs.
Donate. Request. Share!
2017 Cross Canada Tour
Thu, Aug 24 Winnipeg, MB Times Changed and Lonesome Club
Fri, Aug 25 Thunder Bay, ON The Foundry Pub
Sat, Aug 26 Sault St. Marie, ON Loplops
Mon, Aug 28 Sudbury, ON The Townehouse Tavern
Thu, Aug 31 London, ON Richmond Tavern
Fri, Sep 1 Peterborough, ON The Garnet
Sun, Sep 3 Ottawa, ON Avant Garde
Fri, Sep 8 Montreal, QC L’Escalier
Wed, Sept 13 Saint Andrews, NB The Red Herring
Thu, Sep 14 Charlottetown, PEI Baba’s Lounge
Wed, Sep 20 St. Johns, NL The Ship Pub
Sat, Sep 23 St. Johns, NL The Black Sheep
Thu, Sept 28 Halifax, NB Gus’s Pub
Fri, Sep 29 Fredericton, NB Roots and Soul Room