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  WINDY CITY TIMES

MUSIC Indie band Fleece is queering country
by Jerry Nunn
2021-10-24

This article shared 626 times since Sun Oct 24, 2021
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Eight years ago, gay songwriter and lead singer Matt Rogers and his friend, bisexual drummer Ethan Soil, founded Montreal quartet Fleece. A few years later, bisexual vocalist Megan Ennenberg and straight man Jameson Daniel—who are both guitar players—joined the group.

This diverse group of musicians has released their third album, Stunning & Atrocious. They are taking the tunes on the road for a headlining tour after previously supporting the group Jukebox the Ghost.

Fleece talked about the upcoming Chicago date via Zoom recently.

Windy City Times: Is everyone in Fleece from Montreal?

Jameson Daniel: I was born in Montreal, and [am] the only one from there.

Matt Rogers: We are based there now. Ethan and I grew up in Toronto. Megan grew up in Vancouver and James grew up on Vancouver Island.

WCT: Would you ever do a song in French?

MR: Yes! I have talked about this before and my friends think my French lyrics would be too on the nose and simple, but I think a French song is totally in the cards.

Megan Ennenberg: We have never tried.

JD: We should do a song with one of the Montreal hipster artists. This new guy Hubert Lenoir is awesome and I would love to work with him.

WCT: Where did the name Fleece originate?

MR: We came up with it when the band was just a bunch of bros. Megan and Jameson were not in the band yet. We liked one-named bands. We came up with Fleece and a picture of a sheep.

The meaning of the name is finally showing itself. We are warm [and] cute, and we fleece your hearts.

WCT: You could make a whole clothing line.

JD: That's on the way!

MR: Those '80s fleeces that just have the name embroidered in the corner would sell well.

Ethan Soil: I want one…

MR: I do, too!

WCT: Canada has the perfect weather for that type of clothing.

MR: Do you know what is random? Texas and LA bought the most merchandise on the tour so far.

WCT: Interesting. Do you have a cover song for Chicago planned?

MR: We haven't prepped any yet, but we could use some suggestions. In the past we did Donna Summer "I Feel Love" and people went crazy. Maybe we will bring that one back. I would definitely like to perform a song from the eighties.

ME: How about Supertramp's "Goodbye Stranger?"

MR: That's a good one. We would slay that!

WCT: I heard that song on the radio yesterday.

ME: See? We have to play that in Chicago.

WCT: Where was the video for your song "Losing Time" filmed?

ME: That was filmed at the queer collective farm where my roommate worked in Quebec.

WCT: What does a queer farmer grow?

MR: Root vegetables and they raise chickens.

ME: They have livestock to contribute to the ecosystem. They try to use as much organic material as they can and keep it local, to have a closed-off circle in the way that they farm.

WCT: Sounds like these queer farmers are very progressive. How was wearing the Little House on the Prairie drag for the "Losing Time" video, Matt?

MR: It was cute. Looking back, I would have picked a different outfit. It was hot and outdoors, but I loved dressing up.

ES: The hoop skirt was pretty epic.

ME: To think they had to put on that much garb just to leave the house is wild.

WCT: It made me that country western wear is a form of drag.

MR: Totally and that is what we were trying to do. This was our queer western spin on queer culture.

WCT: Are you into gay country artists like Orville Peck?

MR: I love Orville Peck. We randomly knew him before he blew up. We had a booking agent in common. It was crazy to watch him explode overnight. He went from one thousand followers on Instagram to be an international superstar. I am curious to see where it goes with his masks and outfits.

WCT: Do you get to play with various costumes for this tour?

MR: We like to dress up in neon and pastel color blocking. We dress as a '70s classy, formal unit with our clothing.

ES: It is seventies inspired, but still 2021. Jameson pulls from the '50s with all the white lace items he wears.

JD: I try to be Stunning and not Atrocious with what I wear!

ME: We add a personal flair to it, but don't want to do too much planning. We just want to be comfortable onstage while it is happening.

JD: We have our own stuff and then there is a trunk of clothing that we all pull from.

ME: With Fleece, we are all secretly the same size so we have a giant amount of clothes together.

MR: I might bring the headpiece from the video of "Love Song for the Haters."

ES: When we weren't headliners, we only had an hour after soundcheck to eat dinner and put outfits together. We just whipped up the most colorful thing.

Now that we are headlining, we will be able to put more thought into each little thing.

WCT: How would you describe the band Fleece to people that aren't familiar?

MR: Our sound and vibe is hyper-dreamy indie rock. We are like nothing you have seen before and pretty loud, weird and fun. Our music is somber and lush sounding.

WCT: Jukebox the Ghost is not part of the Chicago date?

MR: No, but we just had the most incredible tour with them. fanclubwallet is opening for us.

ES: They are relatively new and their inception came out of the pandemic. The lead singer Hannah Judge was writing and recording with one of their friends. They put out music and started slaying on Spotify. I am excited about touring with them.

MR: It reminds me of how we blew up after making fun of the band alt-J in a video with a song called "How to Write an alt-J Song." We started getting random fans from everywhere because of that.

WCT: A rep sent me new music from alt-J this morning and I thought of you.

MR: [laughs] I don't think they like us. They were asked about us at an interview one time and refused to talk about it. We might be a sore subject for them. It's unfortunate because I would love to hang out with them.

ME: I feel like there will be a serendipitous meeting one day with them. Hopefully, we will see each other as people and not through the Internet.

MR: Maybe we could tour together!

WCT: You could do a whole series with this idea like "How to Write a Billie Eilish Song."

ES: This has been suggested before, but we wanted to be serious musicians and not a comedy act. We tried to pretend it wasn't us, but i wasn't ashamed of it. It took us a while to realize that it is all us, both music and comedy.

MR: If we could go back in time we would make videos about other artists, but now it feels a bit late. People would stop us on the street about that song and it was hard to process that. Now, it is no big deal, but back then there was a lot of pressure to follow up that song with something equally as popular.

MR: My cousins are from Evanston, so I have visited Chicago many times in the past. When we used to book our own tours, we played at a house party in Chicago.

We have never done the gay scene in Chicago, so we have to do that and go to the Bean!

See Fleece live and in person at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave., on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit FleeceMusic.com .


This article shared 626 times since Sun Oct 24, 2021
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