The Stanfields  Photo: KT Lamond
The Stanfields Photo: KT Lamond

Five Questions With... Jon Landry of The Stanfields

Beloved Halifax rockers The Stanfields released their latest album Limboland on March 23 through Groundswell Music, and the band’s fifth effort sees them take an unflinching look at the negative forces that threaten rights and liberties, all while doing it with their trademark swirl of guitars, pounding drums, fiddle and rowdy energy.
 
Limboland follows up 2015’s Modem Operandi and is the first to be recorded with the two newest members of the band, fiddler Calen Kinney and bass player Dillan Tate, who join lead vocalist Jon Landry, guitarist Jason MacIsaac and drummer Mark Murphy.

Along with Limboland’s current single “Desperation,” a highlight of the album is “Lantern In The Window,” a classic East Coast image but in this case, it’s about making sure we offer hope and safety for anyone being repressed or in need.
 
As well, “Total Black” sees the group joined by fellow Nova Scotians Cassie and Maggie MacDonald, winners of this year’s Traditional Album of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Maggie joined Landry for shared lead vocals, while Cassie played twin fiddles with Calen Kinney.
 
Fired up, speaking out and rocking harder than ever, Limboland is The Stanfields at their very best. Jon Landry took some time to talk further as the band prepares to bring their acclaimed live show back to Ontario and Quebec, with dates in Montreal (April 26), Toronto (April 27) and Ottawa (April 28). Find out more at thestanfields.ca.
 
What makes Limboland stand apart from your previous work?
 
It’s the first record with our new-ish members Calen Kinney and Dillan Tate. The instrumentation and ideas they brought to the table have given this record a familiar, yet distinctive feel. Lyrically, this record may be a bit more explicit in its intent and focus.
 
What songs on the album do you feel best capture your musical vision at the moment?
 
Probably “Your Flag (Won’t Save You Anymore).” Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate, and poor people don’t care a whit about your return on investment. The horns on it are fun too.
 
What’s been the most significant change in your life over the past year?
 
It was more an event than a change; on Canada Day last year, we flew to CFS Alert at the North Pole to perform for the troops and climate scientists stationed there. It was an enlightening and eye-opening experience. The isolation alone was startling. It felt like we were on a Federation starship. The Russians were the Klingons.
 
How are you planning to present your new material live?
 
With vigour and aplomb! We have a cool light and multimedia show to go with the new songs. It’s not exactly U2’s Zooropa, but it’s neat.
 
If you could fix anything about the music business, what would it be?
 

Access to the full suite of publishing royalties should be centralized and much more artist-friendly overall. There are far too many hands in the jar. It is ridiculous and outdated, given the digital tools at our disposal.

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