Interview with James Farwell of Bison B.C.

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of reviewing Bison B.C.s latest piece of heavy, Lovelessness, here on Planetmosh and enjoyed it quite a good bloody bit it’s safe to say.  Following on from this we’ve had a chance to chat with frontman James Farwell on just how the album came about.

How would you describe the band? Where are you from? How long have you been together?
A bunch of idiots from Vancouver who like loud shitty disgusting unpopular dirty music that will in no way get you laid or make you cool and exist together for what seems like fucking forever.

There are some really deep and dark emotional places you take the listener in Lovelessness. Where did the inspiration for the album come from?
Well, I think the main inspiration was ideas of love. I had a couple of good friends pass, as well as my Dog, Milo, the past year. I had been struggling with depression and a certain pointed hatred that I couldn’t really understand or control. I had confusion about love, the pursuit of it, the pointlessness of it. I was really worried I didn’t know how to love properly, and not just in an intimate way with girlfriend or wife, but on a human level. Love was becoming violent, it was grotesque, it was untouchable and offered no relief even in the most glorious moments of it. It was fear. The whole album can be summed up with the idea of being killed by love i guess. It was a lesson in the duality of love. It also becomes hate, and is just as strong.

Did you approach the writing of it in a particular manner with this inspiration in mind?
I think they pretty much coexisted, the writing process and the theme or emotional development. I did all of the primary songwriting, so I guess it follows my mood the last year or so. Pretty shit year brother. The conscious efforts were to make more space within the songs, and to put a little more contrast within them as well, different feels – more punk rock as well. But in the end it’s the same process – write drunk, edit sober.

Can you give us a brief description of what each track is about?
1. An Old Friend
About life with a good dog, and life without him. The terrible contrast
2. Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness
About hating yourself, being trapped within that hatred, being without love and doing pathetic things to find love only to find nothing but solitude and isolation in the end.
3. Last and First Things
About the beginnings and ends of things, which are obviously the most exciting parts of life. The first fuck, the first high, the last kiss the last trip, etc.
4. Blood Music
About pouring one’s soul and heart into music. Fuck the music BUSINESS.
5. Clozapine Dream
Psychotropic agents running through your brain to end your sorrow, however they may just induce a hatred that would cause some to want to lock you up and throw away the key. Fuck your doctor. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease?
6. Finally Asleep
Well, the obvious one would be death. But I think its more finally falling away from life after a week of no sleep and exhausting hatred and sorrow and depression and fear.

Who did you work with on the production and creation of the album and cover work?
We recorded with Sanford Parker… he’s a ruthless prick… but he understands music. I think he wants to make something that sounds unique the way we did. He was a great host and was honest about the material. It was great working with someone who was new and unfamiliar, it helped keep us on edge a bit, and again adding to a certain tension I wanted with these tunes. As far as the cover, that’s a detail of a picture I took of the tumor that was removed from my dog milo along with his spleen, that would eventually spread to his liver and kill him. This album is really for him.

Given the intense nature of the album writing do you prefer that or going out on the road?
They can’t be compared really. They are both full of awesome times and heart wrenching times. Both are a lot of work and they are equally as rewarding and satisfying. I mean touring is a lot of meeting people and drinking and whatnot, but I dunno, sometimes I like just getting drunk by myself at our rehearsal space writing tunes.

In-between recording and playing live, what do you guys do to kick back and relax?
spend time with our women, see our friends play music, I love to cook, Masa loves hiking, Matt will spend a whole day listening to records, Dan recently moved to squamish (north of Vancouver) and spends a lot of time working on his new pad.

What are the plans for the remainder of this year and moving into 2013?
This year we continue to rest and get to know our friends and families again. Next year we hit the road, North America and then Europe, you will see us in the not so distant future for sure.

Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to our readers?
Free pussy riot and love your dog. Peace.

Lovelessness is out now through Metal Blade Records.

Bison B.C. are:
James Farwell – guitar, vocals
Dan And – guitar, vocals
Masa Anzai – bass 
Matt Wood – drums



About Scott Watson

Part time guitarist and wannabe rock star. Long time lover of metal, xbox, football and my family while writing and editing for