La Blogothèque

Throw me the statue

We set out on what would be an adventure to most but fairly commonplace here in Seattle: the Bainbridge ferry. Roughly 2 dozen round trips daily, 35 minutes and about 8 miles across the Puget Sound each way, the Bainbridge ferry transports millions of commuters every year to and from the Seattle waterfront. It is the second busiest ferry route in the U.S next to the Staten Island ferry. A ferry boat had always been a location idea but I was concerned about getting shut down by security. I took a solo trip a few days earlier without gear and thought we’d definitely get shut down. So with a little hesitation and a back-up plan, we met Throw Me The Statue on a cold Sunday morning at Pier 52.

The band just finished playing a three date residency at a local venue in support of their forthcoming LP, Moonbeams, so they received some good ink in the papers. Still, I knew little about the band aside from catching a few songs when they had opened for label mate, Jens Lekman, a few months prior. Though I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to absorb the album in the preceding weeks and I knew I liked what I heard: well-crafted, multi-instrumental, melodic electro-pop with engaging lyrics penned by front man, Scott Reitherman.

Not only was it a great challenge to shoot on a ferry, but it was bitter cold with a forecast of snow. This would also be my first Take-Away of shooting more than two musicians. However, tests like these make it all worth while and yet, per usual, all my reservations evaporated once we got going. The 35 minute time frame was helpful as it allowed us to shoot a few test takes and get conditioned to the cold. Surprisingly, the ferry was relatively quiet, all things considered, thus recording sound was no problem. And it didn’t take too long for the band to get comfortable performing in these conditions. The three songs presented here were all shot on the return ride from Bainbridge to Seattle. The clouds split, the sun came out and the band was warmed up musically and physically. Passengers approached the group and talked to them and security just walked by smiling not once asking us to stop or turn off the camera… smooth sailing, I guess you could say. After they played through the songs they had arranged, I asked if they knew any covers. Scott was a little resistant at first, but in hindsight I’m glad I asked because otherwise, I don’t think we would’ve gotten this exclusive take of the Guided By Voices tune which, to my mind, is the one accurate Throw Me The Statue comparison.

We ended our outing getting more acquainted (and caffeinated) over some tasty brunch… a fine group of guys and, I might add, a fine way to follow up a Sunday morning ferry commute. The newly issued Throw Me The Statue debut, Moonbeams, is out on Secretly Canadian in February.