It could be the cold Toronto air that makes their sound so spiky and rough around the edges, but underneath the songs weave a rich musical tapestry as varied as their influences.
They have been steadily building a live reputation in New York and rightly so. singer Paige is a theatrical vision part Gaga/ Bowie/ Siouxsie that keeps your eyes in focus while your ears are suitably stimulated.
Flush the Fashion, spoke to Paige and Alex from The Ruby Spirit about their debut EP ‘Born Under A Veil’
What are you up to at the moment?
Paige: Listening to “Hero’s and Villains” from Smile.
How long have you been together?
Alex: We’ve been playing music together for a few years now. It wasn’t until last year when we wrote a new batch of songs that we were really happy with when we decided to record our debut EP.
Who were your influences when you got the band together?
A: Lots of films, stories, and music. John Lennon, David Bowie and Captain Beefheart were our heroes, we love old German silent film and David Lynch, weird folklore and storytelling.
The band are originally from Canada, Is there much of a music scene in Toronto?
P: There are great bands and great talent. Although I’d say honestly there is a thin platform in which to survive long term here. The fans are eager for Canadian talent, but the industry keeps shoveling the dime a dozen first quarterly projects to the front of the stage.
The fans, independent blogs, and magazines here are tops though, they want to know the whole story and keep scene alive.
Have you moved to New York full time now?
P: No not at the moment. We travel there for a few shows every month, but the commute is so reasonable, we don’t need to live there yet. The band plans to move as we gain traction in the city. Since we’ve gone down we’ve had a great reception with new audiences, they made us feel at home. We’re drawn there, and will continue to play there as long as we can.
What does the title ‘Born Under a Veil’ mean?
P: When writing the lyrics to the song ‘Sound Of The Bell’ I was spewing out words, and the phrase “Caul Bearers” came out of my mouth and I wondered, “what does that even mean?”. I spelled it out just as I thought it must have been spelled, and looked it up. Apparently, babies born with a “Caul” are born with a sheet of skin over their face.
They are considered by some religious groups to be sacred, the skin is removed and often the child is never told about it. Such a strange coincidence to the meaning behind the song, I kept it, and it became the title of the record.
What is your favorite song to play live?
A: It would have to be ‘Caligari’. It just so much fun to play, it makes us feel like we’re in a carnival.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
P: It’s colourful, it’s odd and has multiple personalities. At the root of it, it’s pop music. We just have a different take on what “pop” means from most people we know, this is our own brand of it. Lyrically, we try evoke a reaction, shake up the emotions.
Do you prefer to play live or be in the studio?
A: The studio is a great place to be creative which is really exciting but the live show is much more thrilling. The energy we feed from the audience is like eating our favorite meal.
When will we see a full album of songs released?
A: No plans to record an LP just yet. Perhaps some time come spring. Most of the writing is done, we have 10 new songs that sometimes play live at the shows.
Who is on your stereo at the moment?
A: ‘Congratulations’ by MGMT and ‘Yes’ by Oh No Ono. Two completely underrated records!
P: ‘Peaches. A compilation of The Stranglers music.
For More info on the Ruby Spirit visit www.therubyspirit.com
Friday Feb. 18th / Bowery Electric / New York City, NY
Saturday Feb. 19th / Glasslands Gallery / Brooklyn, NY
Friday Mar. 10th / Royal York Hotel (CMW Showcase) / Toronto, ON