Abbey: The Wavelength Interview

“Once or twice a week one can hear bar fights from the studio if the windows are open”

Hey Toronto, did you know that Southern Ontario is teeming with municipalities that aren’t serviced by the Go bus? That’s right, they are more than just seldom-read boards on Stillepost. They are real places with real bands like slick pop-rockers, Abbey who are based out of Pembroke in the Ottawa Valley. Evan Dickson asked Jordon Zadorozny all about his band and his town.

Are you still based in Pembroke? Where, uh, where exactly is that?

My studio is in the downtown of Pembroke, which is on the Ottawa River northwest of Ottawa; very small. Sofia lives in Toronto.

Where do you play in Pembroke? If I went there where would I want to hang out?

There are a few bars where bands can play in Pembroke. We haven’t done a hometown show yet. If you came to Pembroke, you’d probably really only want to hang out at my studio as this is where the best people and parties in town are. Lasso Saloon is my favorite bar in town, a real hug’n’slug, the real deal.

I asked a co-worker who is from Pembroke to give me question ideas and he said, “Ask them if they’ve gotten in any bar fights lately.”

Once or twice a week one can hear bar fights from the studio if the windows are open. I’m on the second floor, across the street from a popular local bar. I’ve seen some funny shit.

He also wanted to know if the “chai wall” (sp?!) is still up. What the fuck?

Right, “chai” or “Chi” as I think it’s spelled. Not sure about the “Chi wall” but Chi is unique Pembroke slang for what would commonly be understood as a “rocker” or “hesher” or “metal dude.” The term has been around since at least the early 80’s, probably earlier. Said to originate from the ruffs coming over from Chichester Quebec, just across the bridge from Pembroke, the original chi’s, perhaps in 1972, strutted over the border with their long hair and Black Sabbath tapes.

How long has Abbey been a band? Tell us the story.

Abbey, as a recording project, began three years ago. Sofia and I started writing songs and simultaneously recording them at my studio. I play the instruments, we both sing. Work on a full album was sporadic because we lived in different cities. Late last year, we put together a live Abbey, with three additional musicians from Hamilton Ontario. We played our first two shows in December opening for Kevin Drew/Broken Social Scene. They went really well I think.

What else has Jordan recorded at his French Kiss studio in Pembroke?

French Kiss has had weirdoes like Melissa Auf der Maur, Sonny Best Band, LADNA, Mouffette, Sam Roberts, Tara Slone, Zuku, Don Vail, Cruce, Cheerleader…

By Evan Dickson