Animal Faces: The Wavelength Interview

Purveyors of: Punchy goddamn guitar music, you know, like they used to make.
File next to: Mystery Machine, Yuck, Archers of Loaf.
Playing: WL 616 – Saturday Sept. 13 at Smiling Buddha.

Toronto’s Animal Faces, comprised of humans with actual human faces, play quick-footed, clever rock’n’roll with the odd nod to the ‘90s. We caught up with bassist Zach Van Horne and tried to bait him into a discussion on the dangers on anthropomorphizing and/or why they like lamps so much, efforts that were met with a terse tight-lipped-ness that was that, fittingly, rather characteristic of animals and their faces.

For the uninitiated, who are Animal Faces and how do you explain/justify your existence?

We are a three-piece from Toronto. Ryan plays guitar and does vocals, Aaron plays drums, I (Zach) play bass and do vocals as well. The band all started with Ryan writing songs by himself years ago. Sometime around ’10, he started working on these songs with Aaron and Nilsson, who was the original bass player. Nilsson left a couple years ago and that’s when I joined, and here we are now.

How’s your summer been? You guys sure seem to have been busy. Best gigs / stops / events of the summer of 2014?

This summer has been good for us. We released a new EP in May, and then spent most of June touring the U.S. and Western Canada. The Western Canadian dates were with our friends Solids from Montreal. Those were probably my favourite shows of tour, love those dudes! Playing Sled Island in Calgary for our first time was real cool. Since then we’ve just been writing and playing the odd show in Toronto.

What’s been playing on repeat in the tour van lately?

We listen to a ton of hip-hop in the truck, and Rockets Red Glare is an all time fave for long drives.

I hear you guys really like lamps.

Lamps are hella cool and help set the “mood,” haha. It’s kind of Ryan’s thing, he has lamps all over his apartment!

OKAY: LIGHTNING ROUND. Why ‘Animal Faces’?

Just ‘cuz.

Animal Feces: A potential fuel source of the future?

We can only hope.

Who would you consider the most notable singing drummer of all time?

Levon Helm of The Band.

What animal would you most like to face in a pitched battle to the death, à la Gladiator?

I don’t think I’d want to fight ANY animal in a death match.

Any ideas for a good couples’ Hallowe’en costume?

Roseanne and Dan Conner.

Catch Animal Faces with ctznship, WHIMM and Zords @ Smiling Buddha (961 College St., Toronto) on Saturday Sept. 13th – all ages!

—Interview by Dean Williams