Weaves don’t defy genre so much as they soak up everything and smush it all together. The Toronto band’s sound is dark and sinister one minute, art-rock blissful the next. Weaves’ self-titled debut EP will be out on April 1 (on Buzz Records), and they’ve just made a video, directed by Jason Harvey, for “Buttercup.” The video is a floating collage of all things bright, bold, and random and we’re super excited to premiere it here today!
The band’s core collaborators are Jasymn Burke (formerly of RatTail) and Morgan Waters (who was in a rock band called Sweet Thing). I recently sat down with Jasmyn to chat about her band’s influences, her word-nerdery, and why she joined another band after going solo.
MELODY LAU: Your old band was called RatTail and your new project is Weaves. I sense a hair theme going on…
JASMYN BURKE: I’m also doing a solo show called Strands! I love hair, and why not have a continuous theme?
How did Weaves form?
After RatTail ended, I actually took about a year off to figure out if I wanted to do music anymore. I know it’s totally cheesy, but I actually started taking yoga five days a week for a while. [But] I was working a full-time job and going a little stir-crazy, so I got myself a looping machine and, a year later, I thought I’d do some solo shows and see what happened. I thought I was done playing in bands, but at my second solo show, Morgan approached me [about playing together].
I enjoy being called weird, because why not? Morgan doesn’t think we’re weird because our songs are pretty poppy and you’re able to dance to them and you can recognize hooks and choruses. We kind of purposefully made them as non-band-sounding as possible, but at the same time, we’re a band! It’s exciting to figure that out and play it live.
Tell me about this song, “Buttercup,” and the video we’re premiering today.
Well, I really enjoy the word buttercup itself. I sometimes go to the Toronto Reference Library and I just read things until words pop out. Then I’ll record a little reminder to myself, like: “Buttercup is a word you should use.” I continued to read about them and [learned that] they’re a flower, but they’re poisonous—so they look nice but they’re zany, you know? We knew “Buttercup” was a crazy song and we wanted to do something that was really in-your-face for the video. We told the director, Jason Harvey, to just be as weird as he wanted. People don’t necessarily watch videos anymore, so why not have as much fun with it as possible?
Who are some artists that you and your band draw influence from?
I’ve always looked up to Karen O and Patti Smith. I like a lot of blues and gospel singers. The way that they move is very elaborate—they use a lot of hand gestures. And for Morgan, Led Zeppelin and Ween are sort of the bands he enjoys the most. Somewhere between all that are our common denominators. He always gets mad that I don’t like Zeppelin, but oh well!
It’s interesting that your influences tend toward female singers and Morgan’s are more “masculine,” in a way.
I guess it’s true. I don’t know why. Morgan isn’t a macho man at all—one thing he doesn’t like about bands is when there’s too much masculinity. In rehearsals, we’ll sometimes go, “Oh, too macho. Get that guitar solo out of here!” Our common things are, like, PJ Harvey and Björk. I mean, I guess [women] are sort of who I identify with better than with men.
That was how I felt growing up.
Same! I loved No Doubt. But then again, Gwen Stefani was better than any guy at the time; she was the best because she was the best over everybody. ♦