By Devin Wilger
Three solitary animals have joined forces. The, Lion, the Bear, the Fox is a group of three solo artists who have joined forces to create a band, and the result is an entirely new musical project.
Cory Woodward is the bear of the group, and explains that it all started with a tour where Ryan MacMahon, the fox, needed some assistance as his previous band had just broken up. He called up Woodward and Christopher Arruda, the lion, to see if they could join in. Midway through the tour, they realized they worked well together, and by the end the band was born.
The band name itself started with Woodward’s past. His father is Métis, and took his children on a camping trip with a spirit animal ceremony. Woodward has, as a result, always related most to the bear. Arruda, meanwhile, has a giant tattoo of a lion on his chest, and as the two spoke of spirit animals they realized it would be a good place to start for their band name.
Woodward describes the band as a “lovely collage of influences,” leading to a folk-rock sound for the group.
All three men had a career as solo artists before the group came into being, and while all three are primary songwriters, it’s a democratic band and they have worked to define their sound since forming their group. Woodward says that the biggest change that comes from being in a trio is the relationship between the band members.
“It’s the most interesting human relationship one could have, first off... It’s been nothing I’ve expected... When it comes down to camaraderie and friendship, for all the highs and lows life offers you, we’re able to communicate and navigate together, even if there’s issues among us, we always come out on the end in the clear. It’s been amazing, to be honest.”
The majority of the past two years for the band was recording their first full-length album, due out in February 2017. The nine-song album, recorded over 10 days, was a way to define the band.
“It was a really great experience, it really sealed the deal with theme and feel.”
It’s the first time in the city as a band, and the tour through Saskatchewan is going to be the band’s debut in a number of towns. Woodward believes that the first time in front of a completely new audience makes the band work harder, because they’re fighting to make people interested in their sound and their group.
“We’re making our first impression... It’s a different energy when you’re coming to a new place, and performing for a bunch of new folks.”
The Lion, the Bear, the Fox will be in Yorkton on Sunday, November 13 at the Anne Portnuff Theatre as part of the Yorkton Arts Council’s Stars for Saskatchewan series. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at ticketpro.ca.
By Devin Wilger