By Tiina Liimu
VANCOUVER — When clarity, timing and all points converge for an artist it can yield an extraordinarily intense product. For Heron the result was not “strictly” any genre, but their own with a trademark element of layers, samples and a dense landscape. The early live dates did not pigeonhole as much as point at a “’90s vibe,” components of bands such as Helmet and ISIS came up.
Heron is the undertaking of Ross Redeker, who may have been known for being a bass player, but was actually a guitarist and he had been quietly stockpiling material for over a decade. After some sage advice, which led to a year off to focus, it all came together when drummer Spencer Clark and Scotty Bartlett became available. Heron came together naturally and was off the ground.
Redeker was with Eugene’s Axe and the sludge/grinders, Cathar on bass. “I’ve always felt rather stifled, so to get that music out I’ve been recording and doing stuff at home,“ reveals the soft-spoken guitarist. He wanted to keep working with Bartlett, who was also in Cathar, because of their positive chemistry. “The last band I was in before Cathar was My New Enemy,” explains Redeker. “The vocalist in that band, Spencer Clark, was an amazing drummer, foremost, but we also played in a band a very long time ago before that, where we synched and the clear choice was to bring him on board.”
In Heron, Bartlett and Redeker share vocals with Bartlett handling the rhythm and Redeker working his chops on layers and loops plus Clark on drums.
“Ross plays a seven-string, I play a six-string guitar and through multiple cabs,” adds Bartlett. “Spencer has a unique drum style, he doesn’t tend to repeat.” After a rehearsal the drummer counted fifteen different drum parts in a song without repetition and he has a style that adds, fills and reinforces.
They considered adding a bass player but realized it was not necessary. “The response from folks at shows was, tone, we love your tone,” says Bartlett. “We are tuned down so low, in A-sharp,” says Redeker and after gigs, audience members had remarked, “You guys are so full, thick and so encompassing, you don’t need a bass.”
Heron is recording with Kevin Grindon from Burning Ghats and WTCHDR at Grind City with a release ETA for early 2015. If you factor in the timing of steady rehearsals and recording tightness, expect the VU meter to be teetering on high potential for their next live date.
Heron perform at the Art Signified Two-Year Anniversary Party at Studio East (1480 Frances St.) on January 9th.Art Signified, BC, British Columbia, Heron, Studio East