By Julijana Capone
CALGARY — “For a long time touring around with other bands had been a big part of my day to day, and I love a lot of those bands,” says Shotgun Jimmie a.k.a. Jim Kilpatrick in between sets at Lawnya Vawnya in St. John’s, NL. “In the same way that some songwriters just write love songs about love interests, those bands are kind of my love interests.”
The love interests that Kilpatrick is referring to are bands like the Constantines, Attack in Black, Eric’s Trip, and Project 9; bands that also served as inspiration for a series of tributes on the indie-rockers latest record, Field of Trampolines.
“I’ve been toying around with the idea of doing a tribute album for awhile,” explains Kilpatrick, who previously paid homage to Ladyhawk and Guided By Voices on his 2013 album, Everything Everything. “I guess it just keeps popping up when I’m writing.”
The world-travelling singer-songwriter has called Brandon, MB his home for the past few years, and recently started studying Visual & Aboriginal Art at Brandon University. While his previous albums have been largely a one-man-band affair, Kilpatrick says his art-school studies have opened him up to working more collaboratively.
Enter Joel Plaskett, who produced the album at his studio in Dartmouth, NS, and Human Music, the Winnipeg trio that appear on the record and also function as Kilpatrick’s backing band, as of late.
“I had a realization watching Joel play at SappyFest a few years ago that he’s just a genius,” says Kilpatrick. “He’d been saying ‘Hey man, I want to record a record for you,’ and I thought if I have an opportunity to work with this guy while he and I are both healthy, alive and making music, then it would be foolish not to try it at least.”
Among the 10 tracks on the LP are a few sunny salutes to touring and camping (“Join The Band” and “Triple Letter Score”), along with those endearingly earnest tribute tracks, and the out-of-nowhere psychedelic title tune. Indeed, the album is both a love letter to Kilpatrick’s favourite bands and the adventures that come with life on the road.
“I sort of had the idea that the Field of Trampolines would be this metaphor for this better place or this better place of existing,” he says.
Shotgun Jimmie performs at the Ship & Anchor on June 23rd and at Wine-Ohs on June 24th as part of Sled Island Music and Arts Festival. In Winnipeg, catch him July 15 at the Good Will Social Club.