On the Record: Brandon Coaker on the New Pet Vet EP

Pet vet

 It’s a nice month for Pet Vet: first their named pops on the lineup for this year’s Lawnya Vawnya Festival, alongside Polaris Prize winners Fucked Up, and tonight, they’re launching a brand new self-titled EP at The Ship. And what a nice EP: a very distinct sound, and each song stands on its own, totally different than the one before it, yet cohesive.

If I made you pick a favourite song off the album, which would you pick? Any reason why?

That would have to be Hockey Dads, because of two reasons: One being that I think that the lyrics are really funny.  The second being I think that everyone did a good job at playing it on the record. When people ask me what Pet Vet sounds like, I usually show them this song. It is definitely our most accessible, and it’s usually the last song in our set.

Which one of these songs came out the hardest or was the longest in the crafting? Why?

Hang My Coat Up wasn’t completely finished before we went to record it. The lyrics in the verses were written during my vocal takes. Hehe.

Share a random fact about one of your songs on this album, or the album itself.

The EP was recorded in two days by Tyler Lovell (Thee Internet), with the help of Justin Davis (Heavy Weather/Keep Station Radio). Those guys were super easy to work with and helped us achieve a certain sound that we wanted. Thee Internet is also my favorite current band in St. John’s, so working with Tyler was a real treat.

Name one influence on your approach to songwriting – whether it be a musician or a goal you have in crafting a song.

I’ve been really getting into making demos of songs in the last couple of years, before I show anyone.  Usually I will write a song, record a demo of myself playing all the instruments, and then show them to the guys so they can learn them. Some songs won’t require a demo to be made, but it can definitely help in speeding up the learning process.

What’s a new album you’ve been loving lately?

St. Vincent’s new self-titled record has definitely been getting me through the remainder of the winter. I got into St. Vincent kind of late. I’d get some really confused looks from people when I told them I’d never listened to her music. I listened to first single from this record titled “Digital Witness,” and as soon as the chorus hit I decided I was going to pre-order the record. Haha. There are certain sounds on the record that my ears have never heard  before. It’s totally what people felt like in 70s/80s when they heard Talking Heads for the first time. Maybe.

 And if I lit your album collection on fire, what’s one album you’d think to save first?

Probably one of the three Trailer Camp albums. Those things are hard to come by these days.

There are many ways to evaluate a song. But for you, what’s one trait that makes a great song a great song? Name a song you love that fits that bill.

Hard question! I’ve spent the last two or three minutes scanning my iTunes Top 25 Most Played and literally all twenty-five songs offer different things that result in them being on that list. I think great songs are great because of how they tug on the emotions in both good and bad situations. I may or may not be making sense, but All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem is a good example of what I mean. This song can apply to any sort of mood, that’s why I love it. It has no real chorus or “hook” either. It just starts small and exponentially gets bigger and bigger. Kind of like Hey Jude. It’s an easy song to digest, despite being seven minutes and thirty-eight seconds long.

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