Ahead of the highly anticipated Let The Love In concert happening at Alix Goolden Hall on January 20th, 2018, Rocktographers’ Tyson Elder caught up with organizers Renn Madeleine Bibeau, Chelsea Kanstrup, and Claire Butterfield. You might know them as the brooding indie folk trio, Fox Glove.
Tyson Elder: Let’s talk about the Love In!
Fox Glove: Let’s!
TE: How is planning for the second Let The Love In concert going?
Chelsea Kanstrup: Amazing!
Renn Madeleine Bibeau: We learned a lot from the first year and we certainly moved forward. We made our process a little bit more effective because of this we are able to add so much more. We wanted the Love In to be progressive and it is definitely going to be a big step up this year. I am actually really proud of what we accomplished last year.
TE: Last year you did something that rarely happens at Alix Goolden Hall, you decorated the stage. The lights, the brambly bits, and themeing. It was truly amazing and one of the coolest parts of the night. Are you planning something like that again?
Fox Glove: * lights up with excitement*
Claire Butterfield: I’m really excited!
Renn: All we can say about our whole thing is as soon as audience members walk into Alix Goolden they will be in a west coast winter scene. It blows last year out of the water.
Chelsea: We’ve got Michael Franzmann designing everything. The things he has planned, what he’s talked to us about, it has us really excited.
Claire: Micheal is great. He’s really open to ideas and is really open to working with us to bring our vision to light. I think I would describe it as a full immersion experience.
Renn: The sounds, the sights, and everything will have that feel of a west coast winter. It will also tie in with an overarching theme of loss. Going through winter is sort of like a loss of fall as you look forward to spring. We are tying that in with our charity of choice, Learning Through Loss. there is definitely going to be that running through all the acts as well as the environment
TE: Can you tell me a more about Learning Through Loss?
Renn: Absolutely, they are fantastic. Learning Through Loss is a real grassroots organization that provides a service that no one currently offers island wide. They offer support and teaching programs to the youth and those who work with youth that are going through loss. They even get ahead of the issue and teach youth about loss and the healthy ways to deal with it before it happens.
As we know, addictions, traumas, and behaviours come out of loss being mishandled. This organization is out there to make sure our youth have the best chance of navigating through that hard part of life effectively and healthily.
TE: Wow. That’s an amazing organization. Have you been working with Learning Through Loss for both years Let The Love In concerts?
Chelsea: This will be the first year.
Renn: I think our plan with the Love In, because it’s so community focused . . . we want to ensure that we are always giving back and collaborating with our community; we really want to emphasize those collaborations. So each year, we’re identifying a need and an organization that is worthy of support and the platform of the Love In. I’m excited to see what we’ll choose for next year.
TE: I’m so happy to hear that you’re giving back. It’s not often you can. Putting on a concert is difficult and costly. There are lots of cost that go with that sort of thing.
Claire: [laughs] Just a bit.
Chelsea: I think the big thing for all of us is being able to give back in any way we can. Whether that’s volunteering your time, donating your money, or donating your talents, it is such a fulfilling thing.
It’s one of those things no matter what else you’ve got going on in your life it makes you feel good. It has a good impact too. We are starving artists. We don’t make a lot of money, and he money we do make from music all goes back into the art.
We can be the example to to demonstrate that ANYONE can do it. Even if it is just a small portion of what you are doing giving back it still makes a huge difference.
Claire: We’ve also received so much from the community here in Victoria that I think that it’s really important to turn around and give back.
Chelsea: We’ve done a few shows with them now.
Renn: We really enjoy working with The Choir. They are incredible group of people and Mark is a force to be reckoned with.
Claire: It’s not going to be the whole hundred person choir.
TE: What? No one is going to move all the instruments off the stage for the one hundred person choir? [Laughs] Can we expect some surprises?
Renn: Well…it wouldn’t be a surprise if we told you.
Claire: One of Renn’s best friends from Calgary will be joining us. Cobra Collins is an award winning spoken word artist and will be performing throughout the night.
Renn: [Cobra] is a prominent indigenous spoken word artist and we are so happy to have her link the other mediums.
In addition to music being the predominant part of the night, we’ll also have Michael Franzmann’s art. Darcy Beck is helping us design soundscapes that will play throughout the sets and intermissions. We are also having two local comedians join us as our MC’s: Ryan Steele and Ryan Bangma.
Chelsea: We’ve been calling them the Ry Guys. Which they don’t seem to like [laughs].
TE: The night is family friendly. I’ve seen the Ry Guys do comedy live before.
Renn: They came over last week for a meeting with us, and got all of the inappropriate jokes out of the way. They are all good to go now.
TE: In 2016 you released the single Devil’s Grin, and your live single Universe, Be Damned in 2017. I know you’ve been working on new music for the Love In. Are you planning on putting out new music this year?
Renn: We are just working intently on our first full length album. We might share a new song at the Love In.
TE: I have to ask you about your work with Astrocolor. How’s it been since the single for Push Too Hard was released? It was the featured Astrocolor song as part of The Zone’s Band of The Month program. Have more people approached you about doing similar things?
Renn: Absolutely. We have been contacted by a number of artists internationally which has been a huge benefit. That collaboration gave us a platform because of Astrocolor’s reach.
Claire: Spotify has been huge with the playlists that song ended up on.
Renn: It led to a collaboration with an international artist, and we may look into doing more of that in the future. It gives us a chance to deviate from the aesthetic of Fox Glove and use our talents in different and interesting ways.
TE: It was so different than the music you perform which tends to lean more towards the indie folk side of things. A dark dance-y club track. It was not what what I was expecting.
Chelsea: At the Love In we will actually be performing our mash-up of Push + Pull and Push Too Hard.
Claire: Yeah, we also recorded on the new Carmanah album [collective sigh of admiration from Fox Glove] that Carmanah did with Gus Van Gogh at The Warehouse in Vancouver. It is extraordinary. We had the privilege of going over and recording with them on the album. The album is going to be released in the next few months, and I cannot wait to hear it in full.
The second annual Let The Love In is a celebration of collaboration, community, music, and love. The success of concert is a reflection of the love each member of Fox Glove feels for Victoria, its music scene, and its arts community. Let The Love In is a pure distillation of their passion.
Make sure to get your tickets to Let The Love In, Saturday, January 20th, 2018 at Alix Goolden Hall. It promises to be a magical evening full of fantastic live music, art, and community, and it will sell out!