Nick Faye & The Deputies: Stumbling Distance from Greatness
There are a lot of songwriters and musicians in Saskatchewan. And there are a lot of them that are really great too. They often turn up on the cities radar but they also often disappear from the scene shortly thereafter. The music business is gruelling. It takes tons of work in mastering the craft, recoding the wares, marketing the product and playing the shows; and, more often than not, up-and-coming musicians don't make nearly enough money or have nearly enough drive to justify the labour. But occasionally an artist manages all these duties and rises through the thick of the talent. These artists tend to stick around the longest. They're the ones that make a career out of music. They are the ones destined to do what they do for the rest of their lives.
Last year we saw acts like Colter Wall, Blake Berglund and Megan Nash do it; this year we have Nick Faye & the Deputies. Their most recent recording, the fantastic Stumbling Distance, is Nick's fifth recording. It stands head-and-shoulders above anything else that's been released in the province yet this year (stay tuned for Pimpton).
It's big, clear, concise alternative rock music not unlike In Violet Light era Tragically Hip. It's touching, poignant and really easy to listen to. It's like comfort food for your ears; and, it's sure to escalate NF & The D's into the upper echelon of Regina rock stardom.
From bangers like "There's a Party" and "Ex Pats" to introspective stories of youth and emotion like "Whisper" and "Sad Eyes" to the hit single "Hold Me Back" that you won't be able to get out of your head, Stumbling Distance has it all.
Nick Faye & The Deputies have come a long way from non-ironically covering "Save Tonight" by Eagle Eye Cherry.
The band is made up of Nick Faye (vocals/guitar), Jonathon Neher (keyboards), Adam Ennis (Drums) and Byron Chambers (Bass).
Nick was kind enough to answer a few of our questions.
I'm under the impression this is a concept album, what is the concept and how did the process of writing a concept album compare with the process of writing an album full of individual songs?
Nick Faye: So, the concept is exploring a romance between the main character (young teenage boy) and his close friend that he’s developed feelings for over years of friendship. It takes place in rural Saskatchewan during the days following high school graduation. There’s kind of a “carpe diem” atmosphere in those last few days following graduation, in rural Saskatchewan, where people are trying to make the most of the few days they have left together before people leave for university or to pursue their careers and etc. It explores themes of nostalgic romance, toxic masculinity, and the divide of "those who leave" and "those who stay".
The video for "Hold Me Back" is pretty great. What was it like filming that and why the hell did you pick Creelman?
NF: Thanks! It was REALLY COLD filming it. It's a natural ice arena and it was 25 below when we filmed it... 7 hours on the ice without a parka wasn't very fun, but everything else about the video was! We picked Creelman because my friend's family is from there, it was the perfect aesthetic for a small town ice rink, it was relatively close to Regina, and the ice was available. Also the people of Creelman were amazing. We played my friend's Dad's retirement party after the shoot, and met so many nice people.
This is the fifth time you've recorded an album, so you clearly aren't new to this; what did you this time around that you may not have done previously and what were your goals for Stumbling Distance going into it?
NF: Mostly just recording with Juno/Polaris award winning Producer Michael Wojewoda. We've recorded in studio before, but it's always been us working on our own stuff with our bassist Byron Chambers. It was a really intense experience placing your songs in someone's hands when they are unfamiliar. He really bought in and helped us to dig deeper and explore some really cool new sounds. We recorded at Studio One in Regina, which was also really cool.
When you aren't playing or recording or touring or doing Nick Faye & the Deputies-related stuff, what do you with your time?
NF: Uhh I work a day job - usually in Project Management or Marketing fields - which helps me pay for my music haha.. I also love watching sports (Go Pats, Leafs, Raps, Blue Jays, Riders, and Panthers), trying to teach myself how to skate/play hockey and cross country skiing in the winter, frisbee golf and bike riding around Regina in the summer, camping, travelling, and I LOVE video games (Rocket League, PUBG, CSGO, AOE2, etc).
Now that the album is done, what is next for the band?
NF: Tour! This May-June we'll be touring full band to Halifax and back, which will be so fun. In the summer we might have a few shows, and then I'll be doing some acoustic dates in Europe in the fall. After that... I hope will be a big break. Music is fun, but I'm behind on a lot of "life stuff" that has taken a backseat due to music.
Check out the video for "Hold Me Back"; it's really great. You can find them on Spotify and other places where music is commonly found.