New HD video
This is what Simon “dizzy” Veillet’s collar bone looks like with no skin or muscles.
The FM Duo takes to the stage at the legendary Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa Ontario.
Four years ago, FM Hi Low was a mere sparkle in Fraser MacDougall’s eye. Even though he had begun performing on his own, his recordings boasted full-band flavour. Yet he was still a one-man band, performing all the instruments and vocals on his first record Up On the Hillside.
Over the next three and a half years he searched for a rhythm section and worked on his sound, but until this May he experienced a revolving door of bassists and drummers.
“[With] all the other previous rhythm sections, we lived together and it was like 24 hours a day with each other,” said MacDougall, admitting that turning friends into professional musicians wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be. “My new approach was to find great professional musicians and then make them my friends.”
His new approach worked. Since he “put out the vibes,” as he called it, in May of this year, MacDougall has adopted Sarah Dion on back-up vocals and drums, and Simon “Dizzy” Veillet on bass guitar and bass synth, as permanent fixtures in FM Hi Low.
MacDougall found Veillet by posting an ad on the Internet. Veillet’s audition went great and afterward they had a barbeque to celebrate, but soon Simon began feeling lightheaded. When he got up to excuse himself, he wound up fainting, slamming his face against a wall, and driving his glasses into his eye, which resulted in a trip to the emergency room, four stitches, and some serious brotherly bonding. That’s how he got his nickname, “Dizzy.”
After his recovery, Veillet recalled jamming with a seriously talented drummer a few months prior, and suggested to MacDougall that they invite her over to jam with them.
“It was an instant yes,” said MacDougall, and a few weeks later they began to play as one cohesive unit.
After a couple of shows in Montreal, they headed east. They performed at two of the largest festivals on the East Coast: Folly Fest in Gagetown, New Brunswick where they played alongside Grand Theft Bus, and Evolve Festival, now in it’s twelfth year, where major acts like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Pretty Lights also took the stage.
Now, they are back in Montreal and they are ready for a homecoming – and what better time to have it than Frosh Week?
MacDougall describes their sound as, “Movement music for the body and mind.”
“It’s danceable music. It’s groovy music. It’s based in reggae and funk and hip-hop and all those fun groovy kinds of music,” said MacDougall. You can feel the passion and energy in his voice as he describes his vision. Lately they’ve been dabbling in dubstep, playing a live set with heavy bass rhythms and a more electronic vibe.
But they’re not just another band that wants to get you on your feet. They have a message they want to share.
FM Hi Low’s main message is to unify people, but all the lyrics are strongly embedded with messages of social justice, the environment and other topics that they feel need to be talked about in popular culture.
“I think music is a very powerful thing,” he said. “It could hold within it messages and things that maybe get people thinking or motivate people to change the way that they live or they interact with other people so that we can make this change possible.”
Their song “Take the Back Roads,” really drives their message home with the repeating line, “Come on people / Let’s all get equal / Let’s all get equal / And evolve.”
FM Hi Low practices what they preach, aiming to make music that can resonate with people of any age, class, or social group. They have a sound that is universal; it reaches beyond categories and styles by blending musical influences with the same unifying intention.
How their music is classified comes second to how it feels. “The music is a vibe,” said MacDougall, “It’s a positive energy. It’s a life force that people can use in their daily lives in order to keep them motivated through the bad stuff, because everyday there’s bad stuff that people have to deal with.”
You can catch FM Hi Low live in concert at their Music Movement Venue at 391 Chatham Street this Friday, September 9th at 10 pm. Cover is $15 and Skunch of Indecent Xposure will be providing thick bass vibes and live visuals. Just pay for the music and the beer is free – doesn’t get any better than that!
If you want to know more about FM Hi Low you can find photos, biographies, tour dates, and more, as well as FM Hi Low’s last album Up On the Hillside, online at www.fmhilow.com.