FM: Bigger crowds for sure. Every time the band and I return to a city, there has been more people coming out, which is nice. Some familiar faces and a lot of new ones. Also the weather was amazing this time around. This time last year, there was snow. Lots of it. The lack of snow made the long drives more enjoyable. There's a lot of terrain to cover in a national Canadian tour, but the fans make it worth it. This was also my second time performing at Canadian Music Week, which was an amazing experience.
J: While on tour you had the opportunity to open for one of Canada's largest mainstream rock bands, the Trews. What was the experience like?
FM: It was amazing. It was the highlight of the tour and a personal highlight for me. They put on an amazing show and are genuinely kind people. It was truly an honour to perform on the same stage with such great musicians.
J: Myself, along with other fans of The Autumn Portrait, are wondering what's next for the band?
FM: Write - write - write. I am currently in Toronto writing in my mobile studio. I've never written so many songs in such a short amount of time. I am also going to be doing some co-writing soon with some amazing musicians. One of them is Todd Clark, Lead singer of Pilot Speed. I admire his song writing and all his talents, and I feel totally privileged to be working with him.
J: You released your debut album The Design is Over in 2010, which was produced by Tom Dobrzanksi. He's also worked with other great artists including Said The Whale and We Are the City. Did you jump at the opportunity to work with him or was the process more gradual when it came to selecting a producer you wanted to work with?
FM: Well I had heard of albums he had worked on and I was a fan immediately. It was an easy choice and I was pleased with the result. Tom's a treat to work with and I'd recommend him any time.
J: Along with the release of The Design is Over you have managed to deliver a whole multitude of compelling, and well-crafted music videos. Most notably Welcome to the Night and Awake which has seen consistent rotation on Canadian Music Television. Additionally, one of your more recent videos, Jealous, has received nearly 200,000 hits on Youtube within two months of its release. How does it feel to reach such success with these videos being that you're an independent artist?
FM: It's honestly really flattering. I have had the opportunity to work with such great directors, who have been both truly kind and talented. CMT has given me such great exposure on a National level. Youtube is always nice too because it's available for everyone around the world to access. I'm also proud of the fact that I have written all my own music and I have co-produced every single video. I really like getting involved in as much of the process as I can.
J: How do you come up with the concepts for your music videos? Is it more of a collaborative effort or are you solely responsible for their direction?
FM: I generally leave the creative vision to the director once we discuss the song meaning and what I'm looking for in the video. I like to offer my input for sure, but they are the ones who have the vision and they make the magic happen.
J: Everyone knows how important social media is in terms of reaching out to current and potential fans, and you obviously make no exception when using it as an outlet to keep your fans engaged with your band. What kind of advise would you provide to other musicians who are trying to promote their band through social networking sites and who may also desire to reach the same capacity as yours?
FM: I'd say connect with fans as much as you can. Always keep them in the loop with what you're doing. You don't have to necessarily tell them what kind of sandwich you're eating that day but definitely let them in on what projects you're working on and even how they can get involved. My music isn't just mine; it's something I share with the fans, so I definitely enjoy their feedback.
J: If you could collaborate on one song with any living Canadian musician, who would it be and why?
FM: I admire so many many artists but if I had to choose a few I'd say Tim Baker from hey Rosetta! or Joel Plaskett. I think they both have such a poetic and charming way with words. And they turn those words into great songs.
J: Do you have any last words you'd like to share with your fans?
FM: Always be true to yourself and stay focused on what you want to achieve. A good support circle is always helpful. And lastly, do what you love and love what you do. Life is too short for anything else.
J: Thanks Freddie.
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The Autumn Portrait - "Welcome to the Night" directed by Brianne-Nord Stewart