Posted On 05 Oct 2017
Growing up in Capreol, a small town in isolated Northern Ontario along the Trans-Canada Railroad, Lynn Moffatt’s music was older and shaped by her isolated upbringing, she brings out a dynamic vocal and melodic range with comparisons to the clean country melodies of her childhood idols like Patsy Cline and Shania Twain, as well as inwardly delving into her own childhood memories and isolation with the grit and raw emotional power similar to that of musical legends like Johnny Cash and Alanis Morissette.
After recently moving to Toronto, Lynn Moffatt has quickly grabbed the attention of many music enthusiasts and industry heavyweights. In 2016, Lynn set off on her first tour in the USA, and went on the perform at SXSW Music Festival and other venues spanning across 25 states. Having toured throughout Canada and USA, Lynn Moffatt has performed at Canadian Music Week, NSNE Music Festival, Sounds of the City Festival, and most recently at Toronto’s Junction City Summer Music Series.
Her debut album is expected for release later this fall, and is produced by legendary music heavyweights Chris Hall and Terry Brown. The album intertwines Lynn’s vocals with string and steel guitar riffs straight out of The Grand Ol’Opry, traveling bass lines, electric guitar and organ pads reminiscent of the ‘60s country-rock era.
Connect With Lynn Moffatt Here:
Learn more about Lynn in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
I’m currently on a patio between gigs, writing out my answers on my iPhone. There is a beautiful fountain in front of me and the sun is surprisingly hot for a September afternoon in Toronto. No music is playing but if I were to switch on a tune I may select from Hot Chip’s 2015 album ‘Why Make Sense.’ The album has the power to make any job flow and turn a frown to a smile and then into a dance in no time. If I’m looking for a more calming soundtrack I drop the record player needle onto some Patsy Cline or Hank Williams Sr. those two always play to my heart.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I remember when I got my first Walkman and I used to listen to any tape I could get my hands on and picture myself on stage performing the songs. It was my favorite thing to do…at the time I thought that was how everyone listened to music. The first song I wrote was called ‘In the Meadow Sheep Were Grazing’ I wrote it using the black keys on the piano…not sure why I was singing about sheep though.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown has affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create? How has your sound changed since you moved to Toronto?
I actually grew up in a really small town in Northern Ontario, called Capreol. The community was full of kind and loving people but I always knew that I would need a larger audience. I’ve made Toronto my home for the past 7 years and I’ve loved every one of them. It’s funny because most of the people from my hometown avoid the ‘big smoke’ like the plague as busy city life does not appeal to them. I love how everything is so close, the action is all around you and you are constantly buzzing in the beat of the city. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my trips back to my parents place in my hometown, the silence and the stars are a luxury I used to take for granted. I think a lot of my inspirations come from comparing the two environments and cultures. When I’m in the city, I people watch and imagine stories about the people around me. When I am up north I am much more reflective about my own experiences.
Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year? How has 2017 been treating you and your career?
This year has been dedicated to moving forward with my original music. I’ve been a lot more strategic this year, implementing plans and goals that will move my career in the direction that I’d like to see it go. I’ve worked with some really talented cats and my band is top notch. We’ve spent countless hours tightening our sound and our live show and are excited to finally release some music and perform as much as possible.
Let’s talk about your debut album that you plan on releasing this fall. What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything at all surprise you about the process? How long did it take?
It has been a process getting all of these songs together. I began with my acoustic guitar and vocals for each song. I do love the simplicity of vocals and guitar but I always knew that I wanted the tunes to have a large grand sound, using real instruments. After bringing a few songs to Chris Hall (Producer), he encouraged me to get a band together so that we could take the tunes to the next level. Matt Riggs (guitar) and Tyson Hiseler (bass) and I began to jam and their ideas were the back-line of the project. We recorded bed tracks for most of the tunes in one session with Vito Rezza on drums. After that, we began to build to the tunes. Michael Fonfara and Matt Horner can be heard playing great keyboard, organ, and synth licks. And Ivana Popovic plays real strings on a number of the songs. Then we joined forces with Terry Brown (Vis-à-Via Recorders) and really put the songs under his mixing microscope.
Some of the songs I wrote many years ago and some are much newer. The album should take the listener on a journey of sorts… lyrically and musically, starting with a groove and monotonous routine, then into a break of the norm, independence bridging on isolation, chaos, freedom, and eventual resolve and back into a new groove. I think this album is a driving album. Turn it up during a road trip and get into it.
What was the inspiration for your debut single, “Again”? How do you think it prepares listeners for the rest of your album?
‘Again’ is like a summary of the themes I touch on in the rest of the album. ‘Again,’ sets the rhythm and groove for the journey.
“Pacing, switching, erasing, repeating” are the first lyrics of the song and of the album…I was actually contemplating writing a song about writing a text message and trying to find the right words to convey what you are actually feeling. “Spacing, shifting, reverting…” were still relevant to this process…the next lyrics, “lifting, recording, coding, debating, hating, owning, loving, sharing, growing,” all of came to mind and the idea expanded. I thought of how truly repetitious life could be…The more I thought about that, the more I could see everything in life as a pattern. Not only are our societies build on patterns and repetition, our mere existence is cyclical. Haha, so everything happens again and again.
My friends would definitely not refer to me as an ‘over-emotional’ person, but I am sensitive and I am very empathetic. Though I may not always be outwardly expressive on the regular, I use music to taste and savor my emotions and cherish that.
With the summer over, what is something fun that you tried for the first time? Did you get to play out live much?
Good question- it made me reflect upon the fun things I did this summer 🙂
I did climb my first volcano this summer, on Ometepe, a volcano island in Nicaragua. I was traveling with my best friend Tanya. It was about a five-hour hike up the mountain…which was very rocky, muddy, and slippery, And often quite steep. We also saw some monkeys and a tarantula!… Got to the top, ate lunch, and then, right as we began our descent, I slipped at the very top of the mountain and I cut my elbow open. So, I’ll always have a scar to remember it… It’s like a tattoo. Luckily I had my first aid kit on hand.
We have had a good number of shows this summer, playing at The Cameron House, Junction City Music Hall, The Orbit Room, as well as The Paddock Tavern, all great music venues in Downtown Toronto.
Where can people see you perform live next?
My band and I perform pretty regularly at Junction City Music Hall in Toronto. It is located just down the street from our rehearsal space and studio, so it’s like our home stage. I am also hoping to be involved in a number of festivals and events this year… and planning to do some pop-up shows all over Ontario. The best place to find upcoming shows is either my website www.lynnmoffatt.com or on the Facebook Page of course 🙂
How do you hope to be a good role model to all of your younger fans? Who is someone that you have always looked up to growing up?
I hope that people who listen to my music will be inspired to enjoy the time they have and try not to take anything for granted but also strive to change the world in a positive way. Is that too much to ask for?
I’ve always looked up to Joni Mitchell and how she told her stories and used music to bridge and protest. She reached the ears of the masses and evoked a collective consciousness that spanned across society. She wrote, performed, and produced almost all of her albums; she’s the epitome of talent and brains.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these hard times?
The music that is being created today is definitely a reflection of what is going on in our world. Every decade has its own sound, every culture has its own sound. Everything to with music is about expression. You can express joy, anger, excitement, sorrow, and really, any feeling you have by writing, singing, dancing, etc.
I use music to process my life and interpret the world. And singing and performing is a spiritual and physical release…it’s not just about joy, it’s as necessary as sleep is to me.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Shania has always been my dream lady. I listened to her music on repeat during my formative teenage years. And, she actually went to high school in the same town that I grew up in…Most people know she’s from Timmons ON, but her family moved around and she ended up at Capreol Highschool where both of my parents were teachers. In fact, my mom taught her. So I related to her on the small town level and also appreciated her story as an artist. She’s lived an unbelievable life and I’m really glad to see that she’s releasing more music this year! If I ever had a chance to work with Shania, it would actually be my dream come true!
What do you hope fans take away from your music? Do you think that your music has a singular overall message at all?
I think my message will continue to be changed and shaped as I evolve as an artist. I don’t expect that people will only take away one thing from my songs. I do hope to invite people to take a pause and reflect. I would like my music to be meaningful on a personal and intimate level to the listeners and allow for some transportation in memory or mood. Did any of that make sense?
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about becoming a musician one day?
I really wish that someone had just told me do it, just do it, earlier on. You really must be a self starter in this industry. You must really be motivated from with-in. Also, make friends and network like crazy. Music is all about collaboration and word of mouth connections so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and grow your social circle of talented friends.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your forthcoming music?
Thank you for listening and I hope you will stay tuned because I am really just getting started!