Thursday, January 23, 2014

Animal Nation | Sly Business - Headphones, Drum Machines, Beats

Download the entire album for free at -
Stream the entire album -

Artist: Animal Nation | Sly Business
Album: Don't Grow Up To Be Like Us
Directed by: Christopher Lazar
Produced by: Christopher Lazar & Louvens Remy
Cinematography: Louvens Remy / Aaron Rivando
Edited by: Christopher Lazar
Record Label: URBNET

Animal Nation | Sly Business acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada's Private Radio Broadcasters.
Funding secured by Kyle Kraft for

iTunes -
bandcamp -

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Don't Grow Up - Track by track breakdown

A track by track breakdown by MC/Producer Garnet Clare (Tall Man).

1. Don't Grow Up To Be Like UsWe wanted something bouncy and fun for the title track, and we knew this was it as soon as we heard the guitar sample. This beat would fit perfect on a De La Soul or Tribe Called Quest album, and the break down's got all sorts of vocals from Jay and Silent Bob to Eminem to Willy Wonka and Big L, which all help make it more fun.
This was the first beat I made where I learned about semi-tones and pitch-shifting samples, and that just because you find a dope sample in G, it doesn't mean you can't use it for your song that's in E.
None of the samples in this song were in the same key, and it was fun learning how to make them fit together.

2. Throwing Knives
This was one of the original beats Mark and I made during our first recording session together. It was 5:30am, and we had just walked an hour home after talking our way out of a DUI. It's definitely got that late night smokey-studio vibe. (That night we created a couple loops with all the guitar, drums, horns, and keys. Those became the layouts for the first and second verses. Later on we added the bass, intro samples, more drums, and changed the arrangement.)
The lyrics are all about being on the road - "Four deep in a Queen-size bed, no sheets, no sleep for days, smoke weed on stage, no heat. Three-ways in JJ's living room, four nights in Saskatoon, and sold out every one of them."

3. Girls on Bicycles
Jeff Waters and I wrote this song together and it seemed like a good summer jam for the album. We also knew that we wanted to feature our Saskatoonian friends Pirate Fridays somewhere on the disc and thought their style would work great here.
Jeff and I left the track pretty bare (guitar, drums, chorus) and sent it out to a few friends to get some guest players. Pirate Fridays took care of the bass, and threw a bit of electric guitar in there, while Ben Fawcett added keys, and Sean Rose took care of the solo in the middle and the spacey intro.
I love the first lyrics of the first verse "I was sitting at the skate park, getting kinda day drunk, at the picnic table carved out for rolling J's on" because the picnic table at our skate park does have a perfectly carved out spot for rolling joints, and it is awesome.

4. Hookerfish
Another beat from the original session. This one was all Mark at the beginning, with Mike and I being a bit skeptical of the simple 808/rim-shot beat. Mark convinced me as soon as he spit his verse over it, and I spent the next few months finding more samples, cutting keys, adding more bass, and generally fucking with things until it was something I loved listening to. I wrote my verse from finish to start, with the last 2 lines coming from a short story I wrote two years ago while living in Halifax, "he told me good writing comes from bad living. I said 'I know. I need to start living so bad.'"

5. Headphones, Drum Machines, Beats
This was the first beat we made together for this album. Mark played the guitar line and I kept it simple on the keys. At first we used different drums, and I wasn't a big fan of the song, but Mike and Mark heard something in it and really wanted it on the album. We tried quite a few drum samples, and almost gave up before finding the one that made this track one of my favourites on the disc.
Still, it seemed almost too easy, so to challenge myself I ended up using 27 different drum tracks to create the drum solo after the verses.

6. Mark Ejack
I actually made this beat for a local MC before we started the album, and started regretting sending it to him as soon as I emailed it. I really liked it and wanted to use it, so when he told me it was giving him writer's block I was stoked.
It was Mike's idea to write a song about "the loudest, most social person we know", and I wanted to use our signature Animal Nation back/forth rhyme style. We did an interesting thing with the back and forth part where it gets quicker and quicker. We both rap 8 bars each, then 4 bars, then 2 bars, then 1, then a half, finally going sentence for sentence at the end.

7. Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk
Based off a Hey Ocean sample that Mark found (left as-is in the intro of the track) I spent a few weeks practising my piano chops to get the pizzicato plucking sample just right. After that I added in the huge/simple piano chords after listening to The Heist too much, and combined a few different synth basses with a bass guitar to get some strange sounds.
Originally titled "The Get High Beach", I wanted to make this a fun song about a fictional place where you could do, find, or be anything you wanted. But with lines like "I'm looking for a Squirrel-suit, to go with my girl's boots. Not a suit for flying, I mean a suit made of squirrels, dude," it got a little too silly too fast.
Mark wanted to make it the intro song, with Mike scratching "Animal Nation" & "Sly Business" over the intro (Mark's vocal samples we intended to use were left in, un-cut).
We ended up using the first half of the song to feature some of my favourite lyrics on the album, and the second half to showcase our good friend DWhiz cutting the shit out of a few samples we sent him. Just to keep things on the squirrel-suit-silly side of things we took his cuts, and rearranged the end as to make it an invitation to a "Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk party".

8. Summer Love
This was the easiest song to make on the album. Even though there are at least 25 different samples throughout the song it all just fell into place, including the lyrics, which were written on the spot while we were recording. The song features our good friend Lozen who fits the vibe of the song perfectly.
I originally wanted to get kids to sing in the chorus, back and forth with the sample "Every morning" "Alcohol!" "Every evening" "Weeeed!" "Love, love, love, love, love you." But everyone else wanted to talk about love. Pft.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Animal Nation & Sly Business - Don't Grow Up To Be Like Us [Album Release]

Animal Nation loves Sly Business and Sly Business loves Animal Nation.
After spending the last 3 years touring and drinking and singing and laughing and partying together it seemed inevitable that the two bands would join forces and make an album together as well.
The idea for the album came about in a High school parking lot in Invermere, BC. Both bands were elegantly wasted and shooting bottle-rockets and Roman Candles at each other while waiting for that night's venue to open up for sound-check. High school was just getting out and a small group of kids timidly strolled towards the two bands.
What the kids stumbled upon was a drunken, dusty, freestyling, mudfooted mess that looked equal parts horrifying and one-hell-of-a-good-time. "Where'd you guys get those fireworks?" they asked.
The kids ended up leaving, arms full with stickers, CDs, condoms, pins, and whatever other merch the bands could dig up, and, of course, fireworks.
Never one to miss an opportunity to light underage people on fire, the bands shot their remaining explosives at the departing group, laughing maniacally and screaming after the kids as they ran off away from a barrage of bottle-rockets and Roman Candles, "Hey kids... Don't grow up to be like us!"

Download the album for free, above, before it costs money.

-Animal Nation

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don't Grow Up To Be Like Us (upcoming album release!)

Animal Nation & Sly Business - "Don't Grow Up To Be Like Us" - April 20, 2013 - URBNET Records

Animal Nation loves Sly Business and Sly Business loves Animal Nation.
After spending the last 3 years touring and drinking and singing and laughing and partying together it seemed inevitable that the two bands would join forces and make an album together as  well.
The 8 song album combines production from the 2 bands, interweaving vocals from all 3 MCs, and features guest vocalists and musicians from across the country.
The album, appropriately titled, captures the essence of what it is to be a group of young touring musicians.
Broke, deprived of proper sleep and nutrients, and absolutely loving life to the fullest.

See you on April 20th!
-Animal Nation

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Basement Tapes - Calling All DJ's

We've been meaning to for a while, so we're glad that we finally got some time to strip away all the music behind our WCMA nominated album "The Basement Tapes vol.1" and let you guys mess around with the vocals.
Recreate the music, throw one of our verses into your uncle's new Storage Wars themed hip-hop album, whatever. Get weird.

Send the finished products to theanimalnation [at] and we'll listen to them a bunch, and if they're dope we'll show all our friends.

Get at it -

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Music Video / Fall Shows

What's up!!

We just got back from Toronto where we had an awesome show with More or Les, Wordburgler, Philly Moves, and Prolific. While we were there we shot a music video with director Chris Lazar and his crew. It was awesome. He had secured a grant through Much Music and come up with an entire concept, screenplay, everything, so all we had to do was show up on set and "be as animated as possible".

The weekend before that we had an awesome time in Saskatoon and Regina at the Western Canadian Music Awards and the Breakout West Festival. We played a Saskatoon show at the bar named after our song, The Fez, and played two awesome shows in Regina at O'Hanlons and Pure Ultra Lounge. We hung out with CityReal all weekend as well as Victoria based artist Georgia Murray and her partner DJ D-Whiz, and played a couple shows with each of them. They were all so rad. We definitely made good new friends for life.

(Left to Right - D-Whiz, Georgia, Tall Man, Armadillo Slim, CityReal, Cody PowerFuck)
The video will be out on November 8th, and will be screened in Whistler at The Savage Beagle, alongside our good friend MC Lozen's CD release party. Come check out the new video, pick up a copy of Lozen's new album, and have some drinks with us, Garbage Joe, our Lasagne Monster, and the rest of the gang!

Fall Tour Dates:
Oct 17 Kamloops - Heroes Pub w. MC Lozen
Oct 19 Kelowna - Grateful Fed w. MC Lozen
Oct 27 Squamish - The Ruddy Duck w. MC Lozen
Nov 8 Whistler - The Savage Beagle - Video Premier w. MC Lozen
Nov 10 Vancouver - The Electric Owl w. Oddisee
Nov 11 Whistler - Garfinkel's w. Oddisee

Monday, August 6, 2012


What's up!!

Having just come home from Toronto for NXNE, and playing a sold out 10 000 person festival on Vancouver Island in July (including appearances by KD Lang, and Emmylou Harris, Buffy Saint Marie) the band is hitting the road again for their third major tour this year.
Kicking off in Whistler for the start of this year's Crankworx
festival, the band will be traveling as a three piece again as guitar
player Jeff Waters is back from back surgery and on the road again!
Animal Nation will also be traveling with Saskatoon band Sly
Business, fronted by guitar player/singer/MC/amazing-guy Mark Ejack.
In September the band is set to play 2 shows at the Western Canadian
Music Awards in Regina (Breakout West Fest) to go with their WCMA nomination (best hip-hop album).

Stream the entire album here -
 Check out for more details.

Thursday 9 - Whistler - Longhorn w. Sean Rose
Friday 10 - Harrison Hotsprings - The Layback Lounge w. Ali Milner
Saturday 11 - Golden - Rockwater
Monday 13 - Calgary - Dicken's Pub (Moved from Sunday)
Tuesday 14 - Creston - Snoring Sasquatch
Wednesday 15 - Osoyoos - Sage Pub
Saturday 18 - Whistler - Tapleys w. MC Lozen, Sean Rose

See you out on the road!
-Animal Nation

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Summer Tour!


Animal Nation will be heading out to Toronto in June for for a screening of our self-shot/ edited/ directed/ starred-in music video at the NXNE film festival. Check it out below. We've got a string of dates along the way to help pay for gas, so come on out and buy an Animal Nation toaster. We'll keep show postings updated as they're confirmed.

May -
18 - Harrison - The Layback Lounge
26 - Fernie - The Northern
27 - Penticton - Voodoo’s w/ White Dress Star

1 - Kelowna - Doc Willoughby’s
2 - Cranbrook - Friendz
4 - Banff - Rose & Crown
9 - Sault St. Marie - The Grande Theater
11-17 - Toronto - NXNE Festival
18 - Ottawa - Zaphod’s
19 - Montreal - Jello Bar
23 - Edmonton - The Haven Social w/ Mayday and the Beatcreeps

6-8 - Comox Valley - Vancouver Island Folk Festival

In August our good friend Mark Ejack of Sly Business fame will be moving to Vancouver, and we're going to start work on our new joint album - Animal Nation & Sly Business - Don't Grow Up To Be Like Us (tentative title).


Animal Nation's Somebody That I Used to Know premiered at the 2011 Whistler Film Festival, and has been chosen to be screened at the 2012 NXNE Film Festival in Toronto in July.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Basement Tapes Vol.1 & Spring/Summer Tour info

The new Animal Nation album - The Basement Tapes Vol.1 - will be released at the end of the month, followed by a string of shows we've dubbed "The Uncle FezTour" (previous tours include the MolesTour, and the Moles2our), but you can listen to the whole thing now in the above youtube window!

The Basement Tapes Vol.1 takes old Animal Nation favourites that have slowly evolved throughout the years to adapt to our ever-changing live set, and has them recorded properly in our basement level studio. Some songs are live-set staples that get played at every show (The Fez, Wooden Rollercoaster), some are classics that never got the proper attention they deserved when released the first time around (The Corner of Broadway), and some are banjo driven re-interpretations of previous hits (Party Animals Reprise).

We'll be taking this album on the road and we want to hang out with you and your crew. Let's party. Check the dates below, find the show closest to wherever you're at, and come join the circus.

Here are a couple live in-studio vids we made for "Wooden Roller Coaster" and "The Corner of Broadway".

Spring tour dates:

Mar 29 Penticton Voodoo's
Mar 30 Rossland The Flying Steamshovel
Mar 31 Nelson The Royal
Apr 04 Lethbridge The Slice
Apr 05 Calgary The Shamrock
Apr 06 Saskatoon Amigo's
Apr 07 Saskatoon Scratch Club
Apr 08 Banff The Rose & Crown
Apr 09 Golden Rockwater Bar & Grill
Apr 10 Invermere Bud's Bar & Lounge
Apr 12 Revelstoke Regent Inn
Apr 19 Whistler Doc Branigan's
Apr 21 Whistler Savage Beagle
Apr 21 Whistler Telus Ski and Snowboard Festival
Apr 27 Pemberton Pemberton Hotel

-Animal Nation