Eternal Husbands are a self-styled “Fog Pop” band based out of Montreal. After a brief Google search, I believe they actually coined the term, and it suits them to a T. Eternal Husbands is comprised of Rick Reid and Matt Leddy, two friends from way back when, who have played in multiple bands together through the years. I had the opportunity to speak with Matt and learn more about the band, Fog Pop, the new album, French Exit, and what it means to be Eternal Husbands.
Matt and Rick have been playing together in bands for roughly thirteen years, but they have been friends since early childhood. As Matt says, “We’ve been best friends since about grade five. We got into a fist fight, and afterward we realized we hated the principle a lot more than we hated each other, and we’ve been kind of tied at the hip ever since.” Their friendship, and musical partnership, have taken them on quite a few whirlwind adventures. “Between all of our projects we’ve done about 700 shows in all of North America, Mexico and Haiti.” That’s pretty impressive, and they’re looking to expand their radius this year. “We’re really excited that we’re going to release this [album], and then we’re going to be touring Eastern Canada, the Maritimes, Quebec, and then doing some shows in New York. After that I think we’re going to hold off touring Canada for a bit and focus everything on heading over to Europe”, says Matt.
I asked Matt how Eternal Husbands got their name, as I had googled them and found a novella by Fyodor Dostoyevski called The Eternal Husband. It turns out that the book did indeed have an influence, but there’s more. “We were originally thinking of band names, and I kind of always liked the name ‘Notes from the Underground’. Rick suggested ‘The Eternal Husbands’, and I thought that would be a fun name. Rick’s got a family, he’s married, but like I said, we’ve been basically attached at the hip since grade 5. Plus you spend enough time on tour where you’re within five feet of each other; whether you’re in a van, sleeping next to each other, or when you’re on stage. The only time you get to yourself is basically between sound check when you get to just walk around and get lost in a bit of a fog.” For some, living in close quarters can be stressful, but Eternal Husbands are looking forward to hitting the road once again, as Matt tells me. “We’re really excited to get back on the road. It’s been a while; it’s not the way it used to be, living in a Ford Windstar for five weeks. But now that we’re a two-piece it’s a little better; we can sit in a family-sized sedan, two husbands.”
Their new album, French Exit, is also somewhat of a social project for Eternal Husbands; they’re encouraging friends and fans to make their own videos for the songs on the album. “We’re encouraging all of our fans to make their own videos for the songs on the record. Our Web designer, he posted a stream of the album, and then his friend made a video, and then I made one, and so that’s something we’re encouraging people to do, make a video of their own. It’s an idea Rick and I like, too, it’s all about being collaborative” Matt also let me know that he’s going to be starting a podcast soon, which will be the medium for him to interview people at shows as well as Rick. Matt also has another idea for this road trip: “One thing that’s kind of cool that we used to do with the City Streets, and we’re going to do again is we’re going to bring a recorder and write songs as we’re driving down the highway. There’ll be a whole record at some point that will be just songs that were written while we were driving down the highway.”
Fog Pop is a new concept to me, and so I had to ask what it’s all about. “People have always kind of had a hard time saying what type of music we play, and we debated over ‘Fog Pop’ or ‘Twang Gaze’. In the end, whatever people want to call it is cool Live, it’s still got the energy of a punk rock or a rock and roll show, but it’s just two people… and they’re pop songs. They’re catchy songs, but they’re kind of twisted and a little fucked with.” I think that Fog Pop works; they’ve got a pretty ambient and, well, foggy sound. While Rick and Matt comprise the nucleus of the band, they will sometimes have a drummer along for the ride. For the most part, though, Rick plays guitar and sings, while Matt is a utility man. “I play bass and guitars and keyboard and drum machine. Basically, whatever needs to be done. It’s a new challenge, but it’s really cool.” Through all of the bands Rick and Matt played in together, they never really assigned themselves to a genre. “The thing is, we all like such a variety of music that…we just kind of brought in all sorts of different stuff. We never said we were a ‘this’ band or a ‘that’ band; we thought it was kind of bull shit. If we wanted to release a hardcore punk rock record and then the next record was a folk record, we felt at liberty to do that.”
When I asked Matt about musical influences he told me an amazing story, and it’s simply way too good to leave out. “I love The Clash. The City Streets released an album called If You Don’t Like The Clash You’re A Bad Person. One time we were down at SXSW, and The Good, The Bad and The Queen was playing … and I remember when I heard they were going to be down there, I just thought ‘I have to meet Paul Simonon and get him a copy of this record’. And so we waited on one side [of the river] – it was at this huge outdoor venue – and we climbed a barbed-wire fence, and had to cross this river… it was like in Zelda, when you’re waiting for the guards to change. We were seriously hiding in the shadows, and you throw your jacket up over the barbed wire, and then we were waiting for [the guards] to switch and moving from one shadow to the next. We finally snuck in, and watched the show, and then I was thinking ‘How are we going to meet them’, and I remembered when we went back we passed their dressing room. So we had to sneak back into the back, and I remember I just, like, kicked the door open, and I see Paul Simonon standing there, and he’s just giving me this filthy look, like ‘Who is this filthy grub, and why is he here?’ I remember I was just… I didn’t even know what to say, I didn’t know what to do… I was just speechless. I just kind of fumbled through my pockets, and I handed [the record] to him, and he looks down at it and bursts out laughing. Then he pulls me up and gives me a huge hug. And after that I was just like… ‘I have nothing else to say.’ And I remember Rick just looks at him and said, ‘Fuckin’ Strummer, man.’ And we just walked away. That was it. I remember thinking, ‘Well, my life’s complete, I’ll just go off myself now and end on a high.’ That was one of the highlights of my life.”
Eternal Husbands are coming East in the fall, and their album French Exit is definitely worth checking out. If you buy the vinyl you get a 4-song EP which includes B-sides and “other odds and sods”. I’m definitely looking forward to their eastern Canada tour!