Interview with Jiffy Schellenbomb of Anything But
Thanks Jiffy , if that’s even your real name…for doing this interview. Wait first question, is Jiffy your real name or where did that come from?
My real name is Jeff, but my friends call me Jiffy. The name evolved through a series of trial and error, mostly error, on the part of my friends. The timeline for this nickname roughly goes: Jif, Jiffers, Jifferson, Jiffy Pop, then Jiffy. I realized Jiffy was a computer science term, and as that’s what I studied in school, it kind of stuck.
Anything But is based out of Vancouver, but you were recently in Toronto recording your 4th album Do or Try. What brought your asses all the way across the country for this record?
Trying something new, really. It is very easy to get complacent in anything, especially music. Staying on top of your game is a constant battle. I looked around at different studios, people and pricing, and eventually looked outside of my immediate, geographical area. The end result was an amazing album that came about from me, getting out of my comfort zone.
Seeing as you recently finished recording, it’s safe to assume the new release is coming soon. But when!?
Good question. I have already recorded a single, 2 EP’s and a full length LP. One thing I have learned about this process, is not to rush it. Ideally, Do or Try should launch late June, early July, but it won’t be available to the public until it’s absolutely perfect.
How has Anything But’s sound evolved over the span of these four records, and what do you feel brought on these evolutions?
I think, like anything, the more you work at something, the more it changes (hopefully for the better). When I write a new tune, I really try to do something that I haven’t done yet; be it a new chord progression, a new vocal technique, experimenting with timing and tempo, and sometimes even learning a new instrument (on the last album, I played both the ukulele and mandolin, which was a first). The evolution of our sound has been through hard work and experimentation.
When I first heard the new music, one of my first comparisons was to iconic Canadian group The Barenaked Ladies . How do you feel about the band and have they influenced your music?
Ha ha, I have heard this comparison before. On our first one-sheet for our first album, under the question, “Who do you sound like?” We listed The Barenaked Ladies as one of the choices. I can’t say they have had a direct influence on our music, but both Steven Page and I were in choir for voice when we were younger, maybe that’s the connection? And yes, The Barenaked Ladies kick ass!
This new album incorporates a lot of brass. How did that come about?
Adding a brass component is something that has bugged me for a while. I played trumpet in junior band, and leading up to the recording of this album, I have been working with a very talented Saxophone player and musician, Kurt Schindelka. We have been working out parts for several songs off the new album. When it came time to record, I was lucky enough to find an excellent brass trio to help implement all the additions we made, except now with trumpet, trombone as well as saxophone.
Asides for the new release, anything else Anything But has coming up for me to get excited about?
We are doing a video for the song, “Too Crowded,” which is off our last album, “Live off the Floor.” I am working with Marginal Productions, and this video has been in the works for quite some time. It is a very high quality, very polished video and will hopefully be released in May (so stayed tuned for that).
What’s your favourite spot to play in Vancouver?
There are a lot of great venues in Vancouver, but whenever we play The Fairview, the show always seem to be amazing. The sound is great, and the crowd is always rowdy and appreciative.
Which Anything But gig stands out the most in your mind?
I think our last gig on a tour to Winnipeg, MB at The Park Theatre has to be at the top of the heap. We had a packed house and we were definitely at the top of our game that night. We have several videos of that evening’s performance on our YouTube page. I encourage you to check out the live versions Hazy Clouds, Piece of You, Struggle and Weak Sauce.
Where should we go to find the new album, Do or Try when it comes out?
We will release our album through all the regular channels: iTunes, CDBaby, Spotify for paying sites, and we always let our fans listen for free on YouTube, Band Camp and Sound Cloud.