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Bellingham Artist Feature Series, Pt. 5: Bob Fossil [Interview]

If you’ve ever been to a live performance in Bellingham, you know how hard crowds can rock. Bellingham is picky though; our music connoisseurs won’t dance to just anything. That’s how we know Bob Fossil is onto something special. Whether it’s headlining a performance at The Wild Buffalo, a festival gig at Bellingham Arts and Music Festival or a weekend house show packed to the brim with sweaty bodies, the people are moving and grooving. Bellingham has caught the Bob Fossil fever, and the rest of the west coast is not far behind.

“Grandpas can dig it, but so can the youth,” drummer Alan Schellenberger exclaimed.

“I’ve got the body, but I need that soul,” sings lyricist and vocalist Kenny Clarkson in Body & Soul, the opening track on Bob Fossil’s 2016 album American Hippo. Clarkson may claim he lacks soul, but we here at Dance Music Northwest can not agree. This rock group incorporates funk, soul, and a psychedelic flair to their music that is specific to them—Bob Fossil is crafting their own sound that is their’s alone.

“We allow for space for everyone to add their own flavor here and there,” band member Corey Teply explained. 

Bob Fossil consists of Clarkson on lead vocals and guitar, Joe Canfield on guitar, Hank Miller on bass guitar and talk box, Schellenberger on the drums, and Teply on the keys and synthesizers. The band played their first show in Bellingham in 2013, though their current lineup finalized with Schellenberger on the drums in 2015.

“As you play together and get used to each other as musicians, we are maturing,” Clarkson said. “Not only as people, but as musicians, band mates and friends. So those types of maturity incorporate themselves into the music.”

Bob Fossil had their first west coast tour last August, which is a stark contrast their beginnings of house shows busted by the cops. The band continued to play shows around Washington throughout the year, including shows at the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon, a sold out show opening for Super Sonic Soul Pimps at The High Dive in Seattle and a performance inside the Western Washington University Gallery. The group even filmed for the Youtube Channel Bellingham Soundcheck.

The band is currently working on third third album Safety Meeting, which is to be released September 1. Although Clarkson is the primary lyricist, each band member creates their own parts for each song.

“I’ll write a song and when I feel like it’s ready to show the guys, we’ll hit the shed and they start making their parts,” Clarkson stated. “Everyone just kinda creates how they feel the song should go. In the initial creation stage there really is no dictation.”

The band used this formula for their last two albums, but they are striving to become more of a cohesive unit in their upcoming project. The song writing has become more of a fluid ever changing process.

“The last one [album] at times it feels disjointed, or there is too much shit happening. This time we are trying to be more cohesive,” Canfield said.

“This time around its more we created these songs but they are still being created in the studio. We aren’t just recording what we have already done. We are still changing and molding them,” Schellenberger added.

The first single off Safety Meeting, Aftermath released on July 3, and you can already tell the band is accomplishing the goals they laid out for themselves on the album. The single is busy without being hectic, featuring each instrument in it’s own notable way. One of the most noteworthy is way is the keyboard accelerando beginning at minute 1:05.

 

Bob Fossil began their third tour July 21 with a show at The Shakedown in Bellingham. The tour will continue until September 12th, ending with a show at the Portland, OR venue Ash Street. Keep track of the band’s show schedule on their website. 

“Every time we get on stage we want to play the best f*ckin show we’ve ever played. Regardless if there’s one person or 250, in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska or if we are in Seattle. As the sports say leave it all out on the field, but we leave it out on the stage,” Clarkson said.

Catch Bob Fossil on their tour, connect to their Bandcamp and Facebook pages or simply start the countdown to their next single release Marionette August 4. We here at Dance Music Northwest will be doing all three, and we cannot wait to see a future filled with fossil rock.

What is your favorite Bob Fossil song? Have you listened to any of their albums? Is Bob Fossil coming to your town on tour? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!