HALIFAX: A group with roots in the region is preparing to release a new album.
Andre Pettipas and the Giants will release their new album No Fools No Fun on July 9 on all streaming platforms, and it will be released live the same day at Steinhart Distillery in Arisaig.
“It’s one of those albums that’s fun. It was recorded live off the floor, so that means we’re all in the room together playing,” Andre Pettipas told The Reporter. “It just sounds like a band playing, which all of my favourite records were recorded like that, and that was the first time we’ve done that, so it was really cool.”
The band’s production company called the album the perfect soundtrack to chase away the pandemic blues.
“People are just ready for music, they’re ready to go out and they’re ready to celebrate,” Pettipas stated. “I think this album is the perfect album for that.”
Appropriately, Pettipas said the main thread running through the recording is that of transition.
“I’m a big fan of an album that tells a story,” he said. “This is just about growing, finding yourself, that’s what this album was all about; going through the party stages of your life and find out what works and what doesn’t. I wrote a lot of the songs in my mid-20s and I’m falling into almost 30 years old now. A couple of the songs are just about friendships I’ve had or lost, and nights that you realize were so important to your growth, they just kind of take me back to a spot where I realized what was going on in life.”
Pettipas said the album’s tracks were narrowed down from 40 to 13.
“We wanted to tell the full story of the album,” Pettipas said. “This was like, ‘here’s the full album, we’re not just a singles band, we’re a band that can put out a full album of material that we think is great for an album.’ It was cool to have all these tracks finally recorded that we’ve been playing for three years.”
Pettipas said the album was produced by Brian Moncarz who has worked with acts like Alice Cooper, Our Lady Peace and The Tea Party.
“He’s been helping us (immeasurably), even with connections in the music industry; he hooked us up with our publicist, and he also been helping us with our radio team. He’s been one of the top-notch dudes helping us grow,” Pettipas stated.
Max Kerman of Arkells arranged “Dark Times,” John-Angus MacDonald of The Trews was the producer of “Sympathy Card,” while Jason Jenkyns (The Stanfields, The Town Heroes) and Jon Landry (The Stanfields, The Town Heroes) co-produced “The Swedish Motel.”
The first single “Sympathy Card,” reached #27 on Billboard’s Active Rock Chart in Canada and broke the top 50 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart in North America, the company said.
“That was the first one we kind of let out from the album. That was the first time we charted,” Pettipas described. “It did really well for us.”
The singles “The Swedish Motel” and “Overtime” display the band’s ability to combine vastly disparate genres of rock and roll into a sound that’s undeniably and uniquely their own, the company said.
The album will also include the most recently released single “Homesick,” giving a major nod to late eighties and early nineties rock featuring Christopher Thorn the guitarist of Blind Melon, the release said.
“Christopher Thorn from Blind Melon, which is my favourite band of all time, is playing slide guitar on it, and this is one I had to keep secret for about a year-and-a-half. Just keeping news like that secret isn’t easy, especially when you just want to shout it to the world,” stated Pettipas. “I’ve got my favourite artist of all time, from my favourite band, playing on our album. To me, it doesn’t matter where you come from, if you go out and put your heart and soul on the line, you take the chances, big things can happen if you put your mind to it.”
The company said other tracks include “Last First Date Ever,” “Gone,” and “No Fools No Fun.”
In the release, Pettipas said with all the pain and anguish in people’s minds at any given time, the band wanted the album to be a way to forget and have a good time.
“It put original plans on hold, and forced us to be creative, and find a new way to be interactive with our fan base and grow our fan base,” Pettipas said of the pandemic. “It’s been challenging to figure out what works and what doesn’t but I think that’s part of the reason I like music because it’s always changing, people’s interests always change, so you got to stay creative and that keeps you on your toes.”
The Nova Scotia natives are already on the rise to fame with three number one singles on nationally syndicated show “East Coast Countdown” and showcasing internationally at Live at Heart/Sweden, the release stated. They were also named Arkells: Leather Jacket Cover Contest Winner; were Casino Nova Scotia Artist in Residence Finalists from 2016-2018; Q104 Homegrown Champions out of 120 bands ($15,000 in prizes including the recording of an industry demo which led to the band working with Brian Moncarz); and Jim Beam National Talent Search Regional Winners (Halifax), the release noted.
With the easing of public health restrictions, Pettipas expects they will be announcing more live dates this summer in PEI, Quebec and Ontario. He said they are planning to travel to Australia in the winter, the United Kingdom in the spring, and to major festivals in Canada next summer.
“Things are starting to open back up, so we’ll be able to travel across different provinces very soon. This album, like we said, we were supposed to release it last spring, but we didn’t want to without coinciding it with our live show. We’re super glad that we waited because it was a big investment financially and emotionally. We sacrificed a lot for this, we put a big personal investment in it, and we feel like now is the right time,” he added. “We’re just planning for a busy year ahead after being locked in our home studios and trying to keep creative. We’re just excited to hit the road and show our brand to everybody and just start spreading our wings.”