Free Oxygen. . . while supplies last? This is one of many topics that came up when I sat down to talk with L. Dog, bassist for Montreal’s Free Oxygen Band,. L. Dog explains the band’s name is rooted in ecological concerns: “although now oxygen is free, it’s something that might not be in the future. So we’re kind of doing a preemptive strike against that. But that’s just a spring board for other kinds of ecological and political concepts that we throw into our songs.”
The Free Oxygen Band, comprised of 7 Positivity; Sleazy V. Rodriguez; Hammond; Admiral Sebastien Leroux; Iceberg Slim; and Sugarfoot Juan Harper; L. Dog, formed in Montreal nearly two years ago.
In the short time the band has been together, FOB have gone from an opening act playing a handful of songs to headliners, playing shows that last until they run out of material, which typically spans over three and a half hours Three of its members, Sugarfoot, 7 Positivity and L. Dog, met initially during various acting projects. Later the three teamed up with Rodriguez, Admiral and Iceberg after they found they shared a common interest in music and a desire for ecological awareness.
L. Dog explains that their songs initially evolved from material written by Sugarfoot and 7 Positivity, but today they have developed a collaborative method that sometimes involves changing roles and writing pieces for other members to play.
FOB use their music to bring awareness to the resources which they believe most people take for granted. “One of our lyrics is ‘What costs more than gas? Chicago tap water, because liter to liter [they] actually pay more money for water than they do for gas,'” L. Dog comments. “If you think of it that way, it’s pretty crazy”
While L. Dog describes the band’s music as traditional funk, their acting background still shines through and influences their live performances. “We usually dress up for the shows. We have themes. Sometimes we dress up as cupid, ” the bassist reveals.
Their playful disposition on stage has certainly made an impression with audiences. FOB have already developed a following of devoted fans that can be seen eagerly cheering, front and center.
All of this attention doesn’t stop with the fans. FOB have also signed a five year/three album contract and are tentatively scheduling their first release for later this year.
Until then, you can see FOB live at Le Swimming on April 2 ($6). They will also be playing at Korina’s on April 16 ($6) and a free show at Brutopia on April 30.