Gift of Wolves
KEVIN SCOTT began classical piano lessons at the age of 6, fascinated by his grandmother's playing. Realizing other instruments were more interesting to him some years later, he nonetheless stuck with his studies until his twenties, picking up a Grade X Royal Conservatory of Music diploma. Along the way he developed a great love of classical music. Growing up in a household where folk music was always playing, it seemed that classical and folk music would be in his blood forever, despite several attempts to scrub them out in the form of avant-garde, noise, pop, bubblegum, surf, and heavy helpings of college rock over the years. Nothing worked. Having an older brother who worked in a record store, he was exposed to many different kinds of rock music he might not have otherwise heard. This was a bit of good fortune. Three different epiphanies have shaped his musical growth; in junior high it was the discovery of late 60s British Invasion bands; in high school it was British folk and folk-rock; and in university it was alternative rock (as it was called then). All three remain strongly influential. Equally helpful was his involvement with UMFM, the college radio station based in the University of Manitoba. Since 1998 he has been active as a volunteer, DJ and occasional programming & music director, and still does two shows that showcase his love of British folk and diverse music respectively. He has also been active as a piano teacher, record store clerk, and church organist. His achilles heel has seemed to be the inability to focus such wide-ranging interests into one cohesive style of music. Consequently, he gave up trying...until 2003. In meeting Matt McLennan he discovered another soul with equally wide-ranging musical interests, and a solid musical partnership and friendship was formed. For all the combinations and possibilities that could have resulted, the duo decided to create a melodic and timeless brand of "chamber folk" with a rich and expansive instrumental tapestry. As a boy, MATT McLENNAN displayed a marked lack of talent at the piano. He sang pretty well in school plays however, and wasn't too shabby at playing the trombone. Picking up the electric guitar at the age of 14, Matt found his calling and went on to launch a large number of bands and projects, the only constants being a penchant for extreme volume and a tendency to play the guitar in counter-intuitive ways. Studying 20th-century avant-garde music and free jazz at the library in late high school / early undergrad added equally to his excitement and confusion over the possibilities inherent in music. The formation and ongoing seven-year career of moderately successful Winnipeg noise-pop band Cone Five was the result of this long formative period, as well as the influence of inspiring and valued bandmates and collaborators. Matt moved to Ottawa in 2003 to begin a master's degree in philosophy. Before packing his bags, however, he went through a major sea change which would result in three discs of sparsely arranged and personal acoustic solo material which would go on to crack the national college radio top 200. This was also the period during which Matt met Kevin Scott. Mr. Pine was formed out of a strong friendship and a mutual admiration for an eclectic list of genres and performers. Though temporarily based in different cities, Matt and Kevin managed to co-write the material for Mr. Pine's debut album, 'The Gift of Wolves' and complete the recording over a two-and-a-half year span. The songwriting partnership pushed both Matt and Kevin in new, challenging directions.