by Shelbey Savoie
photos courtesy of Gypsy Moonbird
“Timing is everything” and right now that rings true for North Battleford’s Gypsy Moonbird, who have released their newest single, "Blood Red Love", on their YouTube channel as of the 7th of October. With this latest release, the group is creating their own path by taking inspiration from classic rock foundations we are familiar with, but this time introducing a more sinister tone with a story about the supernatural wrapped up in a bold and bewitching sound. With the Halloween season here, this is the clearly the work of a band that knows how important the old adage “right place, right time” can be when it comes to songwriting.
NSMZ had the opportunity to speak with both Audi and Kriss Atcheynum. Not only are they husband and wife but also two of the driving forces behind the band. That being said, they take pride in being a group that collaborates equally with every member involved. They explained how any one of them could come up with a riff, a vocal melody, or simply an idea and work with the rest of the band by piecing it all together to create a fully realized song. It’s apparent that this writing style makes Gypsy Moonbird a well-oiled machine. Audi elaborated on the process, “I’ll come up with a whole chord progression and sometimes I’ll just hum out the melodies to my wife and she’ll come up with all the words for it. Our other guitarist, [Reg Whitecalf] a lot of times he’ll have it all done with the melody and the words and then Kriss will just sing it in her own way.”
Things were a little bit different when it came to their latest release. “We all knew that this one was heavier. Even before we came up with the title for it.” mentioned Kriss. One notable change from previous songs is a new sound that the band has introduced. “We’ve always had this style of music in us. With our other songs we are really attracted to minor chords that go from a major to a minor and we kind of got that all out of our system so we were like, ‘Let’s get these rock songs out and change it up’. The thing with Blood Red Love was that our other guitarist, Reg Whitecalf, had this intro for a few years saved on his phone.” Audi explained, “He had this initial idea for the intro of the song so he showed it to us. We sat down with the band and we figured out ‘Well what can we do for the verse, what should we do with the chorus?’ and we did it all as a team.” The second and most apparent contrast with this release was the not necessarily the way it was created, but rather the overall length of time that the writing process took. Kriss said, “The words actually came to me a year ago this month. This song took us that long to come to completion. I didn’t want to rush it because I liked the song so much and something in me said it’s just not quite ready yet.” It is clear that Gypsy Moonbird understood the importance of not allowing themselves to rush the quality of the art they have put out into the world and "Blood Red Love" is no exception.
Why should this track be on your spooky playlist? You can probably figure that one out from its title. “When I first heard Reg’s bass line with the intro it just had this eerie, spooky vibe to it and I thought instantly ‘Okay, vampires’. That’s the story behind what I wrote.” Kriss revealed to us, “It’s about vampires and this relationship between this man and woman. He basically turned her into a vampire and she is cursed to eternity to love him but she doesn’t want to because she doesn’t want to live forever. She doesn’t want to be stuck but she can’t help it.” It’s evident in the lyrics Kriss has written. The insistent phrase “I’m better without you/I can’t live without you” drives this contrasting imagery of a push-and-pull relationship home. Pair that with a backing track that could have been made for the likes of Alice Cooper and you have the perfect tune to have on repeat all month long. When we asked Kriss about the coincidence of releasing a song about vampires during the month of October she replied, “I am so happy with the timing of it.”
After speaking with Kriss and Audi about "Blood Red Love" it’s obvious there are no signs of Gypsy Moonbird slowing down anytime soon. For anyone who has been waiting to hear more, they are excited to announce that their debut full-length album will be available in the near future. “We are working on an album and are hoping to have it out right away.” Audi confirmed. You can keep up with the band’s news via their Facebook page, and listen to "Blood Red Love" and all of their current tracks over on their YouTube page.