Bob Fossil: Celebrating the birth of fossil rock

by Caitlin Cohen

It’s possible for things to not go according to plan on tour. After playing a show in Portland, Bellingham’s Bob Fossil drove to Canon Beach in high hopes of finding a spot to camp (in the middle of last August’s heat wave without calling in advance). They drove eight and half hours finding that there were no camping spots or hotels available and crashed on the side of the road barricaded by their cars. The band drove over 200 miles but ended up 50 miles away from where they started. Kenny Clarkson (lead vocals), Hank Miller (bass, vocals), Joe Canfield (guitar), Corey Teply, (keyboard) and Alan Schellenberger (drums) laughed it off and consider this their favorite tour memory.

This year’s tour, each member is excited for the road ahead. They look forward to seeing friends and family at shows, playing in San Francisco, growth, and fish tacos.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how much we’ve grown on our tours. This will be our third tour and it will be interesting to see how much response we get because we’ve played at these places before,” Joe said.

“The first two shows were awesome, that was the most people we had at Bastion (Brewing Company in Anacortes). It will be cool to see how different reception is as each time we go down to play at more places. Usually people are pretty excited about it and that’s a good feeling,” Kenny said.

Their Safety Third Tour will support their newest album, Safety Meeting. Like their other albums, Safety Meeting was made with a lot of collaboration from the Bellingham community. Russ Fish (an auto engineer professor at Fairhaven College and studio manager) recorded, produced, and mastered the album at Champion Sound Studios. Sam Wesner mixed the album. Ben Llewellyn, their good friend, designed the album cover.

“Without the whole team together, it wouldn’t have been possible for this album to turn out the way it did. That’s how everything is; it’s a team effort in music and in life. There are a lot of other people that helped us not on the recording side of things to make this record possible,” Kenny said. “Andy Billings helped us a lot. Without Andy, it wouldn’t have been possible. It’s really awesome having friends everywhere in this.”

“Yeah. Having that community makes us feel like what we’re doing matters,” said Corey.

While they have an awesome team outside of the band helping them create Safety Meeting, they also feel they’ve become a better team as band mates during the recording process. As a result, their sound is more fluid while maintaining their signature sound.

“As time goes on, we learn how to play together better. On this record, we cut out notes in certain places or played more in unison in some places. We tried things we hadn’t tried before but by doing those things, it made us do what we do but have it be more refined,” said Kenny.

Playing live, blending various genres in one cohesive sound, and the community they’ve established through this band make up a major part to why Bob Fossil values the music they make. The common theme each of these elements share is connection.

“There’s an energy involved and I like having that on stage. This last show at the Karate Church, I liked looking out at the crowd and seeing people dancing. I made eye contact with some of them and was like ‘hey!’ and started dancing with them. It was a lot of fun, I enjoy feeling the energy go back and forth between the people in the audience and us,” Corey shared.

“It’s like freedom. I don’t feel limited. I feel like I can fully express myself and not hold back,” Hank said.

 

Catch Bob Fossil at the Wild Buffalo on Oct. 5 with Acovado and Rubber Bandit Boogie Brigade. Listen online at https://bobfossil.bandcamp.com/album/safety-meeting or follow their Facebook page for updates.