Artist spotlight: The Folk

The Folk won Victoria College’s Battle of the Bands on January 13. ADAM CURRIE PHOTOGRAPHY/PHOTO

Mark Ferrari (guitar, vocals), Sara Bortolon-Vettor (synth, vocals), Emma Bortolon-Vettor (guitar), Liam Magahay (bass), and Patrick Rody (drums) are The Folk. Hailing from Guelph and Toronto (U of T, to be precise), they have played POP Montreal, The Hillside Festival, Canadian Music Week, and Toronto Indie Week.

The Medium sat down with the five-piece indie rock outfit for a quick chat before a recent show at The Garrison in Toronto. If only Patrick could join them…


The Medium: The Folk played as a four-piece until Patrick joined the band. How did a drummer change the band dynamic?

Liam Magahay: If anything, it filled our sound so we became as awesome as I knew we could be. Growing up, I always wanted to be The Who. They’re my ideal rock band. With Patrick, I think we’re one step closer.

Emma Bortolon-Vettor: Before Patrick, Sara was responsible for a lot. She would alternate between playing drums, keyboards, and singing. Now, she focusses on singing and our songs rock a lot harder.


TM: Did The Folk always intend on  following that direction?

EBV: We all play our instruments with a classic rock mindset, even if that isn’t always where our music is.

Mark Ferrari: We’ve always wanted to sound as big as possible while creating music people relate to. The songs we’re writing are definitely structured in a pop format, but we’re going for extremes. We want to be as loud and intense and anthemic as we possibly can be.

LM: Essentially we want to be Toronto’s Arcade Fire.

MF: We’ve got less members than Arcade Fire, but we make up for it.


TM: How long have The Folk been  together?

LM: Two years.

MF: Well, that’s right, and it’s wrong.

Sara Bortolon-Vettor: The band started playing together in late 2009. Emma and I have known each other since the womb, and Liam and Mark met at U of T. We knew Liam from Guelph, and one day we just started playing together. Patrick joined about a year later, and here we are now.

LM: It’s actually pretty close to the two-year anniversary of our first show.

SBV: We’ve learnt that with rock, you can’t take on a certain image and try to be perfect. You’ll make mistakes here and there, but as long as the show is good, you can’t get upset.


TM: The Folk recently released their first EP. Can you tell us about it?

SBV: Yeah, it’s called You Say, I Say. We put it out on December 20, 2011, the day before [the official first day of] winter.

LM: The EP was a long time coming, that’s for sure.

MF: It took almost six months to complete. We wanted to learn the process, so we took our time, but it’s unbelievable the time it took.

EBV: We’re definitely really happy with it, but we’re hoping to record three more songs in Guelph during Reading Week.

MF: And record them a lot faster.


TM: Does The Folk have any other plans for 2012?

LM: Festivals. We’re going to apply for all the major Canadian festivals.

MF: Festivals have to come before any tour.

SBV: We’re mostly just waiting to see what happens with this EP, really.


TM: Any upcoming shows?

EBV: We’ll be rocking the stage at the Guelph Off the Floor Festival on January 26. Beyond that we’re not sure, but there’s always more to come.

MF: Oh, my phone is ringing. [Looks down at phone.] It’s Patrick. [He answers.] Hey… What, really, you are? All right, just hold ’em off, we’ll be there soon. All right, bye. [Hangs up.] Patrick’s at The Garrison already.

SBV: What? Really? Why is he there?

MF: Apparently we were supposed to be at the venue for six.

SBV: Six!? When did it become six?

MF: Apparently the emails always said six.

EBV: All right, we’ve got to get a move on.


You can listen to The Folk’s new EP, You Say, I Say, on Bandcamp or Myspace.