|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Labels||Paper Bag (2003-2008)|
|Associated acts||Dig Circus, Hummer, The Weakerthans|
FemBots are a Canadian indie rock band from Toronto formed in 1998. FemBots are known for their unique sound of combining instrumental everyday items, junk instruments, and traditional instruments in their music.
The band's core members, Dave MacKinnon and Brian Poirier, were members of the early 1990s alternative rock band Dig Circus alongside Mark Hansen, James Julien and Dave Dreveny. That band released three albums independently, but broke up in the mid-1990s before achieving any mainstream success. They subsequently joined with Ron Hawkins of The Lowest of the Low to form the band Hummer for a one-album project in 1997 before launching FemBots.
The Fembots were performing in Toronto by 1998. Their live show included analogue tape loops and prerecorded sound clips.
FemBots' first album, Mucho Cuidado. introduced their distinctive style of music with toys and power tools as instruments in their songs. Small Town Murder Scene, released in 2003, sounded more commercial than their debut, but was also widely praised by critics.
For The City, their third album recorded in the spring of 2005, Mackinnon and Poirier collaborated with many of the best of Toronto's indie artists. One of these people, Nathan Lawr of the Minotaurs, would join FemBots for their next album, Calling Out. The City moved the FemBots sound in a new direction, as they used more traditional instruments, while maintaining their distinctive emotion and creativity known in their previous albums. The album signifies their experiences in their hometown, Toronto, the good and the bad. "Demolition Waltz" signifies a loss of neighborhoods, while also exploring life in general in "So Long" and "My Life in the Funeral Service". The City was on many critics' top ten lists for 2005.
While making their 2008 album, Calling Out, FemBots contributed two songs to the 2007 film The Tracey Fragments, a soundtrack done by Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene. Calling Out signified a big change for the band, as they moved from Paper Bag Records, their record label for their first three studio albums, to weewerk records. The initial idea for the album was to make it solely using junkstruments, aided by the expertise of their new member, Iner Souster. However, the band concluded junkstruments could not sustain an entire album and were instead used as rhythm tracks. Souster and Lawr also contributed to the songwriting process, a first for Mackinnon and Poirier. What is being called their strangest album yet, Calling Out is a collaboration of all FemBots' sounds from the past with the junkstruments to create a unique compilation of pop and rock songs. Released on September 16, 2008, they toured Canada promoting it.
Although never breaking up, FemBots were less active following that album; instead, they spent the next several years as touring session musicians with The Weakerthans. They played a "reunion" show at the Wavelength 500 festival on February 11, 2010.
- Brian Poirier - vocals, guitar, bass
- Dave Mackinnon - vocals,guitar, piano
- Iner Souster - junkstruments
- Nathan Lawr - drums
Soundtracks and compilations
- "Folky Canadian rockers Dig Circus get their thrills working without a net". Toronto Star, July 21, 1994.
- "Live Reviews: THE FEMBOTS March 6, 1999 Ted's Wrecking Yard, Toronto, ON". Chart Attack, review by Howard Druckman
- "The Fembots Deconstruct Teddy Ruxpin". Chart Attack, November 07, 2001
- "Artists Fembots". Paper Bag Records. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
- "WAVELENGTH 500 / 10th Anniversary Festival — Night 2". |wavelengthtoronto.com. Retrieved 16 March 2012.