Whistler and Vancouver-based hip hop group Animal Nation’s career seems like something they dreamed up.
While they still play the “stinky bar scene” Garnet Clare remembers one of the first shows they played in Whistler.
“We feel like we snuck our way into some of these shows but I think it was our third show and we were invited to snowmobile to the very top of Whistler mountain to one of the huts up there,” said Clare. “We got to eat cheese fondue and drink wine and play a set. I am kind of baffled by all our shows there.”
Animal Nation was created “organically” as Clare describes it when he and Mike Armitage became roommates in 2006.
“We had no intentions of starting a band but we were great friends so it sort of formed itself I guess,” he said.
Clare said that the pair were very fortunate early on having their first few shows with well-known DJ Mat The Alien.
“Then we started playing with Classified and all the big names there, that was still with in the first year of us starting to play.”
Animal Nation was invited the Canada Day celebrations at Parliament Hill and also played during the Vancouver Olympics.
“It was so amazing,” said Clare. “I wasn’t necessarily against the Olympics but I wasn’t really for it, but as soon as torch came through there was an undeniable buzz around it, you couldn’t help but be into it.”
In the past decade Vancouver has developed it’s own hip hop scene with artists like Kyprios, the Swollen Members and Sweatshop Union emerging.
“I think the generation of kids that are growing up now, we were never really constricted to being part of a certain genre,” said Clare. “I feel like back in the ‘80s if you were a metal kid you wouldn’t be caught dead listening to hip hop. Whereas now I went back to my high school and judged a talent contest and the hip hop kids were listening to Americana and the country kids were listening to hip hop.
Animal Nation opens for Scientists of Sound at The Royal on Friday, March 30.