One of Canada’s most diverse and talented comedians has put together an album with some of Canada’s most diverse and talented musicians. Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll is the man behind the latest release from Comedy Records, FOG and LASERS The Album. Fernandez-Stoll can regularly be seen performing on stage in Toronto’s robust comedy community as well as on screen in series like Baroness Von Sketch and Kim’s Convenience. He’s also part of the production team behind CBC’s International Emmy nominated ‘The Amazing Gayl Pile’
For his latest project, Fernandez-Stoll collaborated with a boatload of Canadian talent including members of Schitt’s Creek, Baroness Von Sketch and bands like July Talk, Born Ruffians and Danko Jones. Despite the combination of music and comedy, the Toronto-based comic insists that FOG and LASERS The Album is not a musical comedy. It’s not a parody album, it’s not a traditional comedy album nor is it a serious music project. A live version of the collaboration will debut at this year’s NXNE Festival in Toronto on June 11. Interrobang spoke with Fernandez-Stoll to figure out what FOG and LASERS is all about and learn more about the artists involved.
The Interrobang: What is Fog and Lasers?
Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll: Fog and Lasers is a live variety show that was born in my favourite place, Comedy Bar, about three years ago. It’s part of a collaboration between Gillian Bartolucci and myself. The show runs every second Wednesday of the month and features stand up, sketch, improv, musical numbers and obviously fog plus lasers.
The Interrobang: Where did the idea for the album come from?
Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll: We were always doing silly musical numbers at the show, like spoofs on Lionel Richie, Venom themed Christmas songs, a musical theatrish epic number about confetti cannon. I thought it would be great to make an album where every song is written with a different musician. Taking the process as seriously as possible…and see what happens! I’m very lucky to be friends with a lot of these incredible musicians. If you hate musical comedy, you’ll love this album.
The Interrobang: Have you noticed any similarities working with comedians and musicians?
Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll: They both start with nothing, the dumbest little bit, try to make something out of it and then add to it. Some of the writing techniques are different between performers, but in the end its all been very fun because we’re all the type of artists that will listen to every idea and try it out. That’s the reason why I wanted to make this, to build something with a bunch of performers I love.
The Interrobang: Describe the video for Black Toe Nail.
Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll:Pain. A person that knows what suffering is.
The Interrobang: Who is Janky Man and what is that video about?
Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll: It’s just a man buying a beef patty at Bathurst station. We are all Janky Man. One of my favourite comics, Chris Locke (Laugh Sabbath) was nice enough to hang out with us for a morning while Andrew Hurt and I filmed him buying a beef patty.
The Interrobang: What can people expect at your NXNE show?
Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll: A very weird and special night that will probably never happen again. Getting all these awesome artists in a room together is super hard and we’re going to make sure it’s goddamn fun at the Rivoli. Oh and there will be fog and lasers.
The Interrobang: What does the future hold for Fog and Lasers?
Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll: This whole album was extremely fun to make. But I don’t think I’ll top this musical project. So this will be a one-time thing. Fog and Lasers will continue at Comedy Bar as a variety show and hosting some of the best comics in this city!
FOG and LASERs live will happen June 11 at Toronto’s Rivoli Bar as part of NXNE. The album is available now through Comedy Records and features:
Ian Docherty (July Talk)
Jill Harris, Meg Contini and Lydia Persaud (The O’Pears)
Tyler Kyte (Dwayne Gretzky)
Rich Knox (Danko Jones)
Jay McCarrol (Nirvanna The Band The Show)
Morgan Waters (Weaves, The Amazing Gayl Pile)
Marty Topps (Laugh Sabbath)
Feurd Ian Robertson Moore (The Elwins)
Adam Hindle (Born Ruffians)
Stef McCarrol (BART)
Aurora Browne (Baroness Von Sketch)
Kayla Lorette (The Sufferettes)
Miguel Rivas (The Beaverton, Tony Ho)
Gwynne Phillips (Templeton Philharmonic)
Gillian Bartolucci (The Sketchersons)
John Baker and Marshall Baglieri (Blackened Blues)
Adam Christie (Schitt’s Creek and Baroness Von Sketch)
Matt O’Brien (Just For Laughs)
Produced by Gavin Whelehan