Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jan 28th 2010 10:30AM by Jessica Lewis
Distraught over his father's lengthy illness -- he passed away last February -- throughout 2008 the writer's block was preventing Bonnetta from expressing himself as he usually did, through his music. So his friends stepped in. First, members of Toronto band the Wooden Sky lent him their apartment when they went on tour -- with the caveat that he had to present completed songs to them when they returned.
It helped, but not completely. Soon after, Bonnetta was chatting with with Casey Mecija of another "Bellwoods Scene" band, Ohbijou, and he made a bet with her that they would both write new songs.
From that conversation came Mecija's Ohbijou bandmate James Bunton, who signed on as producer. While recording 'Spirit Guides' at an art gallery, Bunton boosted Bonetta's confidence and helped him find a new, less stripped-down sound as seventeen musician friends chipped in on the album.
"The record turned out to be loud for Evening Hymns," Bonnetta tells Spinner. "I thought it was going to be this quiet, lush record and instead it became these heavy drums and electric guitars."
Released late last year, 'Spirit Guides' offers beautiful lyrics and music about life, romance and, ultimately, the death of his father. Bonnetta found that speaking metaphorically through nature was the perfect antidote to his writer's block.
Bonnetta retreated to his cottage for the bulk of the writing on 'Spirit Guides' and worries that his future writing might lose that fresh air vibe since he has now moved to downtown Toronto. So he's very conscious about spending a lot of time in neighborhood parks, the area near his mother's house in Cobourg, a sawmill he runs part-time in Orono and his cottage at Mazinaw Lake, where he now plans to go for annual writing retreats.
He was excited to go to the cottage to write last month, despite arriving amidst a terrible snowstorm. He managed to write and record a demo of one song, 'You Could Be a Cabin on the Burn,' but was forced to go back to Toronto when the power went out. But at least he's found a cure.
"I isolate myself so I can work," he says. "I know what I need to do now."