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A Splendid Talk with... Animatist | First Contact

Animatist (L-R): Brent O'Toole, Ian Hinds, Danielle Fernandes, Steven Cook

Artist: Animatist

Location: Brampton-Toronto, ON, Canada

Peanut Gallery: Sound


Greetings Animatist, my good human_friends! Who is Animatist… what is an Animatist anyway? Where does this name come out of?

Animatist is a name I decided upon up in high school after googling “cool words” or some garbage like that. "Animatism" refers to the belief of inanimate objects having some form of consciousness. Conceptually it doesn’t have much to do with the band now, but we’ve never bothered changing it. One of those “It’s too late now” situations.

The band is Steve Cook (bass), Danielle Fernandes (saxophone), Ian Hinds (drums) and myself (Brent O’Toole). It’s funny to see all the ways people misspell or mispronounce our name. So we sometimes go under the monikers “Anal Mist” or “Animal Tits”.

I was introduced to the band during its current instrumental 4-piece incarnation by Danielle, as we shared some music courses at University of Guelph in the mid-2010s. The band has quite a unique history, from my understanding. How did Animatist first form and what kind of music did the band pursue when it started off?

That early music had vocals and was based on traditional psych rock, but the band has always been an attempt at my ideal band at the time. I had met Ian at my high school and his sense of rhythm and creative playing style were years beyond his age. I poached him from whatever bands he was in and used him to flesh out the musical ideas ruminating in my teenage head.