Interview – Before The Dinosaurs

Moncton, NB-based alt-rock band, Before The Dinosaurs (formerly known as Short For Arthur). Frontman and lyricist Jordan Best (joined now by guitarist Ryan Mazerolle, bassist Chris Bishop and drummer Christian Arsenault), has picked up the wave of momentum right where they left off with a new single about the benefits of moving on. “Set Yourself Free” is the band’s debut release as Before The Dinosaurs, after the fallout with his drummer of seven years; citing reasons of irreconcilable creative differences. Rediscovering the parts of himself that had been hampered under the less-than-ideal circumstances pushed Best through a liberating experience.

“‘Set Yourself Free’ is just about how we are the ones that imprison ourselves in our own minds—or life for that matter,” explains Best. “How we think act and behave is what keeps us trapped. Until we realize that, we can’t change it and to change it we have to essentially let everything go and step into our power; break free from what you were taught growing up—through your parents, peers, society and institutions—and rediscover yourself. It’s having the courage to step into the unknown and embrace new opportunities. Just goes to show that when you let go of the weight in your life, you make room for better things

“Most importantly, you are the only one that can set yourself free. You are the only one with the key to the cage.” 

“Set Yourself Free” is the lead single from the band’s upcoming album, In The Beginning, which is set for release in September 2022. With much of the album inspired by frontman Jordan Best’s cathartic reinvention, In The Begining captures the emotions of love, letting go, acceptance of both the good and bad of life, forgiveness, celebrating joy, and a desire to break free of limitations.,

As part of the band’s reinvigoration, In The Beginning showcases Before The Dinosaurs exploring new sounds and new directions as evolving musicians; blurring the lines between alt/indie rock and West Coast surf rock, dabbling in the world of Alt-Folk, and even dipping their toes into a francophone take on heartache.

Don Levandier (The Motorleague) takes the album to another level, producing, recording, and mixing, with Harry Hess mastering (Billy Talent, Arkells, Monster Truck).

Check out both versions of “Set Yourself Free” below, and find out more about Before The Dinosaurs via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Before the Dinosaurs are a four-piece indie/alt-rock band from Moncton, New Brunswick. The band came together very quickly in September of last year after my previous band had been booked for a showcase at Music NB’s Festival 506. The band had broken up but I still had this showcase I was expected to play.

After a mad scramble to pull something together we landed with Ryan Mazerolle (of Squintin’ Tarantino) on lead guitar, Christian Arseneault on drums, Chris Bishop on bass, and myself (Jordan Best) performing lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and keys. Honestly, it has turned out better than I could have hoped for, considering how quickly it came together.

You have just released your new single, “Set Yourself Free”, what can you tell us about the writing process behind the single?

After that split, I began writing solo a lot and shifting my focus from keys to guitar.

That breakup with my drummer ended badly and left me feeling really distraught. It was not a good time in my life, but I was reminded that the only one keeping me trapped in that situation and that emotional state was myself. The only way out was to set myself free.

Music is like magic. Often, it’s as if the songs write themselves when I put myself in a receptive and creative state of being.”Set Yourself Free” came together over an old demo that had nearly been abandoned. It wasn’t until I was coming out of that situation that I really found the right lyrics for it.

Shortly after, I found my new bandmates and recorded it with our producer, Don Levandier (The Motorleague), at the end of October.

The track is pulled from your upcoming album, In The Beginning, how did you choose this long to be your first single?

“Set Yourself Free” was the first new song I had written following the breakup with my bandmates in Short for Arthur. This new band is a representation of me setting myself free and moving on, and so, I feel it’s only fitting that this should be our first release. Before the Dinosaurs has been really great for me in a lot of ways, but it’s as if in order to have this new band and write/record this album in general I had to first set myself free. For every door we close another one opens.

Your band name, Before The Dinosaurs is very unique, care to elaborate on that?

Anyone who has ever been in a band without a name knows that every phrase to leave someone’s mouth has the potential to stick with you as your band name forever.

For Before The Dinosaurs, it came during a walk with Jordan Jardine, who was filling in on bass for at the time, while we were looking at the sunset and deep in conversation. Out of the blue, I wondered, “What life was like before there were dinosaurs?” Fortunately, that didn’t stick and was shortened to Before the Dinosaurs by the end of the next band rehearsal.

I like the name because it makes you think. No one really knows what existed before the dinosaurs, we have theories and speculations but unless you lived it, you don’t know. It could be a big bang, some old civilization, other types of creatures, or just a blank canvas. The possibilities are endless and it’s up to you to decide what our name really means.

What else can we expect from you in 2022?

Even though we’ve only just released our first single, we’ve got a lot planned for Before the Dinosaurs. We’ve got a few more singles lined up (with a music video coming soon), and an album release in the Fall with tours before and after. We’re looking forward to a lot of music festivals this summer and who knows what else!

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