Morris 8: Ben Aitchison, John MacRae and Robert Blanchet

Band members John MacRae and Ben Aitchison have been transferring electrons between Australia and Canada since the mid 90's. The guys met via an Internet newsgroup discussion which ultimately brought their respective bands onto the same AlgoRhythm Music compilation CD. Following the release of this CD in 1996, Ben set out on a solo acoustic tour of North America which included a stopover in Toronto that enabled him to meet John in person (and to convalesce from a severe bout of the flu).

The pair contributed material to a subsequent AlgoRhythm compilation released in 1998 and by this time had a firm appreciation of each otherís material which fostered the idea of collaboration as a potential, if not obvious next step. The Internet had enabled John and Ben's chance meeting in 1995 and in the latter part of the decade it was this, and the technology that gave birth to mp3 audio compression that would take the Pacific Ocean out of the way of a good artistic relationship.

John had met Robert Blanchet in 1997 when John was attempting to restore the diminished lineup of Toronto band The Truth Hurts. The guys performed as an acoustic duo with the occasional percussionist and spent some time in the studio which resulted in a number of songs, one of which was released on the AlgoRhythm '98 compilation.

Morris 8 was born when the collaborative efforts of all three of them, Ben, Robert and John, were engaged. Starting in 1999 and for about a year, the trio assembled their songwriting contributions with mp3 demos on their shared FTP site. Ben then left Australia for Toronto to continue the collaborative process in person. During this visit, John, Ben and Robert teamed up with drummer Craig Hunter (ex of The Philosopher Kings & The Truth Hurts) to begin the recording stage of their debut CD, Client Sausage. After Ben returned home to Brisbane, recording, overdubs and co-production continued via the Internet. The tracks were eventually mixed in both Brisbane and Toronto studios and the project was released in June 2002.

It was then John's turn to make the trans-Pacific trek to start working on a follow-up CD.  After a few weeks in Queensland, and once the novelty of actually co-writing songs in person wore-off, John & Ben teamed up with Brisvegas drummer Dominic Hede and producer Glenn Marshall to get the drums, bass & some of the guitar and vocals recorded for several of the new tunes.  Some of these were completed by John and Robert back in Toronto and released in November 2006 on the band's EP Fik~Shun.  The rest will be included in upcoming releases, the most-recent of which is their single Captivated.

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