Published Dec 01, 2000Who are you?
What are you up to?
The Cash Brothers' new release Phonebooth Tornado
Hometown and current HQ:
Watching Stockwell Day reveal himself as the shallow man that he is. Listening to Kelly Willis's record What I Deserve. Eating just about anything (although for some reason I still haven't tried that symbol of Quebec exotica-poutine). Reading anything by Mordecai Richler (which means I have to regularly check in on the National Post where Richler keeps what can only be described as strange company on the editorial page with the overly pampered David Frum). As well, the more the Cash Brothers tour the more I'm reading The New Yorker great writing and it fits easily in my over stuffed carry-on luggage.
Mind altering work of art:
There are too many to list how about the first six records by Elvis Costello. Unfortunately Elvis's comprehensive list of 500 essential albums in the current issue of Vanity Fair was incomplete due to the omission of any of his own work.
Most memorable gig:
Sorry there must be two. One: Vic Chesnutt at the Rivoli in Toronto about six or seven years ago. His songs made my cheeks burn with tears all night long. Two: Bruce Springsteen at the Air Canada Centre earlier this year. At 50, the Boss can rock harder than most bands half his age.
What should everyone shut up about?
Tax cuts and dot com things.
Your greatest strength/weakness:
You may need third party input on this one.
Your daily ritual:
Coffee, coffee, and then coffee.
Well, being raised a Catholic, every pleasure is supposed to be a guilty one isn't it?
If I wasn't playing music I'd be...
Your most memorable day job:
Being a musician.
Best and worst advice received:
If you want to be a musician get the fuck out of Canada.
I would drop anything to play a benefit for...
This is a tough one because we have enough trouble breaking even on our own shows.
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
First music: anything that has some unique quality, subtle sense of mystery, and a lack of pretence. Otherwise: see above.
What personal trait would make you kick someone out of your band or bed.
Well off the top of my head humourlessness. Add to that racism. Anyone with these traits wouldn't make it past the first audition or the first date.
When I think of Canada I think:
of driving lots of driving and therefore Tim Horton's and therefore North Tonawonda and therefore three alarm fires and oh my I'm digressing.
Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?
Who was it that said there is only two kinds of music good music and bad music. I think it was Louis Armstrong. Well, ditto for sex. Music and sex are God's greatest gifts to humankind.
Strangest brush with celebrity:
Celebrity is strange so any brush with it ranks in this category. Here's one for you: I went to see Tom Waits at Massey Hall once and I found myself sitting right beside Geddy Lee. I was a little uncomfortable because I never liked his band ever, not even now when it's supposed to be cool to like them. Not even given the fact that Alex Lifeson owns a very good bar on College St. that is committed to live music. (Rush provided the gruesome musical soundtrack to my unpleasant suburban high school experiences.) However I was forced, due to the fact that Geddy was obviously a fan of Tom Waits, to reassess my take on him. Now in the seat directly behind him was a woman who was completely drunk. Throughout the show she's yelling incoherently, standing unsteadily in her seat and, this being Massey Hall, drawing considerable attention away from Tom. I'm waiting for Geddy to turn around and punch her in the stomach or something. But evidently he's a gentleman even though he has been known to wear a kimono on stage. Then at one point as she's standing up she leans forward to yell yet again her obscure request (as if Waits and the three thousand others haven't already heard her) and she falls forward right on to Geddy Lee's chair. But when I turn to him he's not there; vanished and there's this drunk woman with her head where everyone else has their feet and she's looking up pleading with me to help her up.
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
Well she's been dead for over 20 years so this is all conjecture, but I tend to think she isn't displeased with Peter's and my current pursuit.