Published Feb 19, 2008What are you up to?
Writing an album based on a French existentialist novel; doing some vocals for Freq Nasty, Herve, and Daedelus; and preparing to tour Europe, the States, and Canada in support of my new album, Afterparty Babies. Ive been doing push-ups lately.
What are your current fixations?
My girlfriend and I just watched two seasons of Weeds in two days. My eyeballs hurt. I loved Cloverfield. It was such a great way to immerse you into a narrative. It was actually pretty fucking impressively done. Ive been watching The Biggest Loser a lot lately. Its the triumph of the human spirit crossed with extreme exploitation. Makes for great TV. I want to attempt a similar personal competition on tour where I simultaneously lose weight and behave like a complete loser reading books, getting a good amount of sleep, not drinking, eating well, and looking up retired football players on Wikipedia.
Why do you live where you do?
Because my dad probably thought New York wasnt a safe place to raise kids and my mom wanted to stay close to her family. I still live here because I have a great base of friendships and relationships here. Its a good mix between the positives of living in a metropolitan centre and the charm of existing in a close-knit community.
Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art:
Mayo Thompsons Corkys Debt To His Father. This album flipped everything for me and is basically the direct influence for my current writing style. He opens the album with "Im a student of human nature. How ill is that?
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Opening for De La Soul in Vancouver was pretty awesome, considering they are primary influences of mine. Seeing them play is always great, but this show was in an intimate college pub joint so it was extra hype. I saw them again in Chicago when I played the Pitchfork Music Festival. Their call and response and crowd control was just totally insane. It really showed me how to get people to relate to your music live. Perhaps its easier when youve been around for 20 years and youve made a bunch of classic albums though
What have been your career highs and lows?
Id say my career low was opening for Rihanna in Ottawa and getting basically booed off-stage, while insulting the crowd at the same time. Nobody knew who I was and it was a major disconnect between all parties concerned. It was pretty demoralizing. My career high would probably be right now, branching out into doing shows in Europe. Playing in London has been a dream all of my life and it was pretty cool to experience that. Im excited about how far around the world this music stuff can take me.
Whats the meanest thing ever said to you before, during or after a gig?
"Im gonna fucking kill you! in Toronto at the Harbourfront Centre. He then waited for me outside the show and threatened to beat me up. Ive also read that someone had to be held back from attacking me after I opened up for De La Soul in Vancouver.
What should everyone shut up about?
Whether or not Im staying in Edmonton. If I decide to move, itll be completely random and likely temporary and for artistic purposes.
What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?
Like: Id say my sense of humour and my ability to think differently about things. I think its a really important quality. Dislike: I can be stubborn and kind of an asshole sometimes. I dont take other people into consideration enough. I cant grow facial hair.
Whats your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Waking up and going for breakfast, making a good beat, drinking some beer while watching a competitive football game with my pals and then closing it off with a fire pit in my backyard with my girl sitting on a hammock. Nice, right?
What advice should you have taken, but did not?
My dad used to say, "You will care about your appearance when you get older. I didnt believe him. I was wrong. Ive only recently started caring about grooming and wearing clothes that match.
What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?
It would take a lot to get kicked out of bed. Ive never done either. Id say if I felt like a person was not contributing enough on stage to compensate for their behaviour off-stage, it would be enough to kick them out of the band.
What do you think of when you think of Canada?
Flannel. Rye. Workmanship.
What was the first LP/cassette/CD/eight track you ever bought with your own money?
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie soundtrack.
What was your most memorable day job?
Working at a call centre that contacted pipe fitters and steamfitters about safety on the job and training for apprentices in the field. These were the most depressed dudes in the world.
How do you spoil yourself?
If I wasnt playing music I would be
Id be working on the rigs in Fort McMurray or perhaps writing for Exclaim!
What do you fear most?
Death in general. The idea that everything we do is completely meaningless and that Earth is a big experiment, a large scale Sim City that some dude is playing that leaves no measure of closure for anyone. That when I die, everything will go black but Ill still be cognisant. Awareness of nothing happening for eternity. It scares the shit out of me. My heartbeat scares me.
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Having a good time dancing with someone is usually all it takes for me.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Gus Van Sant came to a show I was playing with Final Fantasy in Portland, Oregon. I was pretty surprised when I heard he was coming. He was there because Owen is doing a score for a movie of his, but I managed to awkwardly ask him about Europe. I went to Europe for the first time after that tour, so I was asking him what it was like and hustled him one of my albums.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Bob Dylan. I would serve honey mustard chicken and broccoli. What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
Shes pretty excited about the whole music bit. I dont think she had any specific hopes for me job-wise, which left a lot of pressure off of me.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
Funkadelics "Cosmic Slop