The artist who's likely benefitted most from the Polaris Music Prize this year is shortlist-nominated saxophonist Colin Stetson. Though the Montreal-based musician has been a sought-after session player for many years and contributed to both Arcade Fire and Timber Timbre's shortlisted records, his career simply took off around SXSW and into the run-up to Polaris. When did he feel like things were really getting crazy?
"Probably right around shortlist time. It's gotten into the realm of bananas because it started to become like a point of contention," Stetson tells Exclaim! of his album New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges being nominated for the Canadian award. "People were arguing about it and new people were hearing [New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges]. One day X amount of people had heard it, then all of the sudden Y and Z flocked in there as well. So I think there was a bunch of bananas in that phase. I've always been really proud of this record since we were in the midst of making it, so for me to see it reach so many people it's just pretty perfect."
He couldn't be releasing new music at a more opportune time. October 4, just two weeks after the Polaris gala on Monday (September 19), sees the release of Those Who Didn't Run on Constellation Records.
"I did two really long-form pieces where are meditations about ten minutes long and they're coming out on a ten-inch EP," he says of Those Who Didn't Run. "This is somehow the bridge between [New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges] and the next [full-length]. But the two of them are so lengthy and weighty, I knew they wouldn't fit on any record; they had to come out by themselves."
And with a new release coming out and some extensive touring plans with Bon Iver, Stetson won't be able catch his breath for some time.
"Bon Iver is going to be at it for the next year. It'll be off and on until next December," he says, citing the commitment that is keeping him from performing at the Polaris gala this year. "After that, with regard to the band, I couldn't t say. But we have been talking about writing more and more -- about writing as a group -- and we'll see what ends up coming up. My plan is just to keep on working around this schedule with as many solo appearances as I can and hopefully continuing on these breaks to have written and recorded Volume 3 by sometime next fall."
For now, you can see all Stetson dates with Bon Iver below, as well as his few upcoming solo appearances.
Bon Iver tour dates:
9/16 San Diego, CA - Spreckels Theatre #
9/19 Los Angeles, CA - Shrine Auditorium #
9/22 Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre Berkeley #
9/24 Troutdale, OR - Edgefield Ampitheater #
9/25 Vancouver, BC - Orpheum Theatre #
9/26 Seattle, WA - The Paramount Theatre #
10/19 Manchester, England - O2 Apollo ^
10/20 Dublin, Ireland - The Canal Theater ^
10/22 Edinburgh, Scotland - Usher Hall ^
10/24 London, England - HMV Hammersmith Apollo ^
10/26 Utrecht, Netherlands - MCV ^
10/27 Brussels, Belgium - AB ^
10/29 Paris, France - Trianon Palace ^
10/30 Cologne, Germany - E-Werk ^
11/1 Berlin, Germany -Columbiahalle ^
11/3 Oslo, Norway - Sentrum Scene ^
11/4 Stockholm, Sweden - Globen Annexet ^
11/5 Copenhagen, Denmark - Falkoner ^
11/6 Hamburg, Germany - Docks ^
11/9 Birmingham, England - O2 Academy ^
11/10 Leeds, England - O2 Academy ^
11/11 Bristol, England - Colston Hall ^
^ with Kathleen Edwards
# with Other Lives
Colin Stetson solo tour dates:
10/1 Asbury Park, NJ - All Tomorrow's Parties
10/3 Burlington, VT - City Arts Center