Joel Plaskett

The Exclaim! Questionnaire

BY None NonePublished Nov 17, 2016

Joel Plaskett (ex-Thrush Hermit) and his band the Emergency hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia. They will be supporting their new album Down At the Khyber with dates in Hamilton (July 15), Ottawa (August 3) and Toronto (August 4).

Current fixations:

Max Ferguson's brilliant CBC radio show, "Rawhide," and Jonathan Lethem's book, Motherless Brooklyn. Also anything by Irma Thomas, Curtis Mayfield, Bert Jansch, David Goodis (a ‘50s pulp writer) and any movie starring Owen Wilson.

Mind-altering work of art:

"Drifters Raus" by Matthew Grimson. A gem by Canada's most unique songwriter, and he's never released anything.

Most memorable or inspirational gig and why?

Thrush Hermit plays Steve Miller at Edgefest '95. Best show ever.

What has been your career high and low?

High: This year playing on my birthday at the Notting Hill Arts Club in London, England with a giant projection of Led Zeppelin behind us. A total coincidence. Need I say we kicked ass.

Low: Thrush Hermit opening for Chalk Farm at a micro brewery in Oklahoma. It felt like playing at an East Side Mario's.

What should everyone shut up about?

Napster, porno, Pearl Harbour, Burning Man.

I would drop everything to play a benefit for:

Mental illness awareness and research.

What trait do you like and dislike most about yourself?

Like: I'm not a complete prick. Dislike: I talk too much.

What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?

I have kicked band members out of bed because it was their turn to drive. Does that count?

When I think of Canada I think:

Round but unarmed, German apple dumpling ladies braving the punishing winter in rural Saskatchewan while I'm busy applying for FACTOR grants and watching DaVinci's Inquest.

What is your vital daily ritual?

Letting my cat sleep on my back for at least 15 minutes.

How do you spoil yourself?

I crack open an old crime novel and make myself a cup of coffee.

What was your most memorable day job?

For years I worked really hard to avoid getting a day job. Fond memories.

If I wasn't playing music I would:

Still be hanging out with Ian McGettigan.

What is your greatest fear?

Watching someone I love get killed or a Dustin Hoffman in Straw Dogs type situation.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Flying without a cape.

What makes you want to take it off and get it on?

The inside gatefold photo on [Joni Mitchell's] The Hissing of Summer Lawns.

Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?

I hope so because I've been playing "music" with my buddies since we were 13 years old.

Strangest brush with celebrity:

My mother taught Jodie Foster how to dance when she was pregnant with me.

Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?

Robert Mitchum. He'd get a hearty plate of bangers and mash. Seconds if he did his "love and hate" routine from Night of the Hunter.

What does your mom wish you were doing instead?

Sitting up straight.

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