Published Sep 01, 2004Its counterintuitive for a group of people, even creative people, to turn down the notion of a leader when it comes to making art. Thats why there are so few true collectives making films or forming bands, despite the collaborative nature of the work. Vancouver-based Kids These Days are an anomaly, precisely because of their great reluctance to point towards a leader. Originally formed when two of the members (Marc Morrissette and Peter Doig) submitted a demo for local community station CITRs annual Shindig, the group was cobbled together from a loose-knit group of friends when it came time to actually play the show. And while this was the inciting incident, it didnt entirely shape the band. Kids These Days seems to shrink and expand to accommodate the pursuits of its members, even touring Eastern Canada as a four-piece for NXNE, when one member was travelling. All five songwriters have other on-going projects but despite all the peripheral activity, there is a coherent and dynamic aesthetic, awash with spacey guitars and keyboards and perhaps a bit too much time home alone with OK Computer. Pieces of their other bands worm their way into the whole, but rather than hammer the Kids back into place, they instead make space to accommodate.
You all share ownership of these songs. How many of you sing? There are four of us actually singing on the record, but all of the songs are co-written. Thats the way it worked out, not by design, but we all have a multitude of songs and we all play in other bands as well, and the Kids is sort of a focus point. This is the main project for all of us, kind of the flagship [for White Whale records] together with Mohawk Lodge.
So you dont necessarily end up singing your own songs? No. In fact, usually not, and in fact there are quite a few songs where weve put two songs together, because theyre either in the same key or the time change made sense.
So how do you achieve cohesion then? I dont know, thats just the emergent property that is a band. There really isnt ever any arguing or any real discussion about ownership, it just kind of happens. I think a lot of the guitar themes, a lot of the different time signatures used, those are all aspects of all of us that just kind of come out.
Youve toured a lot. Is it true that the Cars Ric Ocasek came to a show? Yes, its true. We played the Knitting Factory in New York and Jason noticed this kind of tall, shadowy figure in the back. Just his silhouette. It was pretty eerie. And he actually liked our music. (White Whale)