Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Last Season
Before a proper batch of weekend reading, here, abridged, are Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric debating indie rock, Montreal, success and whatever those three things have to do with each other. Smoothies and coffee not pictured. All speeling mistakes the fault of this Mac which does not allow me to spellcheck blog posts.

On the Spin/NYT-hype around Montreal and the general excitement that surrounds the new generation of CanRock...

Shaw: I like being a part of it because I think they’re all great bands. If I thought they were all a whole bunch of frauds than I would go somehwere else and not want to be associated with it. But I like all the bands that are invovled in it and I like everybody that I’ve met that’s invovled in it.

Haines: It feels like there’s an atmosphere of everyone realizing that we’re all going to do better if we’re inclusive of each other instead of everyone trying to pretned they’re the only person in the room.

Shaw: I get worried when The New York Times starts writing about an article about a scene though because that usually means it’s over...

Same discussion, cont'd.

Shaw: Just means that the next Pop Montreal is going to be all American A&R people. And that’s fucking nauseating.

Haines: Well, or, that’s really great, because you know...

Shaw: I don’t know, have you been to CMJ? It’s nauseating.

Haines: But it’s also a matter of there being opportunities for bands. Instead of feeling you’re so isolated...

Shaw: But that’s the thing, it’s like how many bands come out of Montreal? I couild list like five that have done extremely well, so they’re not having a problem being...

Haines: Well then maybe it took them a lot longer than necessary. Like compared to their counterparts in America. Like the idea that it’s so hard for a Canadian band to get any exposure. I think it’s probably good...

On finding a comfortable middle between community and exposure.

Haines: I guess that’s the thing. Just from my own experience, the main thing that everybody needs is a chance to do it. Like for this band, what made it ever get anywhere is that we just got the opportunity to become it. I guess I’m less paranoid about that. I guess you’re right. If Warner Bros. walked in and bought up all these bands or something...

What if Warner came to you?

Shaw: It’s not about that so much to me. It’s more about, Montreal created those great bands because there were no fucking opportunities It’s like...

Haines: Yeah, no it’s true.

Shaw: ...when you think that someone standing right outside your door is going to give you a million bucks, you tailor everything you do on your side of the door to that person. That’s what happens. That’s what ruins the scene. That’s why Manchester in the 80s was so great, because tghere was nothing going on. What creates a great band doesn’t always a great life for the band.

Haines: Yeah, no it’s true. That’s like I was talking to Chris Murphy last night on the phone about this exact thing. He said his favourite Sloan record is, you know, the drums were recorded on four track. And he said, it’s really hard once you have an awareness of the medium and an awareness of what you could do to make it more accessible. When you’re a million miles [away from] ever being accessible it seems like that’s where really good stuff comes.

On whether things could get too big.

Haines: I think as much as, creatively, it’s nice to romanticize starving artists, I think a lot of people do a lot better work and they’re just getting to do what they want to do. I think in our case that’s definitely true. To be able to play in venues that have a good sound system — you know, we weren’t a better band when we were playing in crappy, little clubs, we really weren’t. We’re a better band now. I just think fear of things growing, is not... I guess I don’t share that because I feel like the point is that you navigate it when you’re in it. You just steer it, but don’t be afraid of the speed though.

There was plenty more. If we find time (note: don't hold your breath), we'll try and post more.

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