Monday, January 22, 2007


The Booty Patrol caught up with of Montreal in San Antonio after their show January 21st. The band was hanging out for a while with fans after the show, smiling and signing things and taking a lot of arm-in-arm pictures, seeming genuinely happy that the fans are so thrilled. There is a spring in their step, there were a couple small glitches during the show, but they overcame and Kevin gave an especially strong vocal performance and they seem to be buzzing.

Kevin Barnes: Did you want to do an interview with me and BP?
Booty Patrol Leader FP: Sure, we can do it over here.
[We sit at a picnic table by the bar and wait for a minute and watch BP chat up two cute young girls. I hear the words "blunt" and "your place" come out of the conversation. Kevin sits in burlesque shorts and begins shaking from the cold starting to stream in from the open garage doors.]
KB: Oh, let's just do it. [And at that moment his smile disappears momentarily and his eyes focus on me through the color and glitter with intensity and I realize he has done this hundreds of times, he's learned to deal with fools and won't suffer them gladly, and I am beginning to strongly regret leaving at home my prepared list of possible questions for my first ever interview, although because of the cold I know this'll be brief.]
FP: OK... Hi, Kevin. Welcome to San Antonio.
Kevin Barnes: Thank you.
FP: Your tour starts off in Memphis, then post-Katrina New Orleans, San Antonio, and Lubbock, Texas, possibly the oddest choice of four cities for a major band to start off a tour. What reason were these cities chosen?
KB: I can't really say, other than the spirits of the forest led us there.
[Oh shit. He's going to Lennon me... probably get the technical glitches out of the way. Idiot!]
FP: Well, thank you very much for coming here. After this tour do you still just have America planned so far?
KB: Europe is in the works. Like we know there's one or two festivals in Scandanavia that we're going to play at the beginning of May.
Jamey Huggins [interjects]: Georgie Fruity full of lies. Don't believe a word that's in his eyes. [laughs]
[Oh shit. They're going to Lennon me.]
KB: Don't listen to Julius...
FP: I see nothing but glitter in his eyes.
JH: Did you know that Georgie Fruit hates black ice?
KB: Black ice is very dangerous.
JH: He fucking hates black ice.
FP: Driving on it?
KB: Black ice. It's a drug. It's very dangerous.
JH: You can hit a bad slide one night. Reeeaal bad slide.
[everyone laughs and Jamey leaves. I decide to let that remain an in-joke]
FP: Do people often bring you gifts on tour?
KB: Yeah.
FP: What kind of gifts do you like?
KB: People give us paintings, stuff like that, that's really great. And cookies. And lots of... you know just like drawings and fun things like that.
FP: Do you have any favorite cities or venues that you really like visiting on tour?
KB: I like basically everywhere where people are open-minded and enthusiastic and not hung-up.
FP: How was it here?
KB: Oh, it was great. Yeah, it definitely made me happy. I didn't know what to expect, but it was very cool.
FP: Are your wife and daughter with you on tour?
KB: No.
FP: That's got to be one of the hardest parts of touring.
KB: No, it's good, it's good to get some seperation. [laughs and shakes his head] No, I'm just kidding. No, it's hard, for sure. But I kind of don't really exist when I'm on tour. It's like time stands still and I just sort of am in like frozen animation or something. I become like a different person in a way. And so that's like my domestic side or whatever...
FP: And this is escape.
KB [nods]
FP: How long do you see Of Montreal continuing?
KB: As like a touring band, probably a couple more years. But I think that I'll always, hopefully, as long as I have inspiration and excitement for music then I'll want to keep producing songs.
FP: Continue doing your solo stuff at home?
KB: Yeah.
FP: What's the best thing that you can cook at home?
KB: I... the only thing that I can cook that's at all impressive is just like... grilled fish with steamed vegetables and rice pilaf.
FP: Well, you could live quite comfortably on just that.
KB: Yeah.
FP: Is there anything you want to tell fans that are getting ready to see you on the tour coming up?
KB: Don't wear any underwear. [laughs]
FP: But what will they throw on stage to you?
KB: Don't ask. [laughs]
FP: Well, thank you so much for your time.
KB: Thank you.
[An excited girl shouts: "He's over here!". Georgie doesn't retreat, and is happy to oblige. Since he's hanging out, the Booty Patrol throws its line in the water again.]
FP: Have a great tour.
KB: Thank you.
FP: Is it possible for you to put on a bad show?
KB: Yeah, absolutely. If we have technical problems, or... the subwoofers are driving us insane. But, I mean, I don't know, a lot of times we think, 'that was a dreadful show', and then we'll listen to a song and be like, 'well that was ok, that wasn't so bad. We do a lot of pre-production, so if even in our minds we're like 'oh, that was horrible, we fucked up so many times', hopefully people don't really notice because there's a lot that we are getting right. But you know, you kind of focus on the things you don't get right when you're a perfectionist. So... I'm sure that [laughing] we've put on many bad shows.
FP: I'm pretty sure people see past that.
KB: Well that's like the weird thing, too, is like, you could feel like you had a great show and everyone else would be like, "ew, you were out of tune the whole night. What were you thinking?", you know? So it's so weird, it's so random... what works in reality, and, like, what works in your mind.
FP: Do you encourage people to record your shows?
KB: Sure. As long as it's low enough quality that you don't hear how off-key we're singing.
FP: So people should bring out their video cameras and audio recorders?
KB: Sure. I don't mind at all.
FP: It's colorful enough that it really needs to be captured.
KB: Yeah, it's exciting, because, like for my daughter, too, to see stuff online, like my wife will go to youtube and like show her stuff.
FP: How old is she now?
KB: Two. She is so cool. She likes Rocky Horror Picture Show, that's like her favorite movie. I think she's definitely not falling far from the tree.
FP: [Laugh] Do you see possibly more play-like elements being incorporated into shows in the future, like in the past?
KB: Yeah... it's kind of hard, because it kind of walks the line of being too campy, you know, sometimes a song, like we thought about "Definition Of A Hue" could easily be like a sort of theatrical moment, and I sang it that way tonight, but it could definitely be something more theatrical than me just like wandering around the stage. But it's like we had so much stuff going on [laughs] than before this tour, like getting all the slide projections, and everything, like built, that we didn't really focus that much time on the theatrics of it, like "oh, we're going to have this, like, giant dress, and I'm going to get inside of it, and try to get out of it... and like this big animal, that I'm gonna climb inside of, you know? So I think that this tour will be an evolutionary process, or something.
FP: So is that pretty much all you know at the beginning of a show, the movements are all improv?
KB: Oh yeah, for sure, all that stuff. And now that I have a cordless mic, I feel like a... silly, like... major-label artist, running around the stage. And everything is gold on stage, like the mic stand, and then we spray-painted our mics gold, so we're kind of like masquerading the whole thing, we're just playing with the concept of the "superstars" or whatever in our shows.
FP: Well, I think you're going to have to get used to being real "superstars".
KB: Naw. [laughs]
FP: Well, thank again so much for your time.
KB: Cool, thank you.

[now we mosey on over to Bryan Poole, AKA The Late B.P. Helium, currently in conversation]

BP: I don't try to like make expectations on how it goes, but I mean, when we walk out on stage now, it's like crazy, it's like "ahHHH", and there's like all these flashbulbs, and it's like "What the fuck is going on?"
FP: Do you mind if I record?
BP: Oh shit [laughs] [speaks into mic] Let's get intimate. Ahhhhh.
FP: You were in the first of Montreal line-up.
BP: Yes. Uh-huh. Yep, yep, yep.
FP: How long were you in of Montreal before you started kind of doing your own thing?
BP: Well, I was also, it needs to be known, I was also in Elf Power.
FP: At the same time...
BP: Yeah, the same time, and I was in Elf Power first, and then Kevin had moved around a few times, and had come back to Athens, and my friend was like, "there's this guy, he's got these awesome songs, you should meet him, I think you guys would really get along.
FP: Who was the friend?
BP: This girl named Allison. And Derek (Almstead) was one of her best friends from Manassas, from DC, near Virginia and stuff like that. And I guess Derek had met Kevin before I did, and then... I met Kevin, we got along, and he gave me like this five-song demo tape, and I was like, "this is great!", and then I talked to Andrew [Rieger, Elf Power], and we were like "yeah, yeah, this guy's really awesome, we like him," and then so for a while Kevin didn't have a band, we had Kevin playing in Elf Power, and he played a few shows with us, and we'd have like a mini-set in the middle of our set for Kevin to play his songs, and we'd play like four of Kevin's songs in the middle of Elf Power sets. We did the same thing with Jeff Mangum, when Jeff moved to town and Neutral Milk Hotel wasn't fully in town, we'd have Jeff play some songs and we'd back Jeff on his songs. And then Kevin asked me if I wanted to be in the band, if I would play second guitar. And we had this guy named Joel who was playing bass. And so I got us a gig, opening for Elf Power.
FP: How'd you get that one?
BP: [laughs] Well, a few strings got pulled. And this was like late '96, early '97, and then the week before the show, Joel just stopped showing up for practice. And we're like,"Oh, Joel... Joel didn't show up for practice today. Well, OK, we'll practice without him. Next time... Joel's still not at practice. Dammit. It's like four days til the show, is Joel gonna show up? And then Kevin was like,"Bryan, do you think you could learn all the bass lines, in like four days?" [laughs] And I was like, oh man. And so, I played bass and I had like all these crib notes on the floor, to learn all the bass lines, and we played as a three-piece for... about two years. And that's for "Cherry Peel" up until the "Gay Parade" was being recorded. But I was in Elf Power at the same time as well, and I wrote songs in Elf Power, and we all contributed to the music and stuff like that, so I was in Elf Power first, and it was getting really hectic, like double practices all the time, plus we were about to start touring all the time, Elf Power was touring with Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, and stuff like that, and so I had to kind of like, well, I thought it would be better for of Montreal if I wasn't playing, because I was going to stay with Elf Power because, you know, for a lot of different reasons. And it was tough. And Derek moved from drums to bass, and then Jamey and Dottie joined the band, and then Andy joined the band, from Marshmallow Coast.
FP: What happened to Joel?
BP: Joel never came back. Joel, Joel Evans, he's been in a lot of key, crucial bands. He was in Apples In Stereo, he was in Great Lakes... he might have, I'm trying to think if he might have been in Chocolate USA for a while? But he always quit these bands right before they were about to do something. He's like, it's ridiculous, he's like this infamous guy that nobody knows about, and he quits all these bands, he gets freaked out and he just quits. And he's a good bass player, it's so crazy. So when (the five-piece of Montreal) got together, that's when I'd kind of say it was the most fertile period as far as like being a band, they really became a great band, and lived out in the house in the country, and really did like great stuff. Eventually... tensions within personalities... Derek left. And... Kevin asked me, I had quit Elf Power, in between, to do my own thing, because I kind of had this realization that I was unhappy on tour, and I didn't know why, and I asked myself "why aren't I happy", and it was like, maybe I want to do my own thing, so I had already finished recording a record by myself, but I was hanging out with Kevin a lot more. Then, I knew that Derek wasn't going to be in the band anymore. And Kevin was kind of like secretly was like "Will you play in the band again?" And I was like "Of course", so that's when I came back. And that was during "Satanic Panic". And Nina was playing bass for the "Satanic Panic" tour, but then she found out she was pregnant a week into the tour. And she did the whole tour, but then after that, she couldn't tour any more, she had Alabee, so... One day, she would like to play in the band again, so when Alabee gets a little bit older, maybe it could happen, but right now, Alabee's too young right now to like howl at the moon all the time, it wouldn't be fair, so.
FP: I really don't read enough interviews, have you already talked about rejoining the band to death already?
BP: Well, Kevin does most of the interviews, so he's kind of mentioned it... But like the last few records since I've been back anyways, it's been Kevin... I think with him and Derek, there was a bit of... like Derek was the engineer, and he controlled all the recording, like what got recorded, how it was recorded, and Kevin felt like he had gotten away from having that experience and the joy of recording, having the headphones on, being able to record. So for the last three records, it's been Kevin doing it.
FP: So that's what led to the solo recording, he just didn't do it for so long that he just dove right in?
BP: Well, he let Derek take over, and also Derek was a really strong personality. And Derek did a great job, I mean he's an amazing bassist, he the best bass player I know, and I'm best friends with Derek, I mean I love him to death... but I think for Kevin, he felt like he had lost his way, and so he took control back. He was like,"I'm gonna be creative in this way again," which kind of let him go. And obviously, it's been good, because he's done really amazing stuff, and the popularity of the band definitely during that Satanic Panic tour, was like when it was more than just a hard-core following of like thirty people coming to shows actually started happening. And it's been hard, you know any band has transitions and different periods, so the kids that really love "Gay Parade" and "Coquelicot"and stuff like that, you know, they wish for the old days, but that happens to so many bands, you know, you can't stand still. So... I have my own thing, and Jamey has his own thing (James Husband), so if Kevin is doing the majority of the creative bit on the records, it could be frustrating, but I have my own outlets and stuff like that. And we have little sprinkles that we put on the records, but it's Kevin's deal. But I love Kevin and I enjoy playing in his band, and his songs are brilliant. And I learn, man it's great just to be a musician and play his songs. It's a challenge. There's a lot of challenging stuff.
FP: What was your first reaction when you heard the newer electronic direction of Montreal was taking, when you heard that first bit of drum machine on Satanic Panic?
BP: Well, I built him a computer and...
Jamey Huggins: Can I interject?
BP: Sure.
JH: Apart from "Rapture Rapes the Muses", which was all Reason drums, the only thing that was electronic about the drums on "Satanic Panic" was the kick drum patterns were reenforced with an electronic kick signal, but none of the cymbal crashes and hi-hats and things. Kevin had this weird approach where he would record each part of the drum set individually on one track. So for like every other song except for "Rapture", most of the songs are done with like one track going,"kk........kk.........kk kk"... just the snare drum, and then going back and going "doon doon doon doon - doont doont dooont" and then another track entirely just going "krssshhhhh..... one, two.... krssshhhhh" and he would do like maybe as many as fifteen or sixteen tracks of just the drums. And then sit there there and go over it with a hi-hat "chuka chuka chuka chuka" on one track you know, whicvh is... which has become an interesting challenge, for me to try and do it as one person.
BP: And he does the same thing with the bass, so the bass you know might start off like,"Buh-nen....buh-bum.....buh-nen....buh-bum....."
FP: And then do the high parts after...
BP: "DU Du du doo".. and you know... "doop-de-doop"
JH: Most of the bass from "Satanic Panic" until "Hissing Fauna" is a minimum of four tracks, sometimes as many as eight or more, just for the bass. So he'll just be like..."BEEEEeeeeeeeeww" [mouths bass similar to "I Was Never Young"] so then somehow between me and Matt, we have to get the essence of those eight tracks and blend them into two live lines that we can play that kind of represent the whole thing as one. But if you actually soloed just the bass tracks, for the last record especially, it just sounds like this huge mess of bass that's just going on all around, and then we're just playing like about half of it.
FP: So is Kevin pretty much playing 100% of the instruments on the last few records?
BP: On "Sunlandic Twins" it was 100%, on "Hissing Fauna", we play about, like, seven percent. Heather MacIntosh plays cellos, and Andy has played some keyboards.
JH: I did the drum programming for one song on "Sunlandic Twins", and I played keyboards on like five or six tracks on "Hissing Fauna", but didn't play any drums.
FP: Do you hear rough mixes of the songs as he goes, or does he present you with this final song that you have to try and figure out?
JH: It's pretty much done by the time we hear it. I mean we'll hear new songs he's working on, he'll just email us songs, but they're pretty much done. Just a little bit of mixing or something. It's kind of fun to learn how to do it do it after the fact. And then when it's live, I kind of take a lot of liberties, with what it was in the recording, and just change it up some and play my own thing. But definitely the basic ideas are fully conceived before we get it.
FP: What other bands are you currently playing in?
JH: Well, that's weird, because for the past six or eight years I would have answered that with about three bands, but now, there's so much intensity in being in this band that I think all of us have kind of dedicated ourselves to just doing this. I mean I have my own personal solo thing that I do, which is ever-changing, and whatever. But I'm not playing in any other professional bands, just this one. But we all used to play in Marshmallow Coast, and I used to play in Essex Green, Ladybug Transistor.
FP: You were playing with Essex Green when they opened for the Shins' first UK show at the Arts Cafe
JH: Yeah, that pizza/arts cafe place, you were there?
FP: Yeah, that was great.
JH: Yeah
FP: Kevin's said in the future he's going to be experimenting more with the fidelity of the recording.
BP: Well, he's changed programs, I mean mostly.. ah... normally...
JH: He's a technology freak lately. He's been kind of buying like the newest, best thing, and kind of like adding to his digital arsenal of recording.
FP: Is it strictly digital or does he do some analog and mix it up, or...
JH: This last record I think was entirely digital, because our tape machine has been in the storage space for the last year. Satanic Panic, actually, all of the drums, and most of the fades I think, were done onto a sixteen-track reel-to-reel and then transferred to digital, but "Hissing Fauna" is completely digital, as far as I know.
BP: Yeah.
JH: Sunlandic Twins is different, though, because he was doing half of it in Norway, just on a laptop. He might have used the tape machine, I don't know.
BP: No, he didn't use the tape machine at all on Sunlandic Twins.
JH: I didn't really notice a difference in fidelity, per se, just kind of in style. We used to be so analog. (Kevin) used to be committed to the fact that it was all analog, and proud of the fact that it was all analog.
FP: In one recent interview he talked about how he had just gotten a Marantz field recorder, and how he was going to use that more...
JH: [laughs]
FP: So that's already come and gone?
JH: He used it for like a week, and for the last like year and a half it's been sitting on top of the piano in his house. And since then he's bought another field recorder and he's used that a couple of times, but I don't think that it's ever, so far, been used to like contribute to the music for the albums, it's more for personal use like capturing shows and rehearsals, and he'll tape us when we're rehearsing and then listen to it later... critique it... judge it [laughs]
FP: What is your usual grade?
JH: I don't know... somewhere between a scowl and a smile... depending on the day.
FP: Well, thanks, guys, for coming down here, I'm sure you're just told "you're going to Memphis, New Orleans, San Antonio..."
JH: [laughs] Well, it's just our booking agent. He just finds a good spot where he thinks there's an audience, and if the promoter gives him a good offer, we'll go anywhere.
FP: Where have you not toured that you would like to visit?
BP: Definitely the first thing that comes to mind is Australia. We've done a lot of Western Europe, and we've done a lot of Japan, Canada, Mexico... two places we haven't been are Australia and South America. The furthest south we've been is Mexico, we haven't done anything actually in South America, I would love to go to Brazil
FP: I could see of Montreal working at Carnival
BP: Yeah... I mean we definitely have the right costumes...
FP: Absolutely
BP: We could do a mean rhythm circle. But Australia, I really want to go there in like the winter, so we could get like a second summer. We kind of had that when we went to Hawaii. Last year we started off the Sunlandic Twins tour, the first show was in Hawaii in January. We did three shows in Hawaii as the first three shows of the tour, and for us it was sun on the beach, getting to swim in the ocean in January, it was cool. So I figure Australia would be kind of the same deal.
JH: We had a record label in Australia. And they called us one day, and they were so psyched, because they were like, "You sold like 200 copies of 'Sunlandic Twins',"[laughs] and we were like 200 copies, and they were excited. They were a tiny, tiny label, and as far as I know we don't even have an Australian label now, it's just distributed from Polyvinyl, so we don't have like a real connection there, you know.
[BP begins gravitating to the ladies]
FP: Do you know if y'all have settled on an English distributor?
JH: Things have got so much out of our touch, it's mostly Polyvinyl organizing that stuff, so i think they're just doing a different distributior for each region. So it's not like a 'all of Europe' or 'all of Japan' or whatever, we're working on kind of a small region case-by-case deal. I think they have as many as ten or more different distributors working in different markets, and none of us have any personal contact with those distributors, it's just like Polyvinyl exporting it. But we have kind of gotten an offer recently from this other, bigger kind of UK label that does all of Europe, and they want to do the next record.
FP: Who is that?
JH: It's called Bella Union. It's run by one of the guys from the band Cocteau Twins. And apparently he's a huge fan and really, really, wanted to do "Hissing Fauna", but he only heard it about a month ago. And when he contacted us, he wanted to sign us, and put it out, and promote it like in a real way, and do tours and all that, which we're totally interested in doing, but he kind of found out about it and contacted us after the Hissing Fauna promotion was already rolling, so it may be something for the next record, hopefully we'll work with him.
FP: Who from the Cocteau Twins? Robin?
JH: His name is Simon (Raymonde), he was the bass player. I don't really know the whole story with them, but Bryan is a huge fan. But anyway he runs this great label and they seem to be really enthusiastic, so maybe we'll do the next one with them. It's all up in the air, I really don't know.
FP: Cool. Well, thanks Jamey... would you like to tell a crazy story from your childhood?
JH: I have the story about when my hand got bitten my the monkey. I have a scar, you seen that tiny little thing there?
FP: Yeah...
JH: My dad used to own this franchised chain of frozen yogurt shops.
JH: Yeah. TCBY. And he was having like a grand opening for a new store that he was opening... and they had a monkey there. Like a guy had brought like a little chimp that was like dressed up in clothes, you know? And they had like flags, and balloons, like a grand opening, and for some reason this guy had a monkey. So I was trying to feed the monkey some yogurt, and I had a little cup of strawberry yogurt, with one of those short, little, white plastic spoons, you know the little short ones? Like a taster spoon? And I tried to feed the monkey some yogurt and he took the yogurt, the spoon, and my whole fist in his mouth. And just chomped on it. And I ripped my hand back. You know I was about ten or eleven years old and he just chomped right down [points to scar] got his tooth right in there. It's a small scar, but it's a true story. I got bit by a monkey at the grand opening of a TCBY... and then about thirty minutes later my sister passed out on helium in the back room, and hit her head on the kitchen floor, cause they had one of those tanks, you know, to blow up the Grand Opening balloons. So we were all sucking balloons to make our voices high, and she did it a few too many times and got loopy and passed out and hit the floor. It was an eventful day in our family.
FP: So basically with of Montreal you try to create all the excitement of a TCBY grand opening with every concert.
JH: Basically that's where we got the whole idea, you know [laughs]. But we have to count on audience memebers to OD on helium, because what if we couldn't play our instruments?
FP: With all the monkey bite scars?
JH: [laughs]
FP: Speaking of the music again, did Kevin have a dance epipheny?
JH: Well, I can't really speak for him, but I think that he definitely had this one epipheny where he kind of let go of this idea that all music made after 1970 was rubbish. Because for a very long time, we were dedicated to like mid to late sixties psychedelic kind of like, obscure psychedelic bands, all the stuff you hear on Nuggets or something, that was all our favorite stuff. And at some point, I think it started with more indie bands, he got into like the Shins and Broadcast and other modern bands like that, that were sort of doing sixties-influenced stuff, but were successful in a modern sense. And then it just kind of really gradually morphed into this pop/R&B/dance kind of thing, and I really can't put a finger on how or when it happened, it was very gradual. I mean, you know, you can hear it in Satanic Panic especially, because you have songs like "Climb the Ladder" or "Spike the Senses" that are still like very much guitar-rock based, but then you've got like "Rapture Rapes the Muses"... the first time we heard that, we all thought it was just like, kind of like a joke. You know, it's like, oh, a techno song. But then, the difference is the production approach, not the songwriting. You could take a song like "Disconnect the Dots" or "Rapture Rapes the Muses", and the way that it's written, you could play it as a rock band, and it would still be the same songwriting, but the difference is recording it with those kind of 80's sounding synthesizers and like drum beats that make it feel like a whole different genre. That's kind of like the gist of what's going on now. The songwriting could be really either way. It's like if you write a song, you could make it a country song, you could make it a R&B song really easily, just by the instrumentation, or the way that you do the production. And all of the songs, all of them stand out as great songwriting, it's just that he's chosen to go into that kind style for the feel of it. And my whole thing is, I've been wanting to do the same songs in different genres, you know? Like get up there and do "Disconnect the Dots" in like...
FP: Lounge
JH: Yeah, country-swing or something. But, you know, maybe we'll get there. That's kind of more like a jam-band approach. We did that tonight, though. With "Wraith Pinned To The Mist", you know, that song gave us this this whole complex, everyone, especially Kevin, because of the whole advertising thing. So for a while we just weren't playing it. You know, we didn't want people shouting, like,"Bloomin' onion"! You know, stuff like that. So then Kevin decided that he wanted to try to approach it from like a Memphis blues Stax kind of feel. And one time we just tried playing it live, with me on the drums doing like an R&B beat, and now we're doing it that way as a live version that's different from the recording. And I love doing that stuff, I think it works.
[BP and Matt are nearby]
FP: Are there any new bands that you're liking these days?
JH: I'm really into this band Coco Rosie
BP: We played with them.
JH: Yeah, we played with them this one night and we had never heard of them and we didn't know what they were about, and it was kind of this like band-on-the-road kind of like, butt sniffing, kind of like "who are you guys", you know? Because we had never heard of them. And then suddenly we found ourselves in the position where we did a show in Norway, opening for them. And we were kind of thrown back that we were the opening act for this band that we had never heard of. So at the time, it seems kind of crazy, we were kind of like judging them, like "what's this stuff?" But then later I listened to their records, and it seems very much up our alley, and like, really cool, and I like it a lot.
Matthew Paris Dawson: I think everyone in the band likes the Fiery Furnaces, all around.
JH: Yeah, we're doing a Fiery Furnaces cover in our set, we didn't do it tonight.
FP: And we had ice last week, we were so hoping you'd whip that out.
JH: We're trying to do a thing on this tour that we've never really done, which is playing a completely different set every night. Which is challenging, because you don't really know what's coming next. But in the past we've done pretty much the same set every night, with just one or two variations. So we'd get very used to what song was next after this one. But so far on this tour we've learned about fifty-plus songs, and we're playing about twenty-five a night. So conceivably we could even play not even the same songs, you know, there are a few which we kind of feel like we should play. The more popular ones or whatever. But, there are so many different ones that we're kind of getting into this new phase where we're gonna try to... spread it out. You know, especially where we're playing multiple nights in the same city, to be able to do two completely unique sets, in the same town, you know... so far we've done three nights, with different setlists, and it's proabably going to continue that way. Until something locks in, then it feels like oh, we should do THAT.
FP: That could help create the new versions of songs that you were talking about. Although it might be hard to improv away from the electronic beat of a lot of the songs.
JH: Well, we carry a laptop with all the files with us, so each night we can make a new setlist and make a new order for the electronic stuff, and burn CDs just for that night. That's what we did tonight, but then at some point something happened when we were burning the CD at one point two songs were playing at once. It's unfortunate, but sometimes with digital technology, there's glitches.
FP: Well, I don't think anybody minded, it was a great show, and thank you all so much for being so gracious with your time.
All: Thank you.


  1. it was andrew rieger from elf power. not "andrew" gonzales.

    and it's "bryan" not "brian", yo!

    and like...

  2. Thanks very much for the correction!

  3. This interview is so great. Thanks for posting it!

  4. Thanks for posting, very good read!

  5. Way behind the times, but this was probably the most enjoyable interview I've read of of Montreal. Thanks!

  6. yeah, this was an enjoyable read, for sure :). thanks so much for posting it!