Friday, May 01, 2009

10 Questions

Greetings all & sundry! Happy May Day,too...

For those who pay attention to the Archdrude and his Address Drudion, you might recall his pipping us to the post back in June of last year about a band from Montreal-Pas Chic Chic:

" I’ve also been hugely impressed by AU CONTRAIRE, the debut album by Montreal’s Pas Chic Chic, whose urgent, disorientating and eloquent experimental psychedelic pop inhabits a bizarre hinterland somewhere between Alan Gill’s beautiful early Dalek I Love You COMPASS KUMPAS sound, The Teardrop Explodes circa ‘When I Dream’ and ‘Thief of Baghdad’, and Dave Balfe and Bill Drummond’s Lori & the Chameleons project as played by Stereolab. Whirling ice-rink string synths, uppity toy soldier snare drummers and clamorous tragic male’n’female French language vocals conspire to create a sound of huge tragedy and loss. Fucking eh… Several of the band members previously appeared in well-respected bands that I personally never rated much, but this new ensemble is really something to watch out for. Check them out at, or via Semprini Records. "

As usual, the Drude is right on. The album's an impressive debut from the needle-drop!

Julian didn't mention my fav' track, "Aude aux Ondes." Seen here:

Today's guest is none other than Roger Tellier-Craig!

Let's see what's in his mind, shall we?

1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."

Mysterious, atmospheric, ethereal to some extent, ambiguous, vaporous, FX and studio trickery = mindfuck!

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

The studio itself. To me that’s where all the magic happens, it’s where you get full use of FX like space echoes, reverbs and phasers which can pretty much make any instrument sound psychedelic. The mix is a big part of it too; you can build dense walls of sound, create illusions of depth in the way you position instruments with panning, use cut & paste techniques which can add a dose of surrealism to your sound. I’ve always personally preferred listening to records than going to gigs…

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

Wow! Hard one. I guess I’d have to go with the one that’s been around the longest in my collection, no points for originality here, It would have to be The Pink Floyd’s “Piper at the gates of dawn”.

4. If you could be a member of any psychedelic band in history, which one would you choose and why?

I guess that’s what I’m trying to do with this band! I’m trying to be a member of all my favorite bands, which makes for a quite schizophrenic result I guess…Again, if I have to choose only one band, I think I’d have to go with Floyd. I guess everything they touched during their heyday is something I would have loved to be a part of, whether it’s composing the scores for those Barbet Schroeder movies, and Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point”, performing their songs in the sun-drenched Teatro Grande in Pompeii, and simply writing some of my favorite “out” music from the era…

5. What song or album that wouldn't fall into the classic "psych" definition is, nevertheless, psychedelic to you?

Tricky question. I don’t know what to tell you! To me, pretty much everything I listen to is psychedelic to some extent; Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music” is as much psychedelic as any Cluster, Neu! or Popol Vuh, as is Bruce Haack’s “Electric Lucifer” and Catherine Ribeiro’s early 70’s records, etc…I could go on and on! I think I have a pretty broad definition of psychedelic music…Even New Age stuff like Iasos, Ashra or any of those electronic Sky Records from the late 70’s is psychedelic to me! I guess it brings me back to your first question: psychedelic music to me is anything that sounds like you’re floating, that doesn’t sound “grounded” or “down to earth”…

6. Is there an advantage in being the pioneers (60s psychedelic bands), or being the continuing explorers armed with the knowledge of those pioneers work (the modern psychedelic bands)? Why?

Well, I think that the history behind us gives us more possibilities in mixing up a lot of different aesthetics and creating some pretty rich juxtapositions, but there’s also the danger of misdirected nostalgia for the past where you end up simply rehashing what’s been done before in a context where the edginess of making things up as you go is all gone. I find that music and art are usually way more interesting in the times where the ones making shit up don’t yet quite understand what they’re doing, where they’re driven by some weird obscure force…

7. What bands playing psychedelic music right now excite you?

The Alps, from San Francisco; Vancouver’s Magneticring, aka Josh Stevenson who’s toured alongside Samara Lubelski and used to play with Jackie O Motherfucker; the Boredoms, some of Black Dice’s stuff. I’m not such a big fan of current music though…

8. What inspires your own psychedelic music?

The sun, memories of the Mediterranean, movies and experimental films, all the bands and musicians I love…

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

Songs, eh? How about I give you my 10 favorite “tracks”, in no particular order:

Faust - So Far
Pink Floyd - Cirrus Minor
Neu! - Hallogallo
Silver Apples - Lovefingers
Fripp & Eno - Swastika Girls
Franco Battiato - Plancton
The United States of America - The American metaphysical circus
The Velvet Underground - Venus in furs
Os Mutantes - O relogio
Popol Vuh - Vuh

10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.

Roger: What’s your definition of psychedelic music?

-valis: Today I think I'll go with yours. (It always seems to find-and fit, the space in between the spaces.)

Thank you Roger, and best wishes to the explorations by Pas Chic Chic. CQ their album here.


Cliff. said...

As oft is the case the subject is new to me but I can readily see where Roger is coming from, here's to music that, " Doesn't sound grounded." With that I'll float off and investigate Pas Chic Chic now.

gerryboy said...

one, V. I hadn't even heard of this guy or the band. Now I must stride forth and check him out............The quest continues unabated.

Chris said...

a very fresh interview. lots of new references to explore.

Buns O'Plenty said...

quality blog