Tag Archives: interview

Artist Profile: An Hour with Molly Drag

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I ventured up to Le Dépanneur Café in the Mile End a few weeks ago to chat with Molly Drag (née Michael Hansford) about his upcoming album, Whatever Reason. After settling down with our coffees, Hansford confided that he and his roommate, Aaron Powell (Fog Lake), actually live right around the corner from the café; it has been a long-term dream of his to eventually end up in this neighborhood, and he appeared very at home with the plants and locals populating the crowded joint.

Most of Whatever Reason was recorded in a basement studio in London, Ontario. Hansford moved to Montreal this summer with only a few close possessions, and conceded that at first, he felt quite isolated in his new home. The loneliness was compounded by the fact that he knew very few people, and would have to wake up in the early hours of the morning to get to his job at the time as a café cook. This solitude, though now only a memory, ended up inspiring one of the tracks on the new release; he has also begun to sprinkle Québecois into his latest songs to celebrate and acknowledge, in his words, “a culture that has been here for so long, and has fought to keep it.” 

Hansford has an exciting, frenetic energy about him at times, and it shows in his music. When he writes or records, it is done all at once; everything is done “on the record” without much forethought, and he will sit for hours in his apartment focused solely on his craft. On previous albums such as the sprawling Deeply Flawed release, Hansford acknowledges a lack of focus; every song is raw, intimate, and wandering.  Hansford praised the more focused energy of the Whatever Reason, describing the contrast between various tracks: “There’s a bit of anger on this record, but there’s also a lot of self-reflection.”

Whatever Reason is a very conceptual album, signaling “the end to a dark trilogy” of records that Molly Drag has produced so far. The contemplative attitude reflects an “addiction” to nostalgia, and the inevitable sense of separation that accompanies those feelings. He also described his inspiration for the album cover art: a painting he saw of a sick child surrounded by piles of things that they love, but that are just out of reach. Whatever Reason’s album cover depicts a young girl in a dark wood surrounded by rabbits, Hansford’s favorite animal.

For an important project such as this, Hansford said he was happy to have a solid, more permanent live lineup to support his vocals. Powell acts as his secondary guitarist, adding a professional aspect to their good personal relationship; in fact, all but one of the Molly Drag lineup also play in Fog Lake. The constancy and familiarity helps to make the live performances sound more like the recorded ones, a factor that Hansford holds in very high regard: “If people have been listening to your music and they go see you live expecting to hear what they love, and they don’t, you’re not doing your job properly. You’re there to entertain.” For Hansford, the most important issue at hand is the integrity of the project; he needs musicians who want the project to succeed as much as he does, instead of being there simply to play or just to support him.

After the official interview ended we lingered at Dépanneur a bit longer, chatting with ease about mutual friends and personal heroes – he regaled me with a story of his online conversations with local author Heather O’Neill – before Hansford looked sheepishly at his phone and said he had to duck out early; there apparently was no water in his apartment. We ushered ourselves out into the Mile End dusk and parted with handshakes and smiles before he hurried up Avenue du Parc, shoulders hunched against the wind and signature wool cap bobbing up and down: a true Montrealer out and about in his city.

Whatever Reason will be released April 21, 2017 and is available for pre-order now.

interview by Juliana Van Amsterdam 

 

Interview: IGLOOGHOST

IGLOOGHOST is a name that has stuck out to me ever since I heard it towards the end of 2015. Late last year I came across a really colourful and vivid EP entitled “Chinese Nü Year” that was produced by the new eccentric Brainfeeder label signee. I had no prior knowledge of any of his work before listening to the EP and had no expectations heading into the project. Needless to say I was absolutely stunned by the material that I was hearing so I decided to delve deeper into the artist’s past work. After digging up all his releases that I was able to find, I shot a message to the UK producer to see if he would like to elaborate more about his music. We talked about what he is currently up to since being signed with the new label and what plans he has in store for the upcoming year!

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Montreal Sessions with Craig Pedersen: November 24th 2015

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Trumpet extraordinaire Craig Pedersen was in our studios for the last time this week for his November instalment of The Montreal Sessions, which airs every Tuesday from 3-5pm. This month was all about playing recordings from artists who inspired Craig, and inviting special guests for live jams and discussions on interesting musical topics. This week featured recordings from Ryuichi Sakamoto, Joelle Leandre, Bill Dixon, Otomo Yoshihide, Pauline Oliveros and more. On top of that, saxophonist Philippe Lauzier and flautist Cléo Palacio-Quintin featured as guests on the show for some great performances that are well worth a listen.

If you missed any of the episodes this month, fear not! You can find them all on our archives. As for December, tune in this coming Tuesday as Jilted X take over the show with some fantastic experimental/mallgoth sounds~~

Saturn Returns Hosts The Montreal Sessions: July 7th 2015

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Today marks the first day of Saturn Returns‘ residency here at CKUT, and they’ve got a great show lined up. Saturn Returns is a queer feminist collective based right here in Montreal, with some powerful messages you can read more about on our website. Tune in today from 3-5pm for The Montreal Sessions, hosted by Claire Lyke and Carol Fernandes, for music from women/feminist/queer artists and v special interviews with Julie Matson (aka Echo Beach) and Anne Golden (from Video des Femmes dans le parc). It’s going to be a great show, so don’t miss it!

New Shit With The Ex: June 22nd 2015

What better to do on a fine, muggy, Montreal summer day than chill out and listen in to a fresh episode of New Shit? The answer is nothing, so tune in today from 3-5pm with our host Joni for a very special sesh that includes an interview with The Ex.

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The Ex are a band formed in 1979 from the Netherlands, and are known for their legendary punk sound. They’re definitely worth a listen or two, so don’t forget to check out some of their music tonight at La Sala Rossa at 8:45pm as part of the Suoni Per Il Popolo festival. We’ve got lots more in store for future episodes of New Shit too, stay tuned folks..

New Shit with Chris Corsano and Mette Rasmussen

If you happened to be listening in on Monday’s edition of New Shit, you’ll know that we were lucky enough to have drummer Chris Corsano and alto-saxophonist Mette Rasmussen perform live for us in the studio. With crazy talented improvisations and interesting techniques (including putting seemingly random items in instruments), the result was a myriad of jazzy sounds that were something else entirely.

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In the case that you missed out, don’t worry. You can check out the episode here. If you like what you hear, and we think you will, Chris and Mette have released an album worth hearing called All The Ghosts At Once. Jam out to your hearts content, and tune back to CKUT for more exciting performances and guests!

The Montreal Sessions: June 2, 2015

 

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Hey kids! don’t forget to listen today for this weeks Montreal Sessions, hosted by the one and only Suoni Per Il Popolo. If you’re not yet familiar, Suoni is a festival that celebrates and explores the outer limits of rock, jazz, and classical music (and is definitely worth checking out).

Tune in your ears from 3-5pm to hear your host Paula and our live guests: Technical Kidman. In the meanwhile, you can check out some of their sweet, sweet tunes right here.

Brave Radar on NEW SHIT

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Tune in today from 3-5pm for another edition of NEW SHIT, your weekly source for new music.

PLUS, we’ll be talking with Tessa Smith of Brave Radar (co-founder of Fixture Records) about their first album in five years, Message Centre.

Don’t miss out! 90.3 FM / CKUT.CA / ARCHIVES

Shlonk! Interview

The Music Department recently featured 90’s Montreal all-girl punk band Shlonk! on this very blog, unearthing their record Eee-Yow from the vinyl library. After that feature we were contacted by Michelle, the band’s drummer, who was excited to talk to CKUT. I recently interview her alongside Jodi, the bassist (the two of them hadn’t seen each other in 20 years!)

Here are some transcribed highlights of the 30-minute interview. You can look forward to an extended feature on the band on New Shit in the coming weeks.

***UPDATE***

Stream that sh*t here:

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Ari Swan // Underground Sounds

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This week violinist Ari Swan visits CKUT and we’re excited for her in-studio performance! We’ll also be chatting about Casa getting a flowery make-over, recent collaborations and who’s doing her hair. Tune in as of 8, we’re live ’till 10pm. CKUT.ca or 90.3 FM – that’s that!

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