If you’re trekking up to Chicago to attend Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend, one act you shouldn’t miss is of Montreal. Between their kooky costumes, crazy tunes and cracked-out characters, the show should be one of the most energetic, entertaining sets of the weekend. Check out the buzz’s phone interview with wing-weilding guitarist Bryan Poole below. We promise that if their music doesn’t win you over, his feelings towards Outback Steakhouse will.
buzz: What are your feelings on playing Pitchfork Music Festival?
BP: It should be pretty cool. Hopefully it won’t be too hot. There’s a lot of great bands there playing, so that’s exciting. Last year, we had a choice between playing Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festival and we could only choose one, [since] you couldn’t play both. We flipped a coin, and it chose Lollapalooza, and then right after we did that, we found out that Os Mutantes was playing at Pitchfork [Music Festival], and they were just so upset (laughs), because we’re huge Os Mutantes fans
buzz: What band are you most excited to see at pfork?
BP: I know that Sonic Youth is doing its Daydream Nation thing. I wouldn’t mind seeing that.
buzz: If you were going to rate Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? on the Pitchforkmedia.com scale, what would you give it?
BP: I don’t know. Pitchfork’s ratings are, depends on who gets the review, you know? So I think Kevin[Barnes, lead singer/guitarist] did a good job writing those songs and stuff like that, I give him at least 9 points out of 10 on that. How it hits different people is hard to say, and Pitchfork’s definitely one of the things where, I don’t want to read the Pitchfork review (laughs), because sometimes it can come off as some sort of personal attack. And it’s actually good not to read reviews at all, because you’re gonna read way more into it than an average person would … Even if we got a 10.0 from Pitchfork, there might be something one sentence, one word where it would be like, “What the hell was that about?,” and you get really upset about it, so it’s best not to read that stuff.
buzz:Because Kevin Barnes recorded most of the album by himself, do you feel left out of the material at all?
BP: I mean, for the band, yeah, that’s a rough road to hoe. You know, because we are a live apparatus for the most part, for the last couple years, instead of being a recording apparatus. Hopefully, that’s gonna change for next record. That’s the plan anyway, we actually had some really good experiences recording as a band this past year … The songs are so personal, because [Barnes] was freaking out and he didn’t know what to do, and so he went up into his little attic and started making music as therapy for himself. And then he made these songs and then all the sudden it’s like, “Well, they sound pretty good, they don’t need to be re-recorded.” … There’s some songs after the fact, like “She’s A Rejector” and other songs [where he’s] like, “We really should have had the whole band play,” but I don’t begrudge him for doing the whole record himself.
buzz: You mentioned something about recording – what are your future album plans, as of now?
BP: As of now, Kevin’s been writing kind of some songs that would be more along the lines of his “Georgie Fruit”-type of songs, but they have many more movements to them … He definitely envisions one record to be like a continually flowing piece of different movements … It’ll be a pretty weird record. A good example of something like that: there’s a song … called “No Conclusion” on the Icons, Abstract Thee EP … It’s a similar idea, so the songs might stretch up to 8 or 9 minutes long. So, actually, hopefully, we’re going to play some of those new songs at Pitchfork when we’re there. [It’s] our goal, at least. But then, there’s a whole ‘nother set of songs that are more, I guess, singer-songwriter kind of things, kind of like Joni Mitchell, or that ’70s songwriter mold that shows the orchestration that’s not so heavy, kind of a laid back deal … So we’ll have to see how it really comes down; I see there’s at least two types of records that could be made, and which one we’ll make I’m not certain.
buzz: Are you jealous at all of the attention Kevin Barnes received by taking his pants off [at a show in Las Vegas last February]?
BP: Jealous? No, not in the slightest. I was laughing the whole entire time, basically … It was kinda like, the right time to do that thing – in Vegas, at a pretty seedy 21-and-up bar, or whatever. It’s nothing like he would ever do at a normal show. That’s the only thing, is that people are kind of expecting him to take his clothes off now, which is like, “Sorry!,” you know what I mean. He’ll wear the short shorts.
buzz: Did you know that was going to happen that night?
BP: Yeah, well, he said he was gonna do it. He could have chickened out … but, he decided, like that day during sound check, that … “Eh, maybe I’ll be naked tonight.”
buzz: What are the odds that we’ll see you prance around naked on stage?
BP: Umm … not too good. But, you never know. We’ve talked about playing nude before. Dottie has expressed that sensibility, so never say never.
buzz: Wow. Where did you get your set of wings that you wear?
BP: There’s a girl that lives in Tuscon, Arizona. She has a store there called Red Ante, and I just randomly was walking by her shop while I was trying to get something to eat after our sound check, and I looked through the window, and there were the wings. And I was so excited, and they weren’t even open at the time; she hadn’t opened her store yet, but I walked in and made friends with her, and she let me buy the wings. We’re good friends now, and she actually has made me a few more sets of wings. I have a gargantuan set that hopefully, maybe, I’ll ship up to Pitchfork [Music Festival] and wear, and then I have some other ones that she’s made, but she’s really awesome. She’s very creative.
buzz: How many pairs would you say you have?
BP: I have three sets right now.
buzz: And who would you say looks better in wings, you, or Victoria’s Secret Angel models?
BP: Probably Victoria’s Secret Angel models, they’ve got some pretty hot girls.
buzz: I don’t know … you could give them a run for their money…
BP: Well, um, you know, I have no comment on that, so no. I just wear the wings because I like to wear them.
buzz: How long would you say it takes Kevin to put on his makeup?
BP: I would say 15 to 30 minutes.
buzz: Any show you’ve done with the band that’s been your favorite or stands out in your memory?
BP: Recently, we just did a tour of Europe, and we did a show in Croatia, and, to me, that was my favorite show of the tour. [It was] this really small place and people were so warm and so excited that entire time – like, the entire place was just going bonkers the entire time. People knew our songs, which was kinda crazy, because we’re going to Croatia and you think, “Well, they might not have heard of, of Montreal in Croatia,” but they seem to know us really well.
buzz: Your song, “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games” was featured in an Outback Steakhouse commercial. Do you get free Bloomin’ Onions at the restaurant, because of that?
BP: I have no idea, I wouldn’t know.
buzz: You’ve never tried?
BP: I’ve never had a Bloomin’ Onion. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Outback Steakhouse.
BP: I’m a vegetarian, so it doesn’t really appeal to me. I don’t know, I’m not really certain what’s going on over there.
buzz: There’s a lot of meat in the commercial…
BP: I definitely [am aware] of the Mother’s Day commercial, the Father’s Day commercial, or the Easter commercial, or the ‘Fried Bandana’ day commercial, these things escape us, unfortunately, or probably, fortunately, it’s something that they have control over, that we wish that they didn’t, and they abuse it to no end.
buzz: If you guys could put your music on a commercial for any other product or business, what would it be?
BP: I mean, if you’re gonna do it for something that would be a truly noble thing – unlike steak – then probably Amnesty International, or something like that; Red Cross would be a good one. I’m sure they all have commercials at some point.
buzz: But, if you’re not being a Good Samaritan, what kind of product?
BP: I don’t know, I’m not much into consumerism … It would be kinda funny if we did music for another band’s album, you know what I mean? So, like, Green Day has a new record, but they use our song in the commercial. That might be pretty cool.