Tag Archives: Germany

Ep. #246: Mauno

Mauno is a wonderfully inventive pop band that hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Founded by singer/guitarist Nicholas Everett and singer/bassist Eliza Niemi, Mauno have toured the country but have yet to release their second record, which they’re currently working on and will eventually be dispatched by the Idée Fixe label in Toronto. Mauno are playing some shows in the near future, including an appearance at Kazoo! Fest at a boxing gym on Saturday April 9, as well as shows in Montreal and Toronto on April 7 and 10 respectively. Here, Niemi and Everett discuss a traditional East Coast big ass smoothie, strange weather, a German exam that is paralyzing the city of Halifax, Mauno’s upcoming hiatus, Eliza heads to Germany, European studies, Nick of all trades, Nick is from London and Eliza is from Toronto, looking for a boat, Andy Magoffin and the House of Miracles, the Etobicoke School of the Arts, cello and prog-rock, Eliza is very good at music, bass is bass, Mike O’Neill of the Inbreds, Mauno’s discography, the late former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the Ford family, Rheostatics, Emily Haines, Cold Specks, Nick’s four high schools, loving Rush, the Embassy in London, learning things from each other, a botched, rain-soaked marriage, Bryn was involved in theatre, the origin of Mauno’s idiosyncratic sound, influences, seeing Weaves in Newfoundland, driving without listening to music, silence, Mauno’s songs and their new record, Mauno’s new four-piece configuration, long distance musical collaboration, Mauno’s upcoming shows in Montreal on April 7, Guelph on April 9, and Toronto on April 10, their barren bandcamp page and weird stuff @grampamauno on instagram, the song “Nothing,” and nothing else.

Related links: mauno.bandcamp.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #227: John Wright & Frank Barnes of Compressorhead

John Wright is a founding member, singer, songwriter and drummer in British Columbia’s Nomeansno, one of the greatest rock and roll bands in the history of great rock and roll bands. Frank Barnes is an artist who specializes in robotics and is the mind behind innovative projects like Robocross and Drummer. Barnes is part of a team based in Germany working towards creating a completely robotic punk band called Compressorhead, which consists of a guitarist named Fingers, a drummer named Stickboy, a bassist named Bones, and at least one occasional human collaborator named John Wright. There’s a Kickstarter campaign in place to raise 290,000 Euros to build Compressorhead a singer and the deadline to donate is Dec. 5. Here, John and Frank and I discuss the Compressorhead practice space in Berlin, replacing Stickboy’s elbow, whether or not John has ever broken his elbow playing the drums, how Frank came to know Nomeansno and the Hanson Brothers and John, when Frank got drunk and approached Rob Wright about his robots idea, John is not Paul Shaffer but is Compressorhead’s musical director, writing songs like the Ramones and Hanson Brothers, whether John has worked with robots before, MIDI, trips to Berlin, how the members of Compressorhead get along with each other and what Stickboy, Fingers, and Bones are really like in robot, Frank thinks his robots are like kids, his collaborators Markus Kolb and Stock Plum, the robot musician origin story, real instruments, what Compressorhead tells us about music production today, how the robots work, robot fish and robot great white sharks and robot grabby arms, Great White, if the robots’ musical tastes will evolve, fearing Compressorhead and what they stand for, Kickstarting and fundraising and obtainium, recording and producing the Compressorhead album, threatening robots, what happens if the campaign doesn’t work, world tours, John’s role in the future of Compressorhead, the status of Nomeansno, dot rocks, Rob’s famous bass amp, inanimate objects that have Facebook pages, the song “Compressorhead,” and that was the end of our very human conversation.  

Related links: compressorhead.rocks nomeanswhatever.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #115: Jeremy Gara & Samir Khan of Kepler

Jeremy Gara and Samir Khan are accomplished musicians who once played together in an Ottawa-based band called Kepler. For a good chunk of their time together, they were associated with a kind of slow-building atmospheric music that made them a nice fit to open for Godspeed You! Black Emperor for example. Their final album felt like a real departure to fans who heard its pop-oriented, singer-songwriter leanings when it was first released in 2006. The album is Attic Salt and it was just reissued by a German boutique record label called Oscarson. Here, Samir and Jer and I discuss Roncesvalles Village in Toronto, what tambourines are good for, Soho in London, England, the Rolling Stones, Monty Python’s Flying Circus at O2 Arena, how sometimes records are now commissioned by rich people, patronage, why Attic Salt has been reissued, small bands and big bands, podcast stats, tiny defensiveness, Michael Feuerstack is right, Ottawa’s pointed, smart, and possibly under-appreciated music community, Wooden Stars, Clark the band, Yellow Jacket Avenger, Snailhouse, HILOTRONS, Shotmaker, Okara, when Jeremy wrote Samir a fan letter about Samir’s post-punk band Kluane, Kepler and the Constellation Records loft in Montreal, bass is easy, Sonic Youth is easy, seeing the Cure play live when you’re 12, how Samir ended up in Ottawa after living in Winnipeg, Ottawa’s counter-culture and punk scene, the Pit in Ottawa, Sloan and murderecords, local bands stopped getting love, micromanaging the spectacle, I still don’t know what cynicism means, how Kepler started, the change within Attic Salt, Jeremy’s impact on Kepler, rock music and the myth of progress, Kepler weren’t part of the mid-aughts indie-rock renaissance, Kepler might come back and open for Slowdive, when Jer left Kepler to join Arcade Fire, Jer really misses Kepler and wants the band to play together again, Samir sees making music for a living as a deep, meaningless, bleak pit, things get heavily nostalgic when these dudes really start pondering Kepler, old bands finally getting their due, fans not letting go of the bands they loved as kids, the internet and zombie music, Constantines, the Attic Salt reissue and its rather elaborate packaging that makes it sit weird, Slint and June of ‘44, Attic Salt outtakes that Germans can Google, nice racism, Jer is playing Hyde Park, Keith Richards no longer actually plays guitar when the Rolling Stones are on stage, AC/DC and Malcolm Young, Arcade Fire’s going on a North American tour while Samir eats dinner and works his job, Samir is always chipping away at music stuff, his band Tusks, what the crowd might be like if Kepler played some shows, Kepler should play the Hillside Festival, the song “The Bedside Manner,” the Ottawa Millionaires, Dave Draves, and then reward and respite.

Related links: oscarson.bandcamp.com arcadefire.com vishkhanna.com

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