Owen Pallett is a tremendously gifted multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer who currently lives in Montreal. Pallett was initially acclaimed for his string arrangements for artists like Jim Guthrie, Arcade Fire, Fucked Up, and many others and, particularly when he lived there, he was viewed as a true leader and champion of Toronto’s underground arts community. Since releasing his own music, Pallett’s profile has risen considerably; he was recently nominated for an Academy Award for his work with Arcade Fire on the score for the Spike Jonze film Her and he has also touched a nerve with his critical essays of contemporary pop songs for Slate. Pallett’s fourth album is a stirring and complex one called In Conflict, which is available in Canada on May 27 via Secret City and his current tour includes stops at La Sala Rossa in Montreal on Friday May 9 and at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto on Saturday May 10. Here, Owen and I talk about Columbus Ohio, great Szechuan food, and Dan Boeckner’s band Operators, the idea of parenthood and the truth, how kids are the darndest things, disassociation and themes within In Conflict, liminal spaces, sanity, change, and not feeling at home at home, going to Montreal, treating illness like a kind of gift, ‘musicians’ and ‘white people’ and music critic Ted Gioia and what prompted Pallett to write his pieces on pop music for Slate, music theory and populism, elevating social media posts and watching them turn into clickbait, his upcoming review of the new Tori Amos record for The Talkhouse, Owen’s opinionated streak and where it comes from, what Owen’s night at the Oscars was like, Joe Trapanese not Richard Trapunski, eating dinner with Randy Newman, Burt Bacharach, and John Williams, how meeting celebrities you’re not working with might be overrated, trying to write music while on the road, future plans, the song “In Conflict,” and then boom goes the dynamite.
Related links: owenpalletteternal.com vishkhanna.com
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