Tag Archives: Kieran Adams

Ep. #288: DIANA

DIANA is an electronically inclined pop band from Toronto whose primary members are Kieran Adams, Carmen Elle, and Joseph Shabason. After their 2013 album Perpetual Surrender earned them accolades from the likes of the New York Times, the Guardian, and NPR, DIANA toured a lot and then got back to work on new songs. The result is an excellent, emotionally raw yet playfully fun and infectious record called Familiar Touch, which is out now via Culvert Music. DIANA are gearing up to tour with a giant version of their band and are playing select Canadian and American cities in November and December. They were just in Guelph to play a show so we met up at CFRU for a conversation about studios with carpeting and linoleum, parquet and Parkay and margarine, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, nothing but margarine, a culture of butter in Newfoundland, hardcore butter people, Counting Cows, swimming lessons at a dairy farm, Nutella and honey, peanut butter and butter, Triumphant Schmeer, sweets, throwing out our lunches, ruining my parenthood, all-day cans of soda pop, five Pepsi’s a day, DIANA Googles Stuff On-Air, Caledon and Toronto and St. John’s and Cambridge, union stories, coffee vs. cola, Carmen growing up with all of the things in the Annex in Toronto, sushi, Trinity St. Paul’s Church, Gowan, the ROM and Raffi, decanning, children’s musicians and entertainers, Fred Penner’s indie-rock festival circuit, Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields, a four year-old and AC/DC, band merch for kids, Joseph growing up in Caledon with past guest Mike Deane, punk and emo bands like Sinclair, the Irish Centre in Brampton, small town bring downs, Bluetip in a basement, the Pete Best of southern Ontario post-hardcore, Who’s Emma in Kensington Market, when Carmen drove me around St. John’s, Kieran and Joseph end up going to the University of Toronto for music at the same time, percussion profs, living in St. John’s, fact-checking the DIANA bio, Carmen tells it like it is, synthesizer patron-saint and producer Roger Leavens, Kieran and Joseph singing, tweaking together, lyric editing for singing, Carmen’s passion, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, Carmen’s a great vocal interpreter, what’s eating Kieran, a keyword, the song “Confession,” synthesized pop and comparisons to 1980s sounds, touring in President-elect Donald Trump’s America, the great political divide, smugness and hatred, Make America Great Again is now a hate crime, no surprising but life-altering, red and blue states, sadness, white folks should recognize their role in this new reality, Culvert Music in Toronto, the web is worldwide, the song “Cry,” and then it was like butter baby.

Related links: dianatheband.com culvertmusic.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #117: Charles Austin of the Super Friendz

Charles Austin lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is one of the best musicians, producers, and people that I know. Austin has played in bands and projects like Neuseiland, the Lodge, Lost Wax Guild, Aqua Alta, and Psychic Fair and has also collaborated with Buck 65 and Al Tuck among others. He first gained prominence in the mid-1990s when his band the Super Friendz became underground favourites, releasing three killer albums and touring the continent as headliners but also frequently opening for people like Sloan and Guided By Voices. Their landmark debut album, 1995’s Mock Up, Scale Down was issued on vinyl for the first time last year and, after years of inactivity, the band is playing select shows including one at the Hillside Festival in Guelph on Saturday July 26. Here, Charles and I discuss how playing a single show is pretty selective touring, the Super Friendz drummer issues and why Kieran Adams is filling in for Dave Marsh at Hillside, meeting your new bandmate two days before a big show together, Halifax and Hurricanes Arthur and Juan, abandoning your family for Mike O’Neill, the Trailside in PEI, great Halifax bands like Monomyth, Walrus, and the Scoop Outs, local venue issues, recording cool bands like Paper Beat Scissors, Nathan Doucet is a great drummer, Josh Salter is a rocking encyclopedia, the Psychic Fair band and working with the lovely, underrated Jenn Grant in Aqua Alta, reading rock books like Feeding Back: Conversations with Alternative Guitarists from Proto-Punk to Post-Rock by David Todd, the best songwriter is Al Tuck, 1995 and Clive Macnutt, the vile temptress that is music, how to encourage your children’s interest in music, how your kids’ peer groups might ruin the bond you’ve forged with your kid, the Wiggles versus Ramones, American underground music in the 1980s, early Super Friendz jams, learning how to engineer and produce records, noted Nova Scotia producer Brendan Maguire, what’s up with the Super Friendz’s current status and that unfinished new album, the song “Mountaineer,” and then we’re good to go.

Related links: thesuperfriendz.tumblr.com hillsidefestival.ca vishkhanna.com

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