New Swears is a rock ‘n’ roll band from Ottawa, Ontario. Formed in 2012, the band consists of four men who claim their names are Scru Bar, Sammy J Scorpion, Beej Eh, and Nick Nofun. In the summer of 2017, Dine Alone Records released their dynamic, infectious, punk-infused power-pop album, And the Magic of Horses, and New Swears have been touring wherever possible since. They recently joined me at a studio inside of CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph for an extensive chat about pretty much nothing at all. Literally, nothing. We discussed nothing. Usually on the show, there’s something. This is absolutely nothing. Was it fun? Sure. Sponsored by Pizza Trokadero, the Bookshelf, Planet Bean Coffee, and Grandad’s Donuts.
Michael le Riche is a musician, singer, and songwriter based in Toronto, Ontario. Formerly a member of the band the Darcys, le Riche struck out on his own to find an outlet for his own darker rock and punk leanings, which he now has with the acclaimed band Fake Palms. Following up on their well-received 2015 self-titled debut record, Fake Palms is releasing a new EP called Heavy Paranoia via Buzz Records on September 30 and playing select shows, which you can learn more about at buzzrecords.ca. In mid-August, I was in Ottawa for the Arboretum Festival and so were Fake Palms so that’s where Michael and I caught up to talk about his various names, Ottawa and Alanis Morrissette, getting punched in the face and being able to take it, a bar Cold War, the weirdness and Ottawa, the Darcys and trouble, Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck and Justin Trudeau’s shirtless photo bombing, leaving the Darcys, a musical downsizing and the dawn of Fake Palms, the Huff Po piece and financial infrastructures, going from home demos to putting together Fake Palms debut record quite quickly, Motown-y to heavy town-y, Simone TB’s amazing drumming, seeing Fake Palms in St. John’s, being a real band, Maria and Fuzzy Logic, Buzz Records, popularity and credibility, Toronto suburbs and Beaton, Ontario, working at chain record stores, customer service and the bizarre HMV no-receipt-return policy, resealing used records and selling them as new, learning how to play guitar and taking jazz lessons, knowing too much, the Buzz Records buzz, the vibrancy of Toronto’s music community right now, METZ and Fucked Up, the effect the late Mayor Rob Ford had on Toronto’s punk scene, how local music reflects the atmosphere in Toronto, the new Fake Palms Heavy Paranoia EP, losing his brother, the collaborative aspects of Fake Palms these days, an intimate but not so interactive podcast episode, the song “Holiday” and then no one got punched in the face.
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Related links: buzzrecords.ca/fakepalms/ vishkhanna.com
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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