Michael Feuerstack discusses his lovely new album Harmonize the Moon, social media existentialism, not touring and home recording, future plans, and more! Supported by you on Patreon, Live at Massey Hall, Pizza Trokadero, the Bookshelf, Planet Bean Coffee, and Grandad’s Donuts. Support Y.E.S.S. and Black Women United YEG.
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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Michael Feuerstack is a well-respected, sophisticated and possibly underrated singer, songwriter, and musician who is based in Montreal. For many years he played in a Ottawa band called Wooden Stars and also nurtured his own project, Snailhouse. Last year he released an LP called Tambourine Death Bed, his first record under his own name, and he’s due to release a new, collaborative effort as Michael Feuerstack & Associates on April 19 called Singer Songer (Forward/Headless Owl). He’s scheduled to play Kazoo! Fest in Guelph (April 9-13) with more tour dates to follow. Here, Mike and I discuss doing this episode in my living room, weird weather, true facts, purple seagulls, tasty coffee, celebratory enthusiasm, the musical shift between Snailhouse and Michael Feuerstack, home recording, my lack of preparation for this interview, Mike’s relationship with the press and his interest in how he’s perceived, antagonism vs. cynicism, Mike’s hardcore punk past in Moncton in the band the Underdogs with Rick White of Eric’s Trip, my son’s blue puck, Mike’s musical origins and early collaborations with White and Julie Doiron, how Wooden Stars began, what punk rock means, and why the gruelling lifestyle of lowly rock bands makes it tricky to keep them together, the intermingling of earnestness and irreverence, how Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen are really funny, and the connection between music and comedy, how working as ‘Michael Feuerstack’ might be a confluence of every kind of music he’s ever made, my desire to get everyone to say they’ll “Yahoo! it” instead of “Google it,” some details about his forthcoming album Singer Songer, which includes vocals by the likes of Mathias Kom, Devon Sproule, Bry Webb, Leif Vollebekk, John K. Samson, Jessie Stein, Jim Bryson, Angela Desveaux, and Little Scream, the song “Leave Me Alone,” and more.
Related links: michaelfeuerstack.com vishkhanna.com
Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.