Memorable Quotes of 2016

Over the past year, Jason Schneider has posed almost 500 questions to slightly more than 100 Canadian musicians and personalities in his FYI column "Five Questions With...."

Some of the answers were earnest, some were silly, but many were amusing - and it is those we're highlighting below as we bid adieu to 2016...

 

Rik Emmett

I admire how you’ve always stayed true to yourself as a musician. Is there anything about the rock and roll lifestyle that you miss?

I miss having the joints, muscles and tendons of a twenty-something. Rock and roll is often about hormones and ambition. Occasionally I miss the hormones, but I smile wryly at the ambition. I was never into the sex and drugs, only the rock and roll. I have always, more or less, lived for the music. If the rock and roll lifestyle is about turning the amp up to 11, I can still do that. But I wear earplugs now.

 

Bryan Potvin and Kevin Kane:

If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

Kane: It would be nice if the industry was a lot more accountable to artists. As has always been the case, the ones making the music don’t often drive the nice cars. 

Potvin: I second Kevin’s sentiments. Even though the technology is changing very quickly and people are consuming music rather differently than they used to, sadly the narrative of a greedy industry ripping artists and songwriters off remains the same. I do think though that the direct relationship between artist and audience will continue to refine and artists and songwriters will hopefully gain increased control over their music and careers. 

 

S. Earl Hardy

What are your fondest memories of the Toronto punk scene back in the day?

I think it was just that it felt like there was an actual scene, but I guess we all say that as we get older. I can appreciate a lot of other music from that period now more than I did then, like Bob Dylan’s song “Idiot Wind,” which still saves my life whenever I hear it, especially the live version on the Hard Rain album. That’s pretty much the standard I try to meet with my writing now.

What’s been the biggest change in your life over the past year?

Being clean and sober, although my demons are never that far away. Gotta keep those fuckers on a short leash.

 

Lost Fingers' Alex Morissette

What motivated you to make a Christmas album?

Alex: We basically just wanted to do something different than the lame, cheesy material everybody else offers year-after-year.

 

Todd Kerns - Age Of Electric

What have been the biggest lessons you learned from playing with Slash?

Slash is tireless. I’ve never known anyone to be so focused. Nothing happens by chance. He works very hard and it shows in his playing. He’s at the peak of his ability and still growing. If anything, I try to have that same work ethic.

 

Martha Wainwright

What has been the biggest change in your life over the past year?

I have felt it’s been a turning point. Maybe it’s turning 40, but mainly it’s finding the strength to be a mother and an artist and do both as well as I can. Admittedly sometimes there is little left for me personally, but maybe that will come later. You should see the state of my hair.

 

Andrew Morrison - The Jerry Cans

Are you encouraged by the increasing focus on Native issues in the media, and what in your view are the immediate issues that need to be addressed in Northern communities?

Yes, we’re encouraged, but cautious. There are a lot of issues: critical housing shortages, very deep mental health issues, poverty, a staggeringly high cost of living, and suicide. We think it’s important to remember that Northern communities know what’s best for northern communities. This sounds so simple but it’s often forgotten when we see attempts to address these issues by government.

 

Wes Marskell - The Darcys

What has been the biggest change in your life over the past year?

Playing shows as a two-piece. We are having more fun now than ever before... A bonus is my hands are now sometimes free to toss blow-up flamingos and pink Darcys t-shirts into the crowd.  

 

Lindy Vopnfjörd

What are your fondest musical memories as you were growing up?

My parents and my brother and I had a folk singing group called The Hecla Singers. We would sing Icelandic folk songs and wear these so-called traditional Icelandic costumes. Of course, I've been to Iceland many times since and have yet to find these costumes in any museum there!

 

Justin Rutledge

Your previous album paid tribute to The Tragically Hip. Have you been able to further reflect on Gord Downie's legacy since the summer?

I was stripping wallpaper in my house about a month after Gord went public with his diagnosis. I was listening to Trouble At the Henhouse. All of a sudden, I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn’t work anymore. The songs and the memories they carried with them overwhelmed me, and I was heavy with sadness. I got in my car and drove to a friend’s house in Kingston. We played Hip tunes for about an hour on our acoustic guitars. We were connected by the songs and the band behind them, and I think we all are. If anything, I am extremely and increasingly grateful for Gord and the rest of the band. I caught two shows on their Man Machine Poem tour and am a richer person for it. 

 

Crystal Shawanda

What’s been the biggest change in your life over the past year?

I'm pregnant! I was touring through the summer dealing with morning sickness, which should really be called all day sickness! Sharing the news with my fans was so fun, and they have been celebrating with me, and giving me advice on everything. My husband and I are thrilled, and it's the most amazing thing I've ever done. She's definitely gonna be a road baby, surrounded by music, as our touring schedule is full right up till the delivery, and with 2017 filling up, we are showing no signs of slowing down.

 

Dean Brody

What are your fondest musical memories as you were growing up?

That would have to be my first band. We were rockers. We called ourselves Roadrunner and we played outdoors and we played very loud. You know you're doing something right as a rock band when your closest neighbour is a farm and you start getting noise complaints. Those were some good times.

 

Murray Wood - Scenic Route To Alaska

What has been the biggest change in your lives over the past year?

The biggest change has been all of us moving in together. We’ve got a five-bedroom complete with mini-basketball court, dart board—with lots of holes in the wall around it, almost every videogame console, a full jam space and two spare bedrooms for all of our merch. It’s a pretty ideal set-up. Plus, we live across the street from a mall, so we have five-pin bowling and all of the dirtiest food court options right at our fingertips.

 

Lou Canon

What can you tell me about your new record so far, and what kind of direction did you want to take with it?

It’s called Suspicious. If I had to describe it in five words, they would be: gasping, cracking, bedroom, synthful, musk. I want my songs to leave the front door, go south at the end of the block, across the freeway, over the toll bridge, through the antenna, riding the waves, beyond the horizon, rising in the hot air, falling like rain, and reverberating in that space between an eardrum and your imagination.

 

Michelle Skelding of Like A Motorcycle

What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned as you've built your career, and what advice would you give?

Set up fast, tear down fast, get three drinks, be responsible for your goddamn self, and don’t forget to check the oil. Seriously. Fluids.

 

Ryan Dahle - Limblifter

What has been your most memorable experience while touring in Canada?

If by memorable you mean almost meeting our makers, it was hitting a moose near Wawa, Ontario in the middle of the night. Or it was sliding down a mountain highway in the Rockies in the dead of winter. As a Canadian musician, there are some months that scare you just looking at the tour calendar.

 

Geoff Berner

What song by another artist do you wish you had written?

“Seasons In The Sun” by Terry Jacks. It’s a terrible song, but I’d have the money it made AND know the existential power that would come from surviving the self-loathing that came from having written “Seasons In The Sun.” Think of that self-assured feeling!

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned on how to survive as an indie artist, and what advice would you give?

Try to be like Joe Strummer… and also inherit money.

 

Whitney Rose

What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned on how to survive as an indie artist, and what advice would you give?

When I was on tour with The Proclaimers. I noticed one day that everyone in the band always ate their meals alone. They were a pretty big crew and everyone got their own individual table in restaurants or wherever we were eating. A little while into the tour I asked one of the band members about it, and it was a band rule to eat alone so they wouldn’t kill each other. They all got along great, and wanted to keep it that way I guess! Alone time on the road can be hard to come by, and now I always eat alone when I need a little break.

 

You Say Party's Krista Loewen

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned on how to survive as a band, and what advice would you give?

The simplest answer -  don’t eat shitty food!

 

Marianas Trench's Josh Ramsay

What has been your most memorable experience while touring in Canada?

Way back in the day, we pulled our van over in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. It was so cold that, while walking across the parking lot to the hotel, my eyes froze open. That sucked. 

 

Wintersleep’s Paul Murphy:

What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned as you've built your career, and what advice would you give?

I think just don’t take anything for granted and keep a positive mindset; work hard, do your best. Treat everyone around you with love and respect. Make music you love. And save drinks until after you perform! That’s maybe just me. I’m Irish so I turn into a bit of a giggly, exasperated leprechaun when I drink. Which is okay until a pedal or a string breaks and then I'm useless.

 

Danny Marks

If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

The Internet has changed everything. Industries across the board and jobs have vanished. With people less interested in physical product, it’s all in the realm of ones and zeroes. We’re missing nuance on so many levels. I grew up with records and radio. Owning your first 45s and LPs was a rite of passage. Music meant so much. Looking at the big picture is key, but the devil's in the details.

 

Warren Spicer  - Plants & Animals

What has been the biggest change in your life over the past year?

I became a father. But I still don’t have a driver’s license!

 

Coleman Hell

If there were anything you could change about the music industry, what would it be?

I would make a law that all record contracts must be written on an etch-a-sketch. That way if you get stuck in a bad deal, you just shake it and start fresh.

 

 

Leave a comment