Sunday 2 August 2015

Le Stack on his new album Panromanticism and the Canary Love Collective

What are the musical influences that inform your sound on Le Stack albums?

Around age 9 or 10 is when I first became obsessed with Beastie Boys, 
Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Jay-Z. a teenager, I was really interested in experimental music 
(such as) Bjork, Blood Brothers, Fugazi, and mewithoutYou 
around the time of Le Stack's inception.
In addition to noise/post-hardcore/post-punk stuff, 
I got more into electronica & hip-hop...(but)
during my high-school years most of my friends 
were more into emo/hardcore/metal/punk bands.
Though I enjoyed playing bass in loud bands, 
I was always attracted to the lyrical focus of rap music.

 I began to realize there was a plethora of Canadian artists to listen to as well. 
Seeing the video for "Sharks" by Cadence Weapon on MuchMusic in 2005
...I realized that I could make interesting electronic/hip-hop music 
that was relevant to my surroundings. 
From there, I explored great Canadian acts 
like Caribou, Crystal Castles, Metric, 
Shout Out Out Out Out, Tokyo Police Club, Wolf Parade
...the creative grooves of American bands 
like Of Montreal, Ratatat, TV On The Radio, and WHY?. 
In the past couple years, 
hip-hop/rap has become my main genre of choice:
my playlist tends to consist of:  
Aesop Rock, Buck 65, Busdriver, Childish Gambino, 
Kanye West, Open Mike Eagle, Shad, and Vida Killz.

What are the highlights and frustrations of life in St Catharine's?

St. Catharines has a vibrant music & arts community, as well as decent weather.
However, many people struggle with unemployment & poverty. 

What challenges do musicians and artists face?

Although there is a small supportive community, 
it can be hard to reach new audiences.

There are a few great local venues, 

but not all bars or cafes are open to diverse styles.
The St. Catharines scene seems to suffer from segregation of genre, 
as well as class-based differences.

How did you connect with the acts that make up Canary Love Collective?

Other than myself, 
Canary Love mainly consists of Kevin Liberona, 
Joel Luciani, and Danielle Morandini.

Kevin was a friend of my younger brother's, 
who came to see Le Stack at a house show about 3 years ago.
He is a guitarist & producer, 
as well as Canary Love's go-to audio engineer. 
Together, him & I make music as Work Nights.

Joel and I met around 2009-2010, 
when I was consistently booking 
DIY hardcore/punk shows around town.
As a young teen, 
Joel was the vocalist for Escaping Rosehaven, 
and later for Bury The Artifact
Joel has been a supporter of Le Stack for years, 
and I'm excited to work with his solo project Tony Gravyboat

Danielle is practically my sister-in-law, 
who I have known for almost a decade. 
She is a filmmaker who has helped shoot music videos 
& live footage for Le Stack and Hearts Right In, 
as well as for our friends 

What do you see as the strengths and goals of this collective?

We started as a way for friends to team-up 

and promote each other, 
and have grown over the last 3 years.
Our focus has slowly shifted towards 
tour booking and artist management. 
In the last couple years, 
we have promoted for amazing acts 
like Rae Spoon and Pick A Piper.
We hope to continue assisting with promotion 
and management for artists/bands that we respect. 

Do songs start for you with music or lyrics?

I almost always start with lyrics. 
When I'm collaborating with others then I will 
compromise...however works best, 
but I'm used to focusing on my words first.

The tone of Panromanticism is darker that Anagrams and Assonance:
 wheras your lyrics on that album are tougher and more aggressive,
the tone of Panromanticism seems grim, and more personal.

A&A was written when I was younger, 
and just starting to figure out what I could do with songwriting.
I was very concerned with "punk" influences and/or aesthetics on A&A, 
which came through lyrically as well. 
On Panromanticism I focused more on melody, 
and started to accept myself as more of a hip-hop/rap artist.
...I think both albums represent a search for identity at various periods of my life.

How did this change come about? Was it intentional?

There has definitely been a conscious change in theme
 from A&A to Panromanticism.
...I think the overall changes between albums are connected to changes within myself.
I wasn't very happy with A&A, 
and I wasn't very happy with myself at the time either.
In that way Panromanticism is intentionally more personal, 
as I attempted to address issues of self more directly.
During A&A I was more depressed, 
more masculine, 
and probably more negative overall.
I'd like to think that Panromanticism is more feminine, 
and contains more of a spiritual search for self. 

How did the show with Rae Spoon happen and what do you remember of that experience?

Rae Spoon is a great person, 
and one of my favourite artists. 
They're probably the main artist I follow outside of rap music.
I met Rae in January of 2012, 
and opened up for them at a show in St. Catharines.
I also do my best to catch them play whenever I'm around 
for one of their Montreal or Toronto shows.
...I'd like to think we are acquaintances 
in a somewhat niche community.
Being from the prairies and being queer is a unique identity, 
so I think we're both trying to connect with similar scenes.
We've kept in touch a bit over the years, 
and Rae asked me to open up a show for them 
this spring while in Southern Ontario.
I gladly set us up a gig in Hamilton, 
which was a really awesome time.
My guitarist/producer Kevin Liberona came down, 
so we mainly played Work Nights songs 
(and a couple jams from Panromanticism).
Rae always inspires me with their performance, 
and I have nothing but appreciation & love for what they do.

What are the best venues to play in St Catherine's?
What are the coolest places for creative people to gather and mingle?

In St. Catharines, 
Canary Love mainly books shows at Mahtay Cafe. 
Detour Music Hall is a solid larger venue, 
and Rise Above and Fine Grind are nice smaller cafes.
However, I have not been much of a socialite 
the past couple of years.
When I'm not performing, 
I tend to prefer a private hang-out with close friends.

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