Wednesday, January 9, 2008

My View of Your Naked Chest Dulls the Pain

In not so breaking news , we posted a new track on our myspace like 2 weeks ago. It's called We Are All Animals and it's from our forthcoming split with Portland , Oregon's Night Wounds. The split will be vinyl only and will be on Nail In The Coffin .

And here's a lil' back and forth I had recently with John Webb from PRE. A band we've had the joy to tour and do 2 split 7"s with. Their debut record is one of my favorites of this year and I feel so amazingly lucky to have met them , both on a personal and musical basis.They are a big favorite here in camp AW so anyone with an interest in our music will be most likely pretty charged up by PRE. We did this talk a few weeks ago , but i **just** got around to editing it and posting now. that's why there's the references to NYE.

Chloe Lum / AIDS wolf :In many ways , since we first met you guys and got that PRE demo , I felt you were our twin band . Similar sounds , similar approach + attitude. I’m guessing others feel that way too as our bands not only done 2 splits , toured together but we are also label mates 3 times over (Skingraft , Lovepump United , Blood of the Drash) , something that I’d guess doesn’t happen often.

What do you figure the chances are that 2 bands , living so far from each other would end up so intertwined?

John Webb / PRE: That whole thing is so weird! I remember the first time I heard you guys. PRE had only been around for about 4 months and were thinking of recording a 'demo'. I remember ordering yr album from the Lovepump site and was so stoked when it arrived with a 3inch badge as well!!! I remember sitting in my room playing it to Kevin. We were both totally blown away. Artwork, songs, recording. Amazing. Then, by the time you guys came to London we had recorded 'the demo'. We came to your London show and I made Kevin give you a copy. That was a hard 20 minutes or so. We were both too shy to give it to do it.

Anyway... You liked it, we were really happy - we all had sex, you pointed us in the right direction - we sent out 2 demos, one to Lovepump and one to Skingraft, we all snogged and the rest is current history etc etc.

Hooking up again with you guys in New York in October really brought up that whole ' 2 bands intertwined' thing for us. It's like family meeting up after a years break, only better.

I know I'm sounding really emo here, but that's what is sooooooo amazing about music and the position PRE is in. We have only really hung out a handful of times, but along with Jake and Mookie (Lovepump United) and Mark (Skingraft) it all just makes me want to take my top off and carve FAMILY into my chest with a bicycle pump or something....


Yeah , you guys saved our asses that first time in London , what with Kevin putting us up. The fact that your band ruled was just icing on the cake 'cause we were pretty fast friends.
I gotta say I REALLY love the family vibe of working with Skingraft , Love Pump United , Panache (our US booking agent)- it’s great to be working with friends who really care about the music they’re putting out or booking. I’ve always said that for me , the camraderie was one of my favorite parts of being in a band. I love being excited by music and meeting people just as curious/passionate is always great. Even better when they have right-on projects of their own.
I also find it interesting that both in music and in visual art when I really enjoy someone’s work and they feel the same about mine we usually end up getting along really well and being fast friends.
I’d say many of my closest friends are people I met via mutual admiration- it’s funny how our other interests and personalities would mesh up so much.

I’m not really sure what Andre and Myles do in the morning but for Yannick and myself the basic routine is get up , check emails , eat , go to the gym , eat again. then we start working on Seripop stuff , often dealing with clients and getting sketches done and sent off. For Seripop we ideally do more of the client relation stuff early in the day and the creative work latter in the afternoon or even at night.

We’re in an interesting situation because we live off of Seripop YET so much of what Seripop does is for the band , or for our friend’s bands.

3 nights a week we jam with AIDS wolf , usually for 2-3 hours a shot. Yannick will often spend a fair bit of time at home going through our practice tapes and dumping them on the computer to make CDs for the guys. Otherwise nobody would remember the parts for the new songs. While he does that I usually work on lyrics for new songs or do band correspondence or draw.

If we’re not practicing and don’t have a huge work rush for Seripop stuff we’ll often spend our evenings drawing more casually. Sketching ideas or doing more “fun” stuff like posters or just drawing for the sake of it.

While we’re at home drawing we just listen to a steady steam of records all day. So the only times we’ll stand is is to flip the record or get another tea/coffee.

Every week or 2 we’ll have a day where ALL we do is pack and mail tubes of posters off. That’s probably the most mind numbing boring thing we do and we both hate it . Mailorder is a good income source for us and we’re glad folks like our print but fuck filling out customs forms SUCKS! And we are LAZY!

Sometimes managing time is tricky because we mostly make our money doing illustration jobs or record covers and we never know in advance how busy we’re gonna be in a given week.

Ideally , as we get more stable financially from our illustrations , we spend more and more time making music. And the easier it is for us to go on tour and the more money we can spend on amassing crappy gear.

Yannick and I have been slowly putting money on some basic recording gear and have both been reading up a fair bit on home recording , in a few months we’ll have a pretty decent set up for AIDS wolf (and our various side projects)to do demos in our practice space. Mostly we’re just buying lots of mics so that we can keep stuff more or less separated. We do our song writing from jamming so the better we can hear what each of us did on tape , the easier everything is.

Having our own company certainly gives us flexibility to tour , all we have to do is give a heads up to the folks who regularly hire us that we’ll be gone and that’s that. I mean there ALWAYS is tons of last minutes rushing to get everything we started done before we go but , ultimately since we don’t have bosses we can leave for as long as we want, as often as we want.

We’re pretty much busy all the time but will TRY to fit time for going to shows , going to the DJ night I do with some friends , attempting to see art , hosting bands at our house. There always time for Freebird. I guess the main thing that suffers are our social lives.

What about you? Do you have difficulties balancing life with being in a band? Your recent us tour was a month long , were lots of headaches and heartaches involved? Do you get homesick ?

JW/P : Yeah, balancing things can be really difficult and frustrating. Living in London is hard purely because it's so expensive. Apart from Keex, who works freelance, the rest of us have FULLLLLL time jobs. Making music is essentially a way to make the day-to-day stuff a little more bearable. We will rehearse once a week usually, but for whatever reasons it's kinda rare that all 5 of us make it. Me, Rick and Kevin are always there. Like Yannick, I always record our rehearsals, and burn cd's or send mp3's to pass around to everyone. that way, even if someone isn't around, they can still get up to speed, plus we always forget stuff.

Outside of PRE, me, Keex and Kevin do other music related stuff. For example, this week I'll be practicing with mine and Kevin's new band, Male Bonding - plus we are duping tapes for Paradise Vendors Inc (our tape label) first release. Talbot Tagora / Hand Jobs split . There is always time to go to shows, art or music. We are totally spoilt for that living in London.

The U.S. tour meant we all had to negotiate taking a whole years worth of holiday in one block, which was hard. There was no point in us going all that way just to do 2 weeks. I don't think anyone got homesick on tour. It was hard to really. We were out on our own (with constant help from the life saving Michelle at Panache), so there was always driving, navigation, rolling tees, counting out dimes, repairing broken windows, repairing broken teeth, trying to find fruit, trying to find floors to sleep on etc to figure out. We are all pretty big drinkers, so there were a few headaches along the way, but nothing that Fleetwood Mac couldn't smooth out. Remember Keex at CMJ???

It's hard being apart from girlfriends. You end up spending the equivalent of the airfare on calling cards. Plus when you get back it takes a while to switch your head back to London mode. It's easy to get selfish and self absorbed. I fucked up big time regarding this and hate myself for it. Matt's girlfriend wrote him a dated letter for every single day that we were away, which was super sweet. He opened the last one during the taxi trip back to JFK and shared it with us and the fruit consuming taxi driver - it made Keex cry.

The tour was amazing though, and it went by so quick. We are all such good friends that we felt invincible.


CL/AW: My worse moment on tour was smashing a guy in the face with a mic. It was in Baton Rouge and things SUCKED . It was a huge “hangout” type bar with pool tables . The staff and the other bands were very nice to us but from the beginning , when the first band started playing jangly garage rock I knew we were in for it.

During the 1st band there were about 80 people , by the time we started 15 or so were left. Half of whom split as soon as we started playing. The few people who stayed watching us seemed bored as shit and all I could think of was trying to get the set done as fast a possible so we could get the hell outta there.

In the middle of one of our songs , some Joe-college guy started heckling LOUD . I mean you know how fucking loud we play? The guy was projecting over us , basically SCREAMING that we sucked. I walked over to him and asked if he though he could do better several times while pointing the mic at him.
I was so boiling pissed I kept goading him , telling him to get on the stage . Finally when he just stood there muttering insults under his breathe I SMASHED his face and then spat a huge a chunk on him.
THAT was the worst part of our tour.

All I could think after was I was really glad I don’t drink cause if I hadn’t been so nervous about really hurting him I probably would have lost it on his face.


In 2008 we gonna do few us shows through the winter and spring , hopefully we’ll make it to SXSW. Then we’re spending the end of April and all of May in Europe Plus a few dates in Israel .30 some shows. You guys better play some of them with us!It’s around that time that our new record will be out so hopefully people might care about that.HA!

Then, a full U.S. tour in the fall. Andre’s talking about Japan/Australia in late fall.... I dunno , I guess we’ll see what happens.

On NYE I’ll be helping my crew , The Pirates of the Lachine Canal , with a party. We have Clockcleaner from Philadelphia coming plus great locals the The O-Voids
, Panopticon Eyelids & The American Devices . I’ll be DJing the noise rock , weird punk , avant garage and space jams as long as I can hold up behind the DJ booth on crutches.

My pal Shaun , who’s the one who really put the show together , and I have a friendly competition going on over our record collections. We both DJ this weekly night he set up and I’m looking to show off with all the new records I picked up while on tour. It’s been frustrating being laid up with a broken foot cause I really wanted to DJ as soon as I got home!

Nerdy huh?
Most bands I know get laid or wasted , all we do is buy records and books , check emails and wash our clothes as often as possible ( I think we must be one of the most hygiene conscious bands out there , after the Chinese Stars that is). Oh and go to Whole Foods like every day .

You guys are for sure much more the party animal types than we are. Does this ever cause any drama?I know Keex was falling all over the place at CMJ , any interesting stories there? What will YOU be doing NYE?

JW/P:the 'party animals' side of PRE hasn't caused too much aggro so far. Matt can be rather urmm 'insensitive' at times, but so far this has just caused tons of laughter, rather than insult. in a similar vein to Chris ex-aids (Chris Taylor our former guitarist)! Keex was so wasted at CMJ. Jupiter from HEALTH and her were knocking back a lot of licker - she stole Andre's bottle of whisky and then lost it , I seem to remember! I KNOW that us and ***HEALTH could get into a lot of trouble together - we just haven't had the time yet.

There were some moments on tour that were 'interesting' but nothing too fucked up. Baltimore was BIG, but I opted out of that nights 'entertainment' and slept in the van. When I went into the warehouse where the rest of PRE were partying the next morning to clean my teeth, it was depressing as hell.

NYE is a weird one. I've not committed to anything yet. Might come to Montreal and see Clockcleaner.

So, what do you make of the whole 'sinraft' bootleg live split. Crazy eh? All of us topless in the worst venue in Brighton. Still can't remember how that materialised...

CL/AW:Considering how SHITTY and depressing the Brighton show was and how poorly we were all treated , it only made sense to take off our clothes. I’m waiting to be crucified . People are such fucking puritians!

We get so much flack for our photo in “The Lovvers” , journalists always get pissy thinking we are trying to shock.
I wish they’d just get it through their skulls that we like excuses to take off our clothes! It’s usually my fault! I make out with the audience and wanna get naked all the time.

I’m glad for the boot though , it’s helping me erase the memory of a terrible show and replace it with memories of Freebird singalongs and taking off our clothes in an empty venue while being heckled by the bouncer.

I guess that’s the better part of touring with friends , you can turn a shit show into a fun night just by hanging out and having a laugh.

Are people accepting of naked bands in the UK?
How do you feel your music and noise-rock in general is accepted in the UK vs. North America?

People seem pretty cool about naked girls over here. I work in a record shop (Rough Trade) so I got quite a lot of stick from from people when the 7" came into stock, but just dumb jokes. I don't get it when people think that by doing a record sleeve like that, it's an exercise in 'shock'. Who finds topless people shocking????? Keex gets a lot of questions about why she plays in her bra or pants (English folks call underwear "pants") or whatever. She gets hot really quickly cos she's so active, so she takes her clothes of to kool down. Why is it any different to a guy taking his top off? It isn't unless yr have issues with females - she still has everything covered. In write ups for our shows, people always mention stuff about Keex playing half naked like it's our shtick or something. that pisses me off.

It's hard for me to compare the noise rock scene here with North America, as I don't know what it's like there. It's ok here I guess. I haven't heard too many rad noise bands. Things are getting better though. I think people here are so into the NME scene that people are scared to like bands that they haven't been told to like. - maybe thats not true, but it feels like that sometimes. I like being out on our own though. I would much rather come to America and play show, then play shows in the UK.

A friend of ours lives in a warehouse and has just started putting on shows. That's so fucking kool. It's rare for London. That kinda thing happens all the time in the states (and Canada!). We need more of that kind of action over here, rather then rigid venue gigs.

Whats yr views on the UK / North American scenes? You have played to people both in the UK and North America, so in theory you must have noticed differences.

Don’t even get me started about the double standard about sweaty , overheated gals shedding some clothes. It’s actually depressing how quick you get to see the real sexism and double standards that are alive and well in the underground music scene to this day.
It’s like as if riot grrl never happened.
Not only is a gal taking off an extra layer a shtick , her very femaleness is also! Especially if she happens to be somewhat cute.
I’m not sure who finds nude people shocking exactly but journalists at least love to state that they AREN’T taking in by our supposed attempts to shock! As if we were up to some serious G.G Allin stuff rather than in a tasteful naked pose in the nature.
As for the bootleg split , I love it cause the photos are soooo unflatering! it looks like an office party gone wrong!

I guess that’s one different we’ve noticed between the UK and the USA . In England people are much more into trend , hypes and fashions BUT it seems like folks over there are more open to being EXCITED about things there.
While in the US or Canada we get dumped on for our name or publicity shots , in England people are just “oh here’s a mad new band”.

It seems that while there are less noisy rock bands , those types of bands are seem as more legitimate than in Canada or the US. (perhaps due to The Wire?)

In the States , we do fine and have lots of like minded bands to play with (soooo many great bands!) but it’s more of a cult thing. People outside of the scene tend to be kinda snarky about noise rock . It’s certainly not seen as “cool” . In Canada , forget it! outside of Montreal , Toronto and Vancouver there is ZERO interest in this kinda music at all.

I mean , sometimes you can luck out on a decent show in some of the mid-sized cities but it’s soooo hit or miss and as far as I know there aren’t any active noise rock/no wave whatever bands in any of the other cities.
Except for Be Bad from Halifax but they just split up!

A few years ago , when we weren’t so world-weary , we went across Canada in some naïve hope of being noise-rock johnny appleseeds and came home wanting to end our lives. Let’s just say the general reception wasn’t very positive!

In the UK you at least get some curiosity ....

We’ll take touring in the UK or the USA over Canada ANYDAY.
What I’ve noticed similar in the UK and the funner cities in the States is that people tend to show they are having fun by getting rowdy, something that’s very inspiring to anyone performing. I just love feeding into the wild energies that crowds can give off. It’s one of the things that makes performing so satisfying.

Noise rock has never been very big here in Canada . I spent years just mailordering records of bands I’ve never get to see ‘cause until recently , most wouldn’t tour here and stores wouldn’t exactly be brimming with it.

It’s funny cause I spent my teenaged years in Ottawa , where there was a very fertile and active all ages scene but I really slowed down going to shows for a few years starting at around 17. In my most formative period I was strictly mailordering records and trading D.I.Y noise tapes with weirdos I’d find on the back pages of zines.

Being obessed with theBoredoms , U.S Maple , Lydia Lunch ,The Flying Luttenbachers,Royal Trux ect I just couldn’t get much satisfaction from the very PC post-hardcore scene in my backyard. I actually found it pretty alienating.

At least I was lucky enough to see U.S Maple early on , who for some bizarre reason came to play the Cave in Ottawa.

And for you guys, what are your main influences , interests and life changing experiences vis-à-vis playing music?

Influences are a tuff one as I can't speak for the rest of the band, but for me, myspace has opened up another world of bands that i/we would never have heard before. Bands like Pretty Thigh (R.I.P), Finally Punk and Hot Girls Cool Guys (R.I.P) Totally blew me away the first time i heard them, and are a huge inspiration. the direct result of that overwhelming feeling of excitement has resulted in the tape label I mentioned. Kevin and I are so jazzed about pairing up bands that we feel so lucky to have heard, like LOOK LOOK DANCING BOYS/PANTZ PARTY/TEMPERATURES/PAPER LEGS/TALBOT TAGORA /HAND JOBS etc.

I'm really interested in the No Wave scene as I know you are. Marc Masters current book "No Wave" is really great. - Mark Fisher (Skingraft CEO) has reviewed it for the current issue of The Wire! That scene and the way it included performance art, lo-fi films as well as bands/ music makes me HUNGRY. From where I'm at it seems like that kind of thing is maybe happening at The Smell in L.A a lot of those bands are an inspiration - Silver Daggers, HEALTH, No Age, Mika Miko etc. Maybe that's romantic of me, as I haven't been to L.A or The Smell, but that's what I like to think.(I've been there and it's pretty much paradise on earth!) I love that pop edge dood. In my world The Screamers have been as big as The Beatles. I'm really into the idea of making exposed, harsh music with a (for the want of a better word) 'POP' element. That's were PRE are heading at the moment.

As for in LONDON - I have an endless amount of respect for Chris Tipton and the Upset The Rhythm crew. I find their activities very inspiring. It's all about sharing the wealth.

Being in a band has changed my life so much. I know that without being involved in making music, I would be desperately unhappy and even more boring. I've met so many amazing and inspirational people through music. I've been stealing a little bit of those people's KOOL for a couple of years now. I plan to piece it all together over Christmas, like the ultimate jigsaw puzzle and relaunch myself in 2008. I am going to be so hot - and I will owe it all to the scene man...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Negative People Playing Negative Songs :Night Wounds & AIDS wolf speak out on Beefheart , alienating audiences and busted tape decks

Hi folks .Happy freakin' new year! Mine was sweet as my crew, The Pirates of the Lachine Canal hosted a sick loft party and thee awesome Clockcleaner came up, all the way from the depths of Hell aka Philadelphia. I've been lazy on the updates the past few weeks but hopefully this one will be worth the wait!

See, Yannick from AIDSwolf and Toby from Night Wounds had a nice chat about all the important things in life. Hope y'all enjoy it.

I guess the first question that comes to mind when I think about you all is"what is it like being a fairly inaccessible band from Canada?" I know
there is a great history of bands like the Subhumans and D.O.A coming from
up North but how did this music find you?


My first contact with music was through my brother, who was a big
ELP fan—
The appreciation for 70's British prog is still something that is going
pretty strong in Quebec, and all these bands enjoy a heavy mainstream radio rotation despite 30 years past their heyday; anybody with interest in music who has siblings born in the sixties can attest of this here. I was alwaysmore fond of the polyrythmic, noisier, atonal, heavier songs of ELP's repertoire, like 'Tank', 'Knife Edge', 'Tarkus' or 'Toccata' for example. As I grew in my teens, I wanted to separate myself from classic prog, and got into local punk bands that had a proggy sound--- At the time, these groups sounded more ferocious than their 70's British forefathers while still torturing atonalities out of Hammond B3's— this will sound totally cliché but the immediacy in the structure and the tempo had me hooked up big time at that point. Today though, I returned to listening to the older classic stuff,taking the time to weed off the duds ( i.e. The wankier pieces), and I completely stopped listening to the local punk prog-inspired bands, because they don't supply enough experimentation and atonality.

So, by meeting other people who had an interest in the same bands, this brought me to listen to the local college stations, and slowly learn about more difficult bands. Shows like 'Entertainment Through Pain' and 'Stereophobic' on CKUT and all the late Saturday night programation on CISM in the 90's totally touch my sensibilities then. The local CBC also had radio shows in both French and English of electroaccoustic and experimental composition, 'Le Navire Night' being one I could not miss. That's another thing about Quebec: experimental music history stops at boring orchestral
experimentation or electroaccoustics. There are lotsa groups and composers,
even a whole bunch of them who totally evolved within the realm of pop
culture (Raoul Duguay or L'Infonie for example), but nobody ever did atonal rocking stuff. That part of time was difficult for me because I truly wanted to discover more weird music, I wanted to invest interest in all this boring stuff but it ended up getting really hard--- despite buying records by atonal composers, there was always a voice in me saying 'It's boring'!! I just couldn't find anybody with a shared interest in atonal stuff who could direct me to the rockier bands. I was trying to broaden my knowledge even by getting soundtracks by visual fine artists working in sound installations, and making sound installations myself ( I was studying fine arts in college). I would never even listen to any of this crap anymore, so much of it puts me to sleep.

This at the time made up all I knew about difficult music. It was easier for
me to access 'classic' atonal works than more recent, rocking, no-wave or
now-wave. My only knowledge in these genres was Sonic Youth, Glen Branca and the likes and all their friends involved in brainy boring stuff like Christian Marclay etc. And at that point i was also getting pretty heavily into trashy garage rock (Oblivians, The Sonics and such) and slightly into
Japanoise. So I was basically totally unaware of the Chicago now-wave and whatever fucked bands that was talking the atonal language through rock dialogue until I paired up with Chloe in 1999.

To what level do your musical influences taint your compositional abilities?Is it hard for you to get rid of them, or do you want to embrace them? And what do you value the most in atonality: tones though instrumentation or structure? If both, how do you manage to balance them to make a good song?


I am not a very good guitar player. I spent my youth learning the basics on
drums, guitar and bass so that no matter what ideas I or whoever I wanted to play with got, I could at least somewhat pretend to play along. When I found post punk/no wave and even to a certain extent traditional goth, I was immediately drawn to bass/drums being very solid while everything else did as it pleased. This is probably the only influence I do not try to escape whole-heartedly. When I attempt to write something with a particular band in mind, it either comes out as a direct rip-off (and is tossed aside/changed/reworked) or it comes out nothing like I intended, which can almost be frustrating. I think what is most interesting about the type of music we all play is that it's so untraditional in terms of tuning/rhythm...whereas you can easily go to a teacher and say "I want to play this Aerosmith album" and he'll say "here is the tab"... I feel like a lot of people (or at least myself) fall into what they are doing now by trying to learn these almost unplayable no wave or post punk songs and kind of discovering their own way to play the instrument they we're holding.

I like when notes clash. I'm obsessed with rhythm. The only instrument I was ever confidently good at playing was drums, and I play my guitar in a very percussive way, so that causes a lot of what we do to rely mainly on the bass for any sort of melody. So I think we take the easy route and
create something very rhythmic based and atonal on drums and guitar, and let the bass make it a song. I feel like most standard songs if played out of
tune and off key could sound more interesting then they already do, at least
in theory.

What you said about finding the "rockier" bands is very true, and I can
relate because I feel like I was introduced to this sort of stuff by what I
thought to be at the time as the worst gateway drugs: like (Beefheart's) "Trout Mask Replica"... albums that I laughed at for months and listened to for novelty purposes before I started paying attention to what was really going on."Doc at the Radar Station" and "Lick My Decals Off, Baby" are my favorites now, but I'm honestly somewhat glad that I was handed something that ignored a lot of the shit that makes those other two albums memorable... I feel like those are accessible rock albums in comparison! But "Trout Mask" is memorable for completely different (and equally awesome and relevant)

Most of the bands I'm influenced by that I got to see completely alienated
themselves from the audiences and/or embraced playing shows out of their element. I have to mention Arab on Radar (since I'm originally from New England). I saw maybe one show by them where people as a whole were moved by it. It seemed like they were fairly unpopular, but undoubtedly amazing.
I hate to reference myspace, but you guys have over 300,000 plays. Is it
unreal to imagine people listening to your songs that many times? How big
of a role do you feel the internet plays in keeping a scene going? Obviously it's much easier to find out about music these days because of it
but that hardly explains the overwhelming interest in what weird bands are
doing these days. Seems like we've gone a long way from relying solely on
college radio and picking albums by the art or record label that did it.


I have a hard time myself understanding the mechanics of the whole internet
diffusion thing. I am still skeptical of how representative of popularity
the traffic numbers are. But I get the point you are making about the
challenge in 'playing out off your element' or 'alienating the audience'--
This is something I was discussing recently with Mark and Richard from
Sightings; although it is always baffling to be in the position of being the bummer band, no matter how many successive times it happens, it seems that those situations create the best dialogues with the public, or provoke the most interesting encounters with individual persons who are genuinely interested in music. I find it also an interesting gauge for our music in an aesthetic point of view, although this could be skewed. I love being the
bummer band. I actually have a hard time working my music to be weirder.
Reaching the catatonic state, like Van Vliet said.

Working to make our music more difficult to access actually involves finding
new writing methods. One thing that has been working for us lately has been
taping our practices with a crappy mono tape player, and then try to reproduce the craziness by deconstructing it. Or I have been signing parts on tape, and we replicate these parts, and play them. The parts never really fit together (different time signature or canceling registers) but the result is often interesting, and brought us to push our exploration of polyrythms. It's interesting that you bring Beefheart up, because it's by knowing his material and deciphering it more lately that I feel it opened our
writing methods. I also decided to fully embrace our influences and just
play off our similarities with the stuff we like, because, you know that's our creative personality. I think it would be just unproductive to steer away constantly from what makes us exited about music when comes time to write.

I think the internet does make wonders for weird music by making things that would be hard to access otherwise available to more people, it actually made us able to connect with bands we like in almost every city in the US, and play shows with them on one tour, something that would have probably taken years to build up in successive tours before the nineties. It seems that there is at least one person per city that would come to our show, something unthinkable before, especially because of the genre we are into. I doubt the audience actually widened, I think it rather revealed this music to other people playing it or people interested by it, solidifying the
collaboration between bands, making the nerds come out of their cubbyholes, stop worrying about keeping their mailorder noise tapes collection in alphabetical order and finally go out and see shows. So I guess it became also partly alienating the audience and playing alienated sounds for the already alienated.

I often draw parallels between music and visual art when we write music---
often parts just come up in my mind, completely made up, just like a full
picture would sometimes pop up when I feel really inspired. I also tend to
be in favor of reproducing songs as close to the written original as
possible, unless some parts where pre-established to give leeway to the
player--- just because the aesthetic form as a whole would not be disturbed
there. Do you have this relation with music, where the language is very
monolithic, or do the players get total freedom during performance?


I feel like we are completely stuck between wanting to play tight songs and
be a complete free-form mess. I think the contrast between the two, when
placed together in one song, has not gotten boring to me yet. I used to be
under the impression that anybody could play in this band as long as they
could pluck two notes on a bass or bang something. That is somewhat true,
but it relies completely on how I and people I play with connect. I think
I'm over trying to control this band... it was always about having people
who had no idea what they were doing... total "I could be in your band if
you teach me how to play this instrument" sort of thing, but in recent
months of playing with people who kind of finish my thoughts for me
musically, I have realized this was a form of denial. Music is very sacred
to me... finding someone that I can play with (in any band, not just Night
Wounds) is like finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. Years and years ago
before this band even started I had played with a few people who came from
the same world as me, and when those projects broke up or people moved on
(myself included), I remember being left with a very bittersweet taste in my
mouth, like I had been dumped or broken up with someone. I think that
scared me away from being in a fully working band where everyone contributes
equally from that point onward till a few months ago. I don't like losing
people I connect with.

So no, people have not had freedom in this band to do as they please. But
it was over time that I realized that was by selfish choice as much as it
was necessity, as I automatically assumed no one would be okay with living
in a van for months or just getting up and moving across the country to
breath different air. But this theory has been proven wrong time and time
again, including recently.

To answer your question though, I like songs to be performed the way they
were written. But the free-form moments have more than once thrown everyone
off and turned the song into a disaster or sent it down a different path
with positive results. Usually things that are impossible to recreate...
things that will only be heard by the 15 people in whatever random city that
came that night... which is probably the best yet most-frustrating thing
about attempting to "jam" live.

You were subject to some pretty bad sound when we played together. During a few songs rhythms I didn't know where there would all come together and it started to make sense.Really WEIRD rhythms... more disjointed than I would have expected. Who creates these rhythms?Is it solely based on the drums or do you find yourself being guided by the guitars when you write songs?


It’s kind of a matter of chance. As I wrote earlier, we sometimes compose
out of laying a bunch of different ideas together, then learn our parts and
practice them as much as possible until me match up at certain points for
changes. We constantly practice with the tape recorder on. Since our playing
volume is pretty high, the sound on the recorder gets pretty distorted. Once
a week I put down the best moments on a disk and we start writing from
there. So the final result is pretty hard to predict, even though if I come
up with an idea all-made up on my own for a part with something in mind for
everybody to play--- you know when someone plays 7/8 and another plays 3/4
at the same time, it is hard to know in advance when and how cool stuff is
going to happen... I mean I have a good idea of the physics of it in
advance, but I know there is going to be surprises before we get on it and
play it. So it’s part planning and part chance.

I usually come up with drum lines basing myself on how the guitars are
acting. Even if I have an idea for a song, I usually build up or deconstruct
it starting form a guitar. In the practice space, we often start from one
guitar, where I interact and add my part as it comes along, or one guitar
and me will just fall on an idea together by chance, and then add the second
guitar as a consequence to that. This is not dictating most of the way we
compose together, but this happened in situations where I felt the most
productive or comfortable or that the songs resulting out of this process
where really successful.

I try to keep it minimal to not undermine the guitar work with more
wankiness. It’s also important that my lines keep simple but odd, so they
keep being playful and recognizable but at the same time feel like i did a
bit of research to get to the final result. But one thing I always try to
keep aware of is negative space: just like visual art, in music working with
negative space is a great way to create dialogue, create content within the
songs. I could repeat guitar parts, play against them, or play in the
‘holes’--- I also like the idea when i write of having the ‘drums sing’, as
if the tones coming off the kit will play in the register of the guitars to
compliment them.


I was wondering what makes an album memorable/important to you?


It’s a combination of fluidity from song to song and the intrinsic
qualities of each individual songs. Obviously, I thing a good album will
speak as a whole, but for that I think you should steer away from having
songs that are really similar. Just like different parts in a song, songs on
an album should Ideally kinda fall into each other, make the whole album a
giant ‘song’.

The thing is that is fine and dandy and shit to say that but I definitely do
not write with this in mind. It’s more like if we have a good dozen songs
ready for the studio it’s awesome— but we never really work following a
guiding concept for our writing. In other words, forcing the songs out could
work as a short term experiment, but not for a whole album--- or composition
methods are too organic and democratic for that. Actually I would find it
quite castrating to impose myself this working method— especially since I am
primarily a visual artist working with sounds. So good fucking luck if we
come up with a fluent album by any standard.

How do you place yourself vis-a-vis the crowd when you perform? Do you want
a confrontation somehow? Do you want to embrace them?


I've always had more fun watching bands play on the floor right next to me
as opposed to up on a stage (there are exceptions). My own personal anxiety with being up there was the initial reason, but after touring it seemed obvious that a lot of venues do not have sound engineers that grasp music like this.Someone from Animal Collective once told me that they had sound people gawk at the fact that their wasn't a bass guitar. They (the sound guy) just couldn't grasp it.I feel like that is a prime example of why I
don't like relying on a venue to sound good.It's much easier to play on the floor with our own PA, which also works well considering one night might be a big bar, the next could be a kid's living room.

But more importantly is the fact that we like both embracing and confronting
an audience at the same time. I like being uncomfortable at shows and I
like a band that is challenging to embrace. We are negative people playing
negative songs so it should be no surprise if you get a negative vibe from
watching us play, but every person who comes to a show is different and will
perceive the performance in their own way. There are certainly people who
embrace negativity and will come up and give you a hug after you play a set
of songs about hating work and letting depression control and suffocate your

And of course there is the one guy at every show who compares us to Flipper.So sometimes any emotion just completely goes over people's heads and they just embrace the musical side of things which is something I wish I could do myself more often.

Half of your band is responsible for a lot of really unique and exciting
art. Are Chloe and you responsible for the entire aesthetic side of things
or do you all sit down and talk about ideas with them before you draw up a
design? 90% of what I bought when I was in middle school was based off of
the art. I did not have the internet so chances had to be taken. This may
seem like a no-brainer, considering your day job, but how important is the
packaging side of things to your band?


Well i think you nailed it right, big part of what dictates how the final
product is going to look like visually is basically this: is it going to
look cool or not? The front cover has to be visually striking or the whole
cover art should be visually engaging, if not provoking or subversive. We
always try to push our own aesthetic agenda somewhat through our designs,
but obviously the visuals have to refer to the music contained in the
recording. I mean this is the most important part of our job, even when we
work for our band. So at the same time, representing the music somehow,
create visuals interesting enough to get someone interested in the record
just by seeing the cover, and also advance our general visual research by
doing this work--- these are the three elements we usually have to keep
aware of when we work.
Chloe and me got pretty much 100% Andre and Myles’ confidence in creating
the graphics for our band... We usually preview everybody with the work that
is being done before going to press when we are dealing with high
circulation pieces, like record covers for instance. But for t-shirts and
posters and most of the rest we basically just churn it out and everybody
else sees it once it’s out for sale.

The packaging side of the band isn’t really important per-se, it’s
definitely something that matters, the music goes first, of course--- but I
have a hard time imagining ANY music devoid of visuals- it seems natural
to me that any art has a multidisciplinary potential— music with packaging
and performance displays that very well.

I agree with your preference with playing on the floor- the closer to the
public, despite if they move or not, despite any of their reactions, the
closer the easier it is for me to perform. I guess this why, by being
involved in visual art as well, I seek to do dark or annoying or striking
stuff--- I want the spectator to at least come closer, to at least show a
millisecond of interest. Floor level totally helps translate that for a

How’s your take on your own band’s visual image. Do you think the work that
has been done now really speaks who you guys are visually? Is there any
visual art or whatever image that provoke musical thoughts in your mind?


The only person we have had do art for us on a regular basis is Chris/
Steak Mnt. Cobatwoundedveteran was a band that came through where I grew up (which is a feat) and I remember being really blown away by how their records looked. I've always had that band placed in the back of mind, artistically as much as musically and I think what he has gone on to do now
is really exciting to us. The back cover of the LP was something that had
to grow on me, but now it's my favorite thing we've had done. I think it is
perfect and it was cool that he made up his mind for me because I was not
feeling it at first glance.

We used to just have tons of people make us stuff and a lot of it was cool,
but over time we had dozens and dozens of grindcore-looking logos and gross,
gory stuff which rules but has not been really fitting in my opinion since
maybe early 2005. I have always liked the looks of old no wave records... a
lot of them you couldn't necessarily even tell you were getting something
related to punk ("Off White", "Sonic Youth", the DNA LP are all examples).
I almost think they look slick... like big label new wave albums. I sadly
think the whole "abrasive (and sometimes challenging) music inside, cover
that would lead you to believe otherwise" thing was beaten to death by
metalcore bands over the past decade, but I still like when it works.

I had heard the name Aids Wolf ages ago. What is the actual history of the
band? Did you guys fall off the Earth and pop back up?


Yeah, we started back in March 2003 and managed to go through 2 guitar
players before we got the first recording down. Also we couldn’t do shit
during the summer of our first three years of existance because either Chris
went planting trees for months twice, Blake went to Russia once, then our
bandmates being gone we decided to do a Seripop tour instead (twice: 2003 and 2004) because of the impossibility of planning an AW tour. We managed to write 14 songs with Blake in one year, that was the most we where ever productive in terms of songwriting, but we still sucked. We only salvaged 6
songs from that era, and still play 4 of them. Once Blake out of the band
(April 2004), Nick replaced him and went on tour with his other band,
scrapping our plans to do shows that year (2004). The stint with Nick ended
with only two new songs written in a whole year. Fuck 2004 was a total
waste. Also Chris being in school made it impossible to do much during
school season. Then Andre joined in spring 2005, we recorded The Lovvers LP
sessions practically a month after, and then we tried to do some shows in
the us that summer. So between when the "live-deth" demo (summer 2005), and
the release of The Lovvers LP nothing much happened apart from a bunch of
new songs written and one seven inch split with the fugue that we had out
just before getting our copies of The Lovvers LP. We were technically barred
from the states from 2004 to 2007 (apart from some short 6 month period in
2005 where we could actually go to the US because of some legal loophole),
until one of us dealt with some court problems. So we played a dozen shows
in the Us in 2005, including CMJ and our 5 us shows leg of our 5 weeks
Canadian tour that year. In order to compensate for our incapacity to cross
the border, we did a 16 days European tour in early 2006 and a 6 weeks
Europe tour in late 2006, in conjunction with the release of The Aw –
athletic automaton split and the split of Chris from our band. Now that
Chris left, we got Myles in the band, did a 7 weeks North-American tour and
everything seems to go much better.

I dunno, we played the Montreal-Toronto areas LOTS, tried to keep the band
alive somehow by sustaining songwriting and trying new tecniques and keeping
releasing things, toured anyhow. Also, Chloe and me being in Seripop (that
basically means not being stable financially and busy working 16 hours a
day) made things a bit tricky for the band to get around at the start--- but
because we are unemployed, we always manage to find a way to liberate
ourselves from our Seripop duties –or just bring Seripop on the road with
Aw- in order to tour. Actually, the joint existence of both projects help
each other getting more known. It also solidified our relations with other
bands, being either our clients or our touring buddies.

What are you next projects? Tours? Releases?


Our first tour ever... which was more of a random vacation with shows in key
cities I wanted to visit... we played below one of your openings. Someone
at the door was mentioning the inability for half of you to get into the
country I believe.

Besides the split with you, we have splits with Twin Crystals,
Shearing Pinx, Cutter (new Fugue band), 10LEC6, Mutators... seriously too many to
name. After that is a one-sided 12" on Corleone and then an album, which
will either be the split with you and that combined or all new stuff. We
aren't sure. We will be touring as often as possible... this March, Summer
and Fall for sure. I am excited about the ability to be an active band
again as we have not had a set line-up since July 06 and it feels good to
have that period over with. This Fall will be our first venture to Europe
as a band. I like the idea of achieving things I've always wanted to do
(like traveling) through playing in a band. There really is nothing that
can compare, and it is totally possible for anyone to do and I wish more
people would.