PopGun has been a big fan of Montreal-based trio Parlovr for a while now, so we’re really excited they’re coming to play with us! Formed back in 2006, the guys have since racked up a tight self-titled debut, a spot on Dine Alone Records, and loads of impressive tours including spots alongside the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. With their sophomore LP in the last stages of completion, drummer Jeremy Maccuish was down to answer a few questions about the classic indie pop project.
Are you guys originally from Montreal? Seems like the music community up there is just perpetually charmed with talent spilling over is all directions. How are you most artistically influenced by the city?
I was born and raised in Montreal. Louis grew up on army bases in Bagotville, Quebec and Cold Lake, Alberta before moving to Montreal as a teenager. Alex spent parts of his childhood in the UAE, England and New Brunswick, as well as in Montreal, he came back to the city about a decade ago.
The band formed in Montreal. I see the pace of the city influencing the way bands develop, if only because it is relatively cheap to live here. The pressure is to do something interesting and different, rather than to make fast cash.
Being that you guys have played everything from large capacity spaces to small bars, it seems like your fairly simplified set up of guitar, keys, drums would translate well in most arenas. On the road you never know what a space is going to throw at you, what’s the biggest challenge for you to reproduce the music live?
Every space is so different! I can’t speak for the other guys on this one – I think maybe there is a bit more control involved with amplified instruments – but I love hearing the way drums and cymbals react to different rooms. The kit can sound like a completely different instrument from one night to the next.
As far as performing in small vs big rooms… I like to think the band’s approach comes across in both situations. Like a ramshackle vaudeville show on a street corner vs the big top. Alex as the carnival barker, Louis as the drunken tightrope walker. That’s the way it looks from the back of the stage anyway, a bit absurd but hopefully a lot of fun.
You originally self-released your debut Parlovr in 2008 which was then re-released by Dine Alone Records in 2010, where you gained a new level of visibility. I imagine the tracks on that record go back quite a few years. Is it ever uncomfortable or jarring to play and promote older efforts or is it not really an issue?
We don’t play too many of those songs anymore. Maybe 3 or 4 are in and out of rotation. One of them, “Speech Bubble/Thought Cloud”, we changed drastically from the album version. “Pen To The Paper”, I think has remained fun to play because it’s such a simple song – it’s just two repeating melodies, it could be a folk song, but we play it loud.
So you’ve got a sophomore effort in the works–has the whole process been different since this time you have a backing label? In what area do you think the sound of Parlovr has matured the most since the debut?
We spent a lot more time in the studio for this record. That’s partly because our label was so supportive. I guess that’s not the case with all labels, but Dine Alone has had enough faith in us that we were able to take our time in the studio and not have them breathing down our neck.
I think, and it’s probably easier for me to say this than for the other guys, but I think Alex and Louis have taken a big step forward as lyric writers (lyricists?). I don’t know if it’s due to some incredibly tough times both have gone through, or just more experience writing… some of the words on the new record make me proud to play on those songs.
Since your formation in 2006, which was a particular peak for that classic Montreal indie sound, how do you feel the general indie pop music climate has changed? Do you feel more pressure to have an internet presence, etc?
I love a lot of music coming out of Montreal these days. Mozart’s Sister, Braids and Blue Hawaii, Mavo, Uncle Bad Touch, Jesus Les Filles. Purity Ring just moved here… they all have something unique to offer.
As far as pressure to have an internet presence, I think a lot of what comes along with the internet and available technology in general is positive for musicians. Cheaper recordings, faster distribution of music and information, more options. Bands can reach out to anyone who might be interested in their music without an intermediary. It’s all creative opportunity.
Parlovr is playing Glasslands Friday, July 22nd
Get yr tickets HERE