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words Laura Rojas
photography Ronald Yeung

Your album title, The Air Conditioned Nightmare, spawns from a collection of Henry Miller’s work about the state of society upon his return to the US. Why did that specific historical moment stick out to you?

I more related to the fantasy that the title creates. A dreamy, cool and scary world. The feeling you get when you go to a strange place when you're a child, like a new school or something. The Air Conditioned Nightmare! 


What I recognized as hazy youthfulness in your previous album Lesser Evil, has shifted and turned into a more mature, industrial landscape in The Air Conditioned Nightmare while still holding on to the electronic experimentation that makes you such a unique artist. How did your creative process differ this time around?

For this record, the songs had been performed a ton before being recorded, so there is much more of a live band feel. 


What makes the Montreal music scene unique to that of other big cities? Could you imagine yourself if you’d evolved creatively somewhere else?

I basically moved here because I was a huge fan of some Montreal bands that I started seeing around and playing shows with, most of them on the Arbutus label. TONSTRTBNDHT, Sean Nicholas Savage, Grimes, Pop Winds. But I started Doldrums in Toronto and that’s where the sound developed. I don't think that the new album sounds very Montreal-y. I've spent the last year and a half mostly just chilling here and writing, so maybe the next one will sound more Montreal-y.


Has touring and gaining popularity changed your perspective as a musician?

Yea! I'm addicted to traveling and I think that’s a large part of the appeal of the musician lifestyle. Someone was talking about how each song on the record kind of sounds like a different place on a map, and I think, yes, that's how I'd like it to be thought of. Maybe popularity changes your perspective as a musician; I'll let you know if I get some.


In the third track, Funeral For Lightning, you get a sense of physical yearning or something similar. This song sticks out to me because it sounds somewhat different from the rest of the album. Is there something in particular that enticed you to slow down for a minute?

Reggae! I wrote that one in the summertime when I lived with my friend, Duffy. I had a tiny studio room with a balcony that we would just people-watch all day from. Slow times so slow song, I guess. 


Is there a song in particular you’ve found yourself the most emotionally invested in?

There are different emotions being expressed throughout the album, just as each song might sound like a different place - I would be remiss to say I actually felt one more than the others.


Posted on April 6, 2015.