Noel from Hooray For Earth (sort of) interviews Claire Boucher, aka Montreal’s Grimes…
you are based in Montreal right?
who are some of your friends in music that you spend time with, like maybe there’s sort of a clique of musicians who’s company you enjoy? I notice a handful of interesting sounds coming out of your area…
All the bands on Arbutus Records (my record label) are close friends of mine including the people who run the label, and we all definitely influence each other quite a bit. This summer I’ve toured with both the Pop Winds and Silly Kissers, and I life with both members of Blue Hawaii.
a lot of the sounds you’re using/making are relatively non-recognizable – definitely helps in creating the other-wordly atmosphere in your music – also the chords and melodies are very fluid and lovely. what do you have in mind when you’re making music?
bah this is a tricky question haha, um. I tend to either have a lot in mind or nothing in mind at all. Generally speaking, there are a series of things in my life that I become obsessed with at any given time (during the making of Geidi Primes I was particularly influenced by my escape into science fiction and the study of the physical sciences). And whatever my weird mood might be I tend to abstractly create some kind of homage to it artistically and, at this point in my life, that happens to be through music. I guess that sounds weird but Halfaxa is sort of my ‘medieval’ album. I wanted to attempt to evoke the feeling of believing in God in a very Medieval Christian way. I wanted to capture the beauty of being in a beautiful cathedral and hearing reverbed (naturally), devotional, vocal music and really believing in heaven and hell, and that the art that you are experiencing (visually, architecturally, sonically etc) is related to a higher platonic, metaphysical space, or comes directly from it through the medium of the artistic prophet. Hildegard von Bingen is my idol right now, and I feel like she would be a good example of someone through whome God spoke and beautiful music was made via her body by a divine being (or so she claims, and I’d like to believe). I feel like art in the middle ages was always addressing something beyond earthly experience, and I want to do the same. But I wanted it to be vague as to what it is beyond earthly experience that is being addressed. And I wanted the music to feel really good addictive. I love music that is very smooth to the ears, and has lots of low frequencies as I find high frequencies very grating.
Grimes makes me feel this undercurrent of cold water running through everything…does this make sense?
hmmm yes and no. Although that sounds really nice right now (I’m very over heated). I’m a water sign (pisces) – and this album was actually meant to be the water album, but then it turned into what it is, but it has nothing to do with dark water, or really water at all. I think things need to be really high fi to sound like water, but I do think Halfaxa is very cold. Maybe you are asking about Geidi Primes, in which case I’m not sure.
have you been to New York?
Yes, and each time it becomes more assaulting, but I am better able to relate with it, which is nice. so it becomes better and worse at the same time. I think I’ve been three times.
I had to sell my car to move here (manhattan) a few years ago and i hate not having a car. just for obvious reasons, like getting around and joyriding – but very specifically it was the one place thats its always ok the blast the hell out of the stereo. do you have a car?
I do not have a car, nor should I be able to have one. I failed my drivers test 5 times, which was both shameful and expensive. And even still, I have serious problems paying attention and following rules so when I do drive it’s generally rather precarious.
do you do your artwork and photography?
I don’t take photos of myself, generally those come from my friends but I’m not really happy with most of them, I’m not sure I necessarily want people to know what I look like. Although I’m about to borrow a friends camera hopefully, and I want to do a series of artful faux-fashion shoots with my friends because I love photographs of people. But I do do my own art-work, although I have rejected illustration recently in favour of photo-shop, and I’m not as proficient in that yet.
i’m definitely going to be listening to Grimes this fall…fall is my favorite time of year for music. do you concur?
Fall is just my favourite season in general. I’m glad you will listen to Grimes. I don’t like listening to music in the summer or spring, mostly just fall and winter.
Grimes – Weregild
Grimes – Dream Fortress