Monday, September 23, 2019Light Snow -5°C
Music

POP MTL: An Interview with The Dears

Posted by Greg / September 29, 2010

Montreal has more bands than a Bible's got psalms, which is why it's so rare and special when one climbs the ranks to pop royalty like The Dears have. Their career started in the mid-90s, before Montreal's indie boom, and has outlasted many of the bands from that early-2000s renaissance. The Dears are something bigger than trends, bigger than the time and place from which they sprang. That's a distinction you earn after four excellent albums over the course of fifteen years. With their fifth LP already written, recorded and mastered, the band will play the whole unreleased album, start to finish, three nights in a row for a hometown audience at Mission Santa Cruz. Based on clips from their Mexico City residency, this should be wild.

Today I spoke with keyboardist and core Dears member Natalia Yanchak (pictured above center) about the new album, the upcoming performance, the beautiful church venue, and the Montreal music scene.

How do you feel about playing the new album in its entirety to a crowd who hasn't heard it yet? Excited? Nervous?

I think the maximum nervousness was with us when we tried out this idea in Mexico City a few months ago. The crowd at those residencies gave us all the reassurances we might have needed to follow this idea through. It's a bit of a risk, I guess, to play a whole set of all new music to any crowd, but we hope everyone will be coming with an open mind, ready to listen to music with a certain abandon. The songs will hopefully transcend the experience of "familiarity" concertgoers usually rely on. Alternately, we could hope for an experience similar to this.

How much did these songs evolve over the course of your Mexico City residency? Did crowd feedback figure very heavily into your song writing/editing process?

We jumped right into the studio when we got back from Mexico, so we didn't have much time. Preparing and performing the songs for the Mexico City residency definitely factored into our "pre-production" process. It was interesting to see which songs people responded to the most; when you play a show and the whole crowd is singing along to a song they have never heard before, it's definitely affirming. We wrote this album together, as a truly collaborative band, which was already a departure for The Dears, so there was an ongoing conversation about where the songs should go. A lot of the changes happened in the studio, and in chats we had with Tony Hoffer who helped produce the record.

Great venue choice - was there any reason for playing at Mission Santa Cruz in particular?

Murray and Dan Seligman visited a bunch of venues around town, searching for a place where we could do this kind of show. When they saw the hall at Santa Cruz they both knew that was it. Like most things with The Dears, we tend to act on the things that just "feel" right.

How do you feel the Montreal music scene has changed since you formed The Dears in the 90s?

Woah. That's a heavy question. Is there enough space for me to get into this here? First off, the digital age and "the Internet" was in its infancy. MP3s didn't exist. A band really had to hustle to get out there, just to get out of their home town. Being part of the Montreal music scene in the 90's meant you were hanging out at the Bifteck or Roy Bar four nights a week. Ironically, the rise of the "Montreal Music Scene" was pretty much the beginning of the end. Bands started popping up, moving here from out of town just to be a "Montreal band." To me, making music is about communicating an identity and experience, and never letting go of the purity that exists in our hearts. It's about sticking to your guns and making it work regardless of the obstacles before you. That's what The Dears was built on: FTW, FTW (if I might use common-day vernacular).

What are you listening to these days? Anything you can recommend?

I DON'T EVEN LISTEN TO MUSIC!!! (deep inside joke, sorry...)

The Dears play tonight (Sept. 29), Thursday (Sept. 30) and Friday (Oct. 1) at Mission Santa Cruz
60 Rachel West
photo taken from The Dears' website

Discussion

9 Comments

4801267 / June 19, 2011 at 09:06 am
user-pic
What a lovely day for a 4801267! SCK was here
4682984 / June 19, 2011 at 09:06 am
user-pic
What a lovely day for a 4682984! SCK was here
wallpapers / April 3, 2016 at 01:43 am
user-pic

Hi there to all, since I am genuinely eager of
reading this blog's post to be updated daily. It carries fastidious information.
kanchipuramsarees / January 22, 2019 at 03:44 am
user-pic
nice post
kanchipuramsarees / January 22, 2019 at 03:44 am
user-pic
nice post
golu dolls / January 22, 2019 at 03:44 am
user-pic
nice post
herbal powder / January 22, 2019 at 03:46 am
user-pic
nice post

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Toronto