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Call & Response: Andrew Vincent

Posted by Jer / July 8, 2011

Andrew Vincent Call & Response is a series of Q&As with bands, artists and random people we dig that live in Montreal, visit here, or have some dubious connection to the city.

Andrew Vincent is currently an Ottawa-based musician, though he has spent time living in Toronto and he secretly dreams of living in Montreal. He makes intimate, lo-fi albums filled with witty, wry and touching folk-meets-punk songs. He only needs a few chords over which to lay a melody that will stick with you for weeks. Take a listen to "Going Out Tonight" from his infinitely listenable 2009 album Rotten Pear and tell me I'm wrong. I dare you. Like so many of his tunes, it's modest, humble and maybe even a tad desperate. But the song's lead character, and Vincent by association, seem to take even the worst news with a grain of salt. Andrew Vincent's songs sketch nuanced profiles of flawed and imperfect characters; a skill that makes his music disarmingly approachable.

Vincent is in town this weekend, promoting a new EP called Keep it that Way. While I'd normally pass on an EP that's only 6 tracks long (two of which are just updated versions of older tracks), the fact that Vincent has been hand-drawing the album covers individually has me happily considering shelling out the $10 bucks for a poutine-themed version of the disc. To help me deliberate, I thought I'd see how Vincent would handle a dozen of the world's most important questions:

Who is your favorite Canadian Artist?
I love a lot of Canadian artists, but andy swan consistently writes my favourite songs.

Besides family, friends, other music, and long summer nights, what influences your music the most?
Public broadcasting.

You are hand-drawing individual album art for your latest EP. Are you crazy? Or do you just have a lot of spare time? What's your favourite design so far?
Well, I don't sell that many records. So, it probably isn't as crazy as it seems. and now when I show up at a gig with 1 or 2 albums, I can sell out all my merch. It's nice to be in demand. So far my favourite cover is of a pirate ship. I made it for a friend who wrote a book about a pirate. You can see it here:

Where is the best place to listen to your music?
Anywhere people feel like playing my music is a good place. Personally, I like listening to music at night on the 401.

What do you love most about Montreal?
Dreaming about what it would be like to live in montreal.

What do you love most about Poutine?
It's hard to break this one down. It's like the best of all foods combined. Using a pogo as a fork takes it up a notch.

What do you hate most about Poutine?
Morning poutine mouth (but preferable to morning shawarma mouth).

Your song "Canadian Dream" should be a National Anthem. Or at least a requisite song for proving citizenship. Please respond in 140 characters?

Citizenship test
Q: Listen to this song then answer what it means to be Canadian.
A: Have fun, but don't dream too big.
(eds. note: that is 120 characters, with spaces. fail.)

Who was your first live concert? Was it everything you had ever imagined?
Tragically Hip. Road Apples tour. Masonic temple in Toronto. I took the GO Train in from Burlington. It was amazing. I probably imagined I would meet a girl there. Which I didn't. So yes and no.

If your music was a famous historical figure, who would it be & why?
It would aspire to be Arturo Gatti (RIP). Good chin. Great left hook. A bit rough around the edges. Lots of heart.

What's the best way to spend a Million dollars in 10 minutes?
Gold bars and a shovel.

You're on Kelp Records. Is it true Kelp is more of a way of life than a label? Can you talk about how important that community has been for the production of your albums?
Jon Bartlett, who runs Kelp and sings in the band Rhume, once hired a wrestler to hit him In the head with a metal chair and then throw him off the stage during the final song of a show. It was crazy, frightening and awesome. There are times the label feels a bit like that. The rest of the time it feels like a cozy bathrobe. So it's not a bad way of life.

How did you spend your 16th birthday?
I don't remember. I probably spent some time worrying about my hair. I have less hair now but life is more memorable. Fancy that.

Listen to Andrew Vincent's music on his bandcamp page and click here to see how big he is in Dublin. Or better yet, see him live this weekend here in Montreal:

Andrew Vincent
July 10th @ Casa Del Popolo
with Pink Moth and Jenny Omnichord

photo of Andrew Vincent taken by flickr user and creative commons licensor ActiveSteve.


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