Call & Response: PARLOVR
It's an exciting week for Montréal band, PARLOVR, who have a release party for their second LP Kook Soul this Thursday at Jackie and Judy, and then are the subject of a Polaris Record Salon at Casa del Popolo on Saturday. Band members (from left to right) Alex, Jeremy and Louis seem to be taking it all in stride, or at least that's the impression they gave during an informal interview with MP at their practice space in Rosemont. Jeremy and Louis warmed us up, while Alex, who Jeremy described as the Holden Caulfield of the group ("He's allergic to phonies"), kept mostly silent, eating fruit and setting up for practice. Despite an attempt to sabotage the interview by offering a faulty stool, the band gave some insight on their new album, waxed nostalgic about drunken antics in Dubai, run-ins with a Nazi bouncer, and espoused their views on how they'd like to cover Montréal in tons of spaghetti.
How long have you been working on your new album?
J: Last album was Fall of '08 and we put out an EP in 2010. [Kook Soul] was ready about a year ago. We made an effort not to learn the songs. If we learn the songs and start playing them right away, we get sick to shit of them.
L: It's been four years [since the first LP], but three of those years have been filled with mini tours all over the place. We were still active, and when we had the chance to get back in the studio we really just milked it - we milked it a lot. We stayed in their forever. About six months.
How would you describe Kook Soul?
L: It's Jeremy, and Alex, and Louis! You'll recognize PARLOVR, but the sounds are a bit more interesting. It's not just clean/distorted, it's clean/textured. A lot more care and time went into it. The review have called it "streamlined and soft" or "classic sophomore album"... which sounds terrible. The themes for this one are relationships and all that torment.
What's the best place you've played in?
J: Escogriffe is always fun. There's a place in Detroit called Pj's Lager House that is right next to where Tiger Stadium used to be, but now it's this huge field that no one will buy, the size of the Olympic Stadium, next to bombed out buildings that used to be downtown Detroit.
L: The Hanger in China. You walk into a warehouse - in China - then you look on the wall and you realize there's 40 foot tall streamers with your face on them. We went, "What's going on here?"
Then there was that that B.C. place. With the Nazi guys?
J: Oh yeah! There was a bouncer who was really friendly at first... well, he was friendly in general. But we got weirded out because he was talking about his tattoos and he had this big spot on his elbow that didn't have anything and he said, "Yeah, I'm saving that one for my 'stika." And we're just kind of clueing into this as he's walking away: "I guess he means his... swastika?" That's never something we've ever encountered before. Yeah, North Kamloops.
L: Tough town.
Where's the best place to listen to your music?
L: Technically, in the studio.
J: Yeah, technically it's higher fidelity.
Who is your favourite Canadian artist?
L: Alive, I'm going to say Rich Aucoin. Dead, I'm going to say Bryan Adams. (laughs)
J: Do you know Uncle Bad Touch? They have a fantastic record coming out.
L: I don't understand how you can like it that much and not do drugs.
A: Glenn Gould.
If your music was an historical figure, who would it be and why?
A: It would be Louis Dahaneux. Because I don't know who he is, and neither do you.
How did you spend your 16th birthday?
A: I got drunk in a pool with a bottle of vodka. In Dubai.
MP: What were you doing in Dubai?
A: Getting drunk in pools.
Where's the best poutine in Montreal?
L: Poutine master! Chez Claudette's! I know they're new poutines come out every few months. Good stuff. Do you guys know Resto du Village? It's open 24 hours a day, bring your own wine and they make a vegetarian poutine that is filled with grilled vegetables.
J: I'm vegetarian. I do like vegetarian poutine. The vegetarian poutine at Banquise is not vegetarian, but it's called vegetarian poutine! I had four of them before the waitress said that the gravy is made with meat stock. So it should really just be poutine with vegetables.
What do you love/hate most about Montreal?
L: I fucking hate it these days. It's horrible. It's the worst place I've been in a long time. Everyone's just pissed off. But we used to love it, because things were great. Laid back. It took three months and we're Toronto now.
What's the best way to spend a million dollars in ten minutes?
L: Okay, so you boil a pot of spaghetti. Boil as much as you can. And you dump it on something. And you let it harden. That's it... Cover the fucking city in spaghetti right now, and everyone will roll around in it with their red pins and yell, "Woo! We're saucy!" Yeah, ten million dollars worth. No, wait! Pay their tuitions! Pay as much tuition as you can with that.
What would your publicist want you to say now?
L: We love our label. We really cannot wait to tour. I'm clean.
J: I'm not pregnant.
Any parting words?
A: Fuck Jean Charest and go protest! And arrest me for saying that!
Parlovr performs Thursday at Jackie and Judy, 6512 Parc Ave., with Jesuslesfilles. Tickets cost $5.
Kook Soul is available now.
Image courtesy MP editor Gabby Lefort.