There are some fans or specific genres who tend to be absolutely unwilling to accept any kind of music, however slightly off-the-mark, that to them doesn’t fit perfectly into their perceptions of the style. They simply won’t accept that the round peg can fit into the square hole, even though it’s not a perfect match. Perhaps the guiltiest musical genre for its crimes against diversity is metal, where long-haired pseudo-scary guys play monotonous and basic music for the throngs of fans eager to hear more of the same. And nothing else. Then a band comes along, throwing caution to the wind and offering metal fans a hefty dose of fuck-you. Toronto’s synth/drum duo (now a trio as of this writing) Ã‡a Va Mal appeal to both the indie noise nerds and the metalheads, delivering insane slabs of heavy shit for every head-banging girl and boy. And all without a distorted guitar. Mike Perreault got to ask the boys a few questions about their new band.
Are you afraid of being lumped into the same category as other two-person bands, despite not sounding much like any of them?
Dave: We solved that problem by getting a singer. But even without him I wouldn’t be too worried about that.
Do you feel it’s hard to get accepted by fans of metal and other types of heavy music because you have no guitars?
D: Well, we’ve only played one show so far and the crowd seemed pretty into it. Besides, the synth sounds awesome.
Ryan: It’s probably going to appeal more to people who are open to new sounds, and aren’t Die-Hard Metal. But even [Norwegian black metal group] Mayhem has synths.
You say in your Myspace bio that you enjoy shows where people go crazy and get sweaty, but most of the time at clubs that’s hardly the case. How frustrating is it to play to a stiff crowd with arms crossed and little or no reaction?
D: We haven’t had that so far, but in general if the crowd doesn’t get into it then that’s our fault. I hate it when bands give the audience a hard time for standing far away or not getting into it. It’s like, you can be inviting and encourage people to get close and move around, but ultimately if people aren’t into it, you’re either playing the wrong crowd, or you suck.
R: Yes, the classic ‘this city needs to have more fun’ is something I hope we can shake out of people.
Do you think that noise music is becoming more widely accepted these days? If so, why do you think that is?
D: The word noise is pretty vague. I think people in the indie scene are getting bored and are looking for something more exciting, so bands like AIDS Wolf and Lunchmeat are getting all popular. But I wouldn’t say bands like Gastric Female Reflex or Parkade are getting more accepted. Those bands will always appeal to a small minority of
devoted fans of ‘out there’ music, and I’m sure that suits them fine.
R: I think a lot of noise music that’s being accepted these days is mostly using aspects of noise within normal song structures, so it’s like bands are exploring new areas of sounds and being more creative, which is rad. I was always down with Fly Pan Am from Montreal… they are pretty good with the noise. But its not like they’re the most popular band on that label [Constellation].
Both of your instruments require you to stay in one spot for most of your set. How do you compensate for the lack of mobility to create a killer live performance?
R: Gigantic foam stage props involving monkeys, unicorns, pirates, etc. And I’m hoping to locate a keytar in the near future, for this exact reason.
What do you have to say to the average death metal purist that argues that blast beats don’t belong in modern indie/noise music?
D: I’ve never heard anyone say anything like that. I don’t think the average death metal purist could give two shits about what’s happening in modern indie/noise music.
R: Purists are jerks anyways.