Anemone: The WL Interview

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Purveyor of: Dreamy, psychedelic pop

File next to: Munya, Tess Roby (and Can, of course)

Playing: Wavelength Winter Festival, Saturday February 16, 2019 @ The Garrison. Get your tickets here!

Created and led by Montreal’s Chloé Soldevila, creatively incorporating aspects that can vary from dream pop to dance music to krautrock, Anemone‘s music will stick with you, living inside your brain, becoming a part of you forever. This is music that refuses to be ignored. We’re excited to be hosting the Toronto record release party for their fantastic new album Beat My Distance (on Royal Mountain Records) as part of our 2019 Winter Festival. Wavelength’s Will Wellington tracked down Chloé to talk about the band.

You folks have been vocal about the debt you owe to krautrock. Recently, I was at a bar with a bunch of Guelph, Ontario music scene folks, and was bemused when the whole table somehow got into a heated discussion as to which were the best three Can albums (everyone agreed Ege Bamyasi, Tago Mago, and Future Days were the best, but disagreed as to how to rank them). I was interested whether you wanted to weigh in — which are the best three Can albums, in what order, and why? (If band members have differing opinions, I’d love to hear them hahaha.)

 

Chloé : Haha! That is a funny argument. I LOVE (!!!!!) those three records and they are probably in the top 10 records I listened to when I was 16 to 20 years old. On my end, my relationship to krautrock is super special. It’s basically the one genre that pulled me out or allowed me to expand my musical mind beyond classical music. So without krautrock, my path could have been much different. I studied classical music from age 4 to age 16 – so forget about improvising or songwriting, I had no clue how to do anything else but to read a music sheet. I could play ”off by heart” a 20 minute piece of a University level at age 15, but forget about asking me to write two chords and a verse haha! It’s funny how that works, but it’s such a common problem. What’s wonderful about krautrock, is that the chord mainly never changes (that’s the basics of krautrock, right). I started jamming on krautrock when I’d just turned 17 (I still remember the first day) with a bunch of guys I’d met in art school – I was studying music, they were studying painting. Krautrock gave me confidence, as I could feel like I was doing something musical and meaningful with only one chord. Time went by and my first band was a krautrock band with these same people. Still to this day, I write with very few chords and I worship that quality in music. Anyways, to come back to Can, I think these three albums have very distinct qualities, so you can’t rank them. And if y’all wanna know, my favorite Can song is ”I Want More”, one of my all time favorite tracks is ”Watussi” by Harmonia (the whole record might be my favorite: Musik von Harmonia), and the first non-classical piece I’ve ever played live is a cover of ”Hallogallo” by Neu!.

I love the way you folks describe the intent of your live shows — they sound so joyful and empowering! What are the most joyful concert experiences you have had yourself, and are there any in particular that inspired the way you approach your live shows?

I don’t wanna speak for everyone in the band, but I think it’s safe for me to say that we are inspired by literally everything as musicians and as a band – the way someone is walking down the street could inspire the way I’ll try to perform at a next show. Obviously, I’ve been so so inspired by greats… but my main inspiration is just everything, and shows I see every week. I also feel very inspired by the fact that I am a woman, and it comes with this extra challenge to be empowering — and see, I wanted to list a short number of great performers that have inspired me and all I could think of were men, so I decided not to include that list in my answer. I’m inspired to give power, confidence and love to the public.

 

You say that part of your mission is to loosen people up and break them out of their shyness. In terms of the specifics of your performance, how do you actually do that? Is it a matter of addressing the crowd directly, or amping up your own performance, or making sure the show sounds a certain way, or something else?

Haha yes, Gabriel phrased that really well. I think it’s just an overall thing but it definitely has to do with the music and our personalities, the way we interact with the crowd etc. A show is made of two things, a crowd and a performer. If the crowd is not there, there is no show, therefore I feel like it’s really important to make everyone feel super included in that one time special event.

Part of the Wavelength Music Festival this year is a panel discussion on unwritten codes of conduct in DIY scenes. This is a broad question, but what is Anemone’s experience of such codes? Are there any such unwritten rules that have challenged your band, or on the other hand any that you think may have worked in your favour?

I think respect and including everyone is really important, but I can’t speak on behalf of others that are more involved in the Montreal DIY scene than myself. Without the freedom that the DIY scene in Montreal allows, I would not be doing what I’m doing today. My community gave me the opportunity to play in DIY spaces – instead of normal venues, where I felt like I didn’t fit at all. Same in Barcelona when I was living there.

 

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