1-Speed Bike

by Kate Carraway

Best known as a beat-keeper for Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Aidan Girt is keeping busy during the band’s extended holiday with a load of musical undertakings, performing at Wavelength both as 1-Speed Bike and as part of Exhaust), keeping up with politics and pop culture, and employing a great deal of ellipses. Kate Carraway waited patiently for his e-mail and then got really depressed.

Your various projects are slightly confusing in scope. Be a sport and explain your activities as if I were your semi-aware auntie and you’re at a family picnic and I’m all “How’s that music going Aidan?”

At this moment I’m playing with Exhaust (also playing Wavelength) and Cayenne (heavy duty one-note band that I play synth in), plus I’ve got a bunch of new projects in the development stage, but I don’t have anything that would impress an Aunt nor anyone… I’m sick of everyone’s judgments anyway, like I’m supposed to lie and say that everything is great and that I’m super successful, when really all I’m doing is my best to make the most fucked-up music I can with the right people, and that I continue to try and challenge the structures that leave everyone lying about their successes, or at least ashamed… All I can do is do the best with the tools I’ve got, and if I can keep it up my whole life then that will be something I will be able to be proud of’¦

What compels you to continue to do stuff on your own instead of sitting on your laurels in a happening band? Godspeed is on a long term hiatus… I made music outside of Godspeed before I was in Godspeed… I will always make music until maybe my ears are taken from me, or until my heart is so broken that I can’t.

What’s your take on overt politcal commentary vs. subtler modes? What’s your approach?

It takes all kinds to make a revolution… I support a diversity of tactics… Some times it’s appropriate to be subtle… Sometimes it’s appropriate to be blunt… Maybe I’m stupid or something but I feel like I got more skills at being blunt… There’s enough people being subtle out there… I know I wasn’t put on this planet to let injustice go uncommented on… Some people immediately get defensive when they see blunt politics… I feel that I’m publicly self-aware enough of my faults as a person that it’s hopefully clear that I have no right to come from a position of authority on anything… I save my judgments for those that know what’s going on and just sit there and let it happen or even worse, profit from all the pain that capitalism causes this planet’¦

The music/politics relationship is pretty interesting on a macro level right now. Everyone seems to have something to say, but a lot of it is shit, particularly when a knuckle-dragging mainstream act gets in on it. Is their contribution valuable, as you see it?

 Shit is bad… Any reaction is good… At least it’s a start… But I do get frustrated when people get suckered for reformism…when people ask me to vote NDP… when Eminem makes a black bloc cartoon video that seems to be about burning down the White House and then lames out at the end and asks people to vote… like Kerry would not be continuing the same bullshit… maybe they would stop taking pictures of detainees while they’re torturing them’¦

How come you elected to use wicked and oft-toilet-ish humour? Is it to even out the dark and “mysterious,” as you’ve been called, elements of the music you play?

Because the toilet routines I’ve been working on since I was 11 years old… because I’ve been associated with too many people that take themselves too seriously… because uptightness and adults go together and adults drop bombs on children from airplanes… because if you don’t know your (w)hole body then you don’t know yourself… because I try and put a bunch of different emotions into the 1-Speed Bike recordings’¦

Since you’re stuff as 1 Speed Bike is all about the funny, can you lay a joke or two on me? 

 No, not today, I’m in a shitty mood…