I made the first Feist album in ’98. So at that point, it was my nickname. It was as far as with my circle of friends, and just felt more accurate than two names.
A year’s a long time, but it also flickers past in no time at all.
I guess there are a lot of people out there that think they’re supposed to define themselves in isolation, but that’s not necessarily the case.
I’d been touring for so long, seven years. For a year and a half I’d just been curious about what it was like not to tour. It’s like if you were to lift a 100-pound barbell with your right arm for seven years, eventually you’d get really curious about what your left arm was capable of.
I would try to pick the guitar up sometimes, like, “Hey, remember me?” It was like reintroducing yourself to someone who’s got a grudge.
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay.
My dreams will match up with my pay.
I haven’t been living anywhere because I’ve been on tour for the past two years.
I was grateful to be away from all that familiarity, to have a chance to do something anonymously.
If you keep bashing your head against the same wall, at some point you’re going to fall over and be still for awhile.
Any kind of anthemic song, for the most part, they’re on the positive side of things. It’s not hard to identify when a melody is just one degree too complicated or one degree too simple and where that line of pop memorability lies.
Surreal can be exciting and good, and it can be like living inside an alien landscape, and it can be completely interesting, or you can be alienated from your own life – inside your own life, it doesn’t feel familiar any more.
So, I’m on ‘Sesame Street,’ walking around with all these monsters, Elmo and his buddies, a whole bunch of chickens, a whole bunch of penguins and a number four dancing about. It was just pure joy, simple, ridiculous fun, stupid joy. There’s no irony. ‘Sesame Street’ is just a crazy great place to be.
You realize time isn’t just a period that you tell a story within – it becomes a major character in the film. There is no beginning, middle, end because there is always stuff beginning and ending simultaneously.
Probably, on some subconscious level, I was motivated by not wanting to spoon-feed any similar flavors.
I get really scared about how the Internet is shifting and changing everyone’s minds, and the way we see ourselves and interact online. Everything is so diluted now.
I once looked over the shoulder of a friend on Facebook and it looked like hieroglyphs to me. There’s merit online, of course, but social media gets super freaky. Imagine if three generations from now, people online have forgotten what date or day of the week it is.
So, I’m on Sesame Street, walking around with all these monsters, Elmo and his buddies, a whole bunch of chickens, a whole bunch of penguins and a number four dancing about. It was just pure joy, simple, ridiculous fun, stupid joy. There’s no irony. Sesame Street is just a crazy great place to be.
I live and die by puns.
You just never set roots; you take pleasure in simple conversations, because you know you’re not going to have much more than that. It’s very isolating, and that can be a good thing.
I think I prefer the constant renewal. It’s almost like sandpapering down any details or any contour of familiarities.
There’s real potency in metal. Metal fans love metal as if it’s a nation they would fight for. It’s not diluted by pop culture.
But that constant adjustment and adaptation to your new environment, all the variables are the same. There’s always a promoter, there’s always a rider, there’s always a shower, and there’s always a stage.
I remember doing my mosaics or being in my little hiding place behind the couch snooping. I’d get bored sometimes, of course, but I think that’s good for a kid, because it forces you to be creative.
There’s nothing better than not knowing what’s going to happen until you put the pieces together.
When I wrote ‘Mushaboom’, I was living in the second verse, but I suddenly found myself in the first.
I didn’t really get London until I read Dickens. Then I was charmed to death by it.
Instead of just looking back, whiplash-style, I can assume there’s something else coming. Time just folds over itself, like origami.
Everything becomes closer once you realize that the world is only as far away as a nap and a meal.
When you say something or sing something enough times, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s almost like casting spells. I don’t mean necessarily in the flighty, ‘I’m going to go buy a cloak with a hood now’ way.
I need therapy after writing. It’s like leaking blood from a stone. It’s brutally difficult but worth it.
As I get older, the present and the past shift and become the past and the future… A lot of it is a new awareness of time and life and the wheel of fortune crushing you and lifting you and crushing you and lifting you.
Be alone even when there’s a million people around, because tomorrow it will be a different million people.
I was a bar-back, which is the person who cleans the bathrooms at the end of the night in the bar, and a cook. I had kind of given up. I was into backing other people up. Music was something I just did on the side and I don’t think I had the energy to pimp myself out, like call people up and ask them to book me to play.
On the videos for ‘1234’ and ‘My Moon My Man’ I wanted to make the songs visible. And, really, what way can you make sound visible other than good old naive dancing? I was working with a choreographer, but I’m not a dancer. Any notion of elegance is impossible with me.
‘Metals’ has partly been about me regaining my self respect and I feel like I’m growing the muscles I want to grow again.
When I first played ‘1234’ it was on stage in San Francisco at some kind of, like, sticky-floored club. And it felt like a punk song. I mean it’s ridiculous to say that now, but it had that kind of, like, piercing straight melody. And then this fist-pumping ending, you know that pa-dap-pada.
The group-effort sound in recording of Sea Lion is like, you really hear all the people in the room and hear them interlocking. Theres a real freight-train energy of all these people at the same time playing.
‘Gatekeeper’ was sort of my first attempt to put a little bit of a frame and boundaries around songwriting, and try to figure out a way to approach it that had a sort of end result in mind. I haven’t written many like that.
There’s a crazy amount of goodwill, and I don’t know where it came from, and I don’t understand, but the more I pay attention to it, the more it’s going to sting when it flips, so I think I’m almost subconsciously cultivating this naivety to it all.
I guess I found it useful to realise that everything is true at once, you know? You can pull back and say, ‘Everything will be fine,’ but you can also be in a situation and say, ‘Not everything is going to be fine.’
Music is pretty intimate stuff and I can only work with very few people: Gonzalez being one, Mocky being another and, on a completely different level, Broken Social Scene. With Broken Social Scene it’s not one-on-one, it’s a one-on-12. It’s very healthy, very comfortable, like a big pot luck supper among old friends.
For me, music is in the choice of what not to play as much as in what you’ve chosen to play.
There have been times I’ve planted stuff in songs where four years later I’ll be singing it from a subconscious, kind of chameleon little lizard mind… and at a certain moment, all of a sudden, I’ll hear a line from a different vantage point and it’ll change its meaning. It’s something I wrote but it changed because I did.
And of course, pop music is all about memorability and simplicity and positive messages and a little dash of joy.
You never know what’s going to play into what’s worthy of getting encapsulated into a song.