Paula – Relaxed Fit
Paula of Montreal’s debut “Relaxed Fit” is highly addicitve – I can’t get enough of this trashy lo-fi eight-track album full of bubblegum-pop-gems, it’s a retromania-ride between 60s Beat, 70s Punk, 80s Synthpop and even 90s Hip Hop. Paula is David Carrieres solo brainchild next to his bands Silly Kissers (disbanded) and TOPS and here is what he had to tell about his projects in our bushwah interview!
“Relaxed Fit” is now available digitally worldwide – buy on itunes or download for Pay-What-You-Can.
Please tell us about the different Bands and projects you are working on and worked with (TOPS, Silly Kissers, Paula). How would you describe your music in these different projects?
I have always wanted to be in a band that connected and played together, with TOPS I get that feeling. We started playing summer 2011 when Silly Kissers disbanded. It’s crazy how they can deal with me and make me slow down. With Silly Kissers all the songs were fast and straight to the point. Paula is a junkyard and I spend all my money there – having a project where you can push all your ideas to the end is fulfilling – like “Islands in the stream” is.
How does the creative process – songwriting, recording, playing live – differs in these projects? Whats the difference for you between playing in a band and being a solo artist with “Paula”?
We all live on the same avenue and our rehearsal spot is very close, we practice quite often. I usually mess around on guitar when I am killing time, I like to know exactly what I want my parts to feel like so that I am comfortable playing live. The TOPS approach is working parts till we agree or scrap it – nothing ever beams in out of the thin air, everybody hones in on somebody’s preconceived idea. With my own thing “Paula”, I just make it up as I go. I can get there real soon but it is easy to lose the trail.
How does Montreal and Arbutus Records influence your music regarding inspirations, networking etc.?
French I can’t speak and I don’t really have any people I consider grown ups to interact with. Sometimes when something super real happens or I go to another city, I feel like I just woke up or something. The label has been so supportive of me. Seeing it operate made me realize I should just do what I want.
In your music and the video to “Lover Boy” classic 80s synthpop clashes with lo-fi-raw-vhs-diy-punk aesthetic. How did it come to this unique musical and visual concept? Who did the artwork and the video?
I recorded the song during a heat-wave when everyone was staying up all night. Halloween fell on a monday and it was really cold so we drove downtown to see who was dressed up. “Kool Music Jasper” recorded me walking around, going to different pawn shops and whatever. He did the artwork for the album too.
“Change The Subject” off your new album is an incredible song! How can you bring 3 decades of popmusic (70s Ramones punk, 80s synthpop and 90s Hiphop) together in one song??
The intention wasn’t to “Mary Shelley” a group of genres, I just put the thing together over and over, and that is how it came to be. I tried to make the end like “Miss you” by the Rolling Stones.
What were your first musical steps? How did it develop from that starting point? When did you realize that you wanted to become a professional musician?
My mom put me in violin lessons when I was little. My last instructor was the worst, so I quit. I could play well but I couldn’t stand up straight. I started guitar a few years later, my brother and step dad played so I wanted to get really good. When I was in high school I was in a typical high school punk band where i screamed all the time. I moved to Montreal and recorded the first SK record with Sean Savage. When we did that I really wanted to make music all the time.
Which bands or musicians are your biggest influences? Any other artists, people, books, movies etc. you are influenced by?
All top 40 from the nineties is in my head forever, like it or not. I just rip that shit and Beatles melodies all the time. I like girls singing super produced pop songs the most.
What are your all time top 5 favorite albums?
Roberto Cacciapaglia – The Ann Steel Album
Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life
Romeo Void – Warm in Your Coat
Makeout Videotape – Ying Yang
Zombies – Singles A’s and B’s
Sean Nicholas Savage – Flamingo
What are your plans for 2012? Any releases, tours, collaborations you already can talk about?
Recording a new record right now and also doing some remixes, I have most of the new thing written already. I want to put it out this summer. TOPS is putting out our first record “Tender Opposites”at the end of February and then we are touring. Get out of MTL while the sun is low down.
What would you like to happen for Paula in this year?
It would be cool if somebody mailed me a blank cheque or my landlord went on vacation.