Break It Down: Small Sins
Fri, 30 Nov 2007 16:31:44
Toronto must be the happiest place on earth. It's not quite as dramatic as Montreal, not quite as laid back as Vancouver, but that means it's the perfect breeding ground for unapologetic, sweet power-pop, and hometown heroes Small Sins are doing just that.
We caught up with frontman Thomas D'Arcy while on his recent U.S. tour for their latest album, Mood Swings, and chatted him up about podcasts, robots and gymnasticly-inclined fans.
What have you been listening to lately? (old music, new music, thunderstorms, baby cries….)
Lately we're all about podcasts, audio books and silence in the van. That's not to say that we don't EVER listen to new music. I love the new Fujiya and Miyagi record, but here are some examples of what we're much more in to: the Ricky Gervais podcast, David Sedaris books on tape, the NPR daily news or a Henry Rollins spoken word bootleg.
Where are you currently living, and what's the best place to hang out in your current neighborhood?
Toronto, ON. Around the corner from my house there is a bar called the Tap. It's pretty much the only place I go to hang out these days, and I guess my patronage has been honored with my very own dish on the menu. It's called the Hot Thom, which is French fries topped with cheese and bacon. $5.50.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a scientist. I loved stealing my older brothers chemistry set and making potions (I would have been in big trouble if my parents knew I was getting into that). I constantly photocopied pictures of robots from various library books, then scoured construction sites for parts—convinced that I would one day in fact build my own robot friend.
What's the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?
It's not really all that dramatic I guess, but I constantly regret pawning various things over the years. I had this great collection of old Super 8 cameras that I bought from garage sales and Salvation Army stores—never paid more than five dollars for any of them, but managed to pawn them for a lot of money. I guess some of them were quite rare. I put so much time and dedication in to a collection that I will never be able to replace though. Sort of depressing.
Tell us one of your favorite song lyrics in the whole wide world?
"I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song" —Justin Timberlake. So stupid, but so fun.
What's your most cherished musical instrument, paraphernalia, or accessory?
Probably my '69 fender telecaster. It's all beat up and shitty, but it was the first truly cool piece of gear I ever owned, I think. I have never picked up a guitar that I like better than the one I own, which is rare. The grass is always greener right? And the cherry on top? It was a gift from someone I love.
If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?
Subscription based music buying.
What's the craziest thing you've seen a fan do at one of your shows?
In a very packed floor, somehow a guy managed to do a back flip. Everyone thought it was super funny, so we coaxed him to do it again from the stage. The second time though, he flipped right on his back. I'm surprised he didn't go to the hospital.
What never goes out of style?
Blowing off steam.
Do you have secret skills we should know about?
A double jointed thumb. It really grosses some people out.
What's your favorite drink?
Coke in the morning and beer at night.
What was the first song you would play for your newborn child?
Hmmm... that would be a tough one. I would have to think about it for a long time, and would probably change my mind about it a thousand times. It would have to be something simple and driving that I think he/she would react to. Lyrics wouldn't matter, obviously. Maybe some prog rock to drive that little bugger crazy. I don't know. Maybe I should let it choose. Play the whole record collection alphabetically until it seems like they like something. I guess that means we would start with ABBA, which I have a feeling babies might really like. Yeah, that's it. I guess that wasn't so tough to decide after all.
What has been your sweetest victory to date?
Probably when I won a grant to make a record for my old band when I was about 19. I put so much time in to the application, and couldn't even believe it when I won the cash. It was the first real budget I ever had with which to record an album.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff