Cookie Duster Talks "When Flying Was Easy"
Thu, 28 Jun 2012 08:31:22
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Indie trailblazer Brendan Canning is once again evolving.
With Cookie Duster's When Flying Was Easy, The Broken Social Scene mainman takes off to new heights of ethereal and cinematic alternative. When Flying Was Easy glides along on his inimitable delivery and the band's boundless electronic-meets-organic soundscapes. In other words, it's one hell of a ride.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Canning talks When Flying Was Easy and so much more.
Was it important for you to venture into new territory creatively with When Flying Was Easy?
We picked the best batch of songs we'd recorded since 2007. Throughout the Broken Social Scene years, it was nice to work on music that didn't have anything to do with the band when I had a bit of time off. I was able to try things out the Broken guys might say, "Oh, I don't know about that" to. It's a different set of rules. Every band and group of individuals has parameters at some point because that's human nature. We're pleased with how this one came out. It's not like a band was in a rehearsal space and jammed these songs out. These were all studio creations.
Does that make it boundless sonically?
Sure! It's a studio thing. It's still a band because it's all of the same people playing on the songs. It's not traditional though.
Where do songs start for Cookie Duster?
It really depends. Every song has its own tale to tell not unlike the Broken material. Everything came from a different place originally.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
That's the type of music I generally gravitate towards or where I'm strongest—something that's going to be slightly "cinematic" for lack of a better.
What's the story behind "Where Are My Young Ones?"
Bernard [Maiezza] had the initial bits started of it. It was a pretty simple idea. Like a lot of songs, he'll have an initial idea, and I'll come and fill in the blanks. I'd written a verse and a chorus for that. Jeen [O'Brien] came in and wrote a verse and a chorus. We ended up sticking with her verse, but we kept my chorus. That's how a lot of tracks will happen. Sometimes, the words just pop out and you don't really question it. It's not like a sat down with a notepad or anything. When the microphone is on and you're doing a vocal take, I go with it. I got to play drums on that too, which I'm pretty happy about.
Where did "We Stepped on Glass" come from?
I always considered "We Stepped on Glass" a modern day Twin Peaks theme. I'm always inspired a little bit by The Cocteau Twins. Elizabeth Frazer is so otherworldly. I've always liked her phrasing.
Was "Shot in the Dark" a special one?
I like the way that track came out. The lyrics are really upfront, and it's pretty simple. When the drums kick in, it's a pretty fat beat. It's got your spacey guitars. I'm pleased with that one.
Where do you draw inspiration from outside of music?
I like movies. I like to draw. I like to go to art galleries. I like to listen to a lot of music and buy a lot of records. That's inside music, but it's a good hobby. Buying records keeps the ideas flowing. Living your life is where inspiration comes from. It's not one thing. Daily events are always going to inspire you in one way or another.
If this album were a movie or a combination of movies what would you compare it to?
The Breakfast Club meets The Wizard of Oz. I picked The Breakfast Club because it's '80s-ish and '90s-ish. I think The Wizard of Oz because there's an otherworldly sense to some of the tunes. You can drift off to it.
Have you heard Cookie Duster?