1. What is unique about your writing process?
I guess what makes it unique is how all over the place I am when I make songs.
I usually start with a guitar line that I think is neat and then work around that.
I find myself working on 10 different songs at the same time.
Putting a little bass part in one, then moving on to another and putting little guitar lines or drums in.
Vocals are always last on my songs, and about 1 in 50 songs I make will end up having vocals.
It’s a really hard thing for me to actually finish a song, or feel like it’s a finished song.
2. Who are the bands that have made the greatest influence on you so far in life?
I’d have to say it’s definitely The Beatles.
You’re insane if you don’t like The Beatles, or can’t appreciate their music.
It’s just always a band that I come back to throughout my life, no matter what phase I am in.
Other bands/artists that stand out are Stereolab, My Bloody Valentine, The Beach Boys, Prince, Arthur Russell, dance music from 2007, The Breeders, Animal Collective, Ariel Pink, Steely Dan, Women, Deerhunter, David Bowie.
I could go on all day with bands I like.
3. “Suki and Me” is such a atmospheric and catchy song. Actually, I feel like the entire ‘Time’ EP puts me in a very calming world for some reason. I found myself putting it on repeat when I get stressed at work. What was your headspace like when you wrote these songs? Also, who is Suki?
That’s nice to hear!
That’s exactly how I want it to make people feel.
I wrote and recorded about half of the songs as demos in Edmonton mostly in my girlfriend’s apartment.
It was a really weird period where I didn’t have a job and it was just horrible, long Edmonton winter.
You literally don’t go outside for 6 months of your life.
I was sleeping until about 4pm every day and then waking up and making these songs, really quietly, while my girlfriend did her school work all night.
I was also playing about 13 hours of Diablo 2 a day at the time, so that was definitely a big influence.
LVL 74 Wind Druid btw.
I wrote the other half, and redid all of them in my living room pretty much right when I moved to Montreal.
Suki is a pet cat I had a child.
She was insanely overweight and grumpy.
4. Was the photo on the cover of ‘Time’ planned to be the cover of this record, or was it a photo you loved. What was your day like before you came to stand on that boulder in the woods?
No, it wasn’t planned.
It’s at this spot in Edmonton called ‘The Log’.
It’s this huge tipped over tree that goes across a dried up creek.
It’s a nice spot where everybody goes to sit on it and drink beer and hang out.
During this time, there was a music festival in Edmonton called Folk Festival.
It’s probably the most fun of the year.
It’s just a musical festival for parents, but they all took us as kids every year so the tradition of
going to it kind of kept.
Anyways, the log is right outside of it and I was just enjoying a nice big beer before I went back in to
enjoy some of the stinky hippy mosh pit inside.
5. Mike, Katie and I fell in love with your songs and signed you before we had heard you play live, which is something we steer away from. Are you getting a band together? Do you have plans to tour soon?
I actually just got a band together very recently and we’re practicing.
It’s a slow process with a lot of baby steps, but I think it will be great.
I would really like to tour soon.
I really want to come down to the states and play some shows, especially New York.
Hopefully within the next few months.
6. Canada is very eh-vogue at the moment. Sorry. (Not sorry). Have you collaborated with any other Canadian neighbors since the Mac/Makeout Videotape era?
Well, in Edmonton everybody plays in each other’s bands because there aren’t that many people there, let alone people making music.
But the people making music there are great at it.
I’ve played in a few bands since.
I played guitar in my friend Garrett’s band called Brazilian Money for about a year.
Check them out if you get a chance.
7. If you had an unlimited budget, what kind of video would you make for any song on time? What song would it be for and please spare no detail.
Wow, that’s a hard question.
I really like how big budget videos in the eighties were.
I think about how they would make like crazy sets and spend millions on like a Michael Jackson video.
The Hall and Oates video for Out of Touch is incredible.
Just the drummer playing a massive drum set that is like 2 stories high, it’s so stupid.
I’d probably make a video like that Korn video where the bullet is going through everything.
I used to think that was so cool and had the craziest effects, this never ending bullet going through a bunch
of stuff and then it stops like right at his face for the breakdown.
I guess I haven’t really said any ideas I’d do, just videos I like haha.
I’d probably make a video for the song Time.
I had this one idea for a video where me and my friend Joe Mcmurray both dress up as the joker
from The Dark Knight, because I feel like he’d pull it off really well.
Anyways, we’d get all geared up in makeup during the video and our plan would be to go
to a comic con to show off our outfits.
It would be this huge lead up of us getting so excited and pumped to do our joker impressions.
Then we’d just be walking and a bunch of thugs would see us and kick our asses so bad.
It would be just this huge long slow motion scene of me and Joe getting beat up, for like the end half of the video.
8. What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Well my main plan for now is to start playing shows and finish up a full LP.
Hopefully I’ll have it done in the next few months.
Other than that, there is a big pinball tournament down in Pittsburgh in April that I want to
attend with a few friends. I was thinking about setting up some shows around it and taking a little
road trip, but we’ll see.
interview by: Rian Fossett
Alex Calder ‘Time’ 12″EP/CD/digital album
will be released March 19th, 2013.