A star called Torquil

Torquil Camp­bell of the Cana­dian band Stars prac­tises for me­dia in­ter­views in his bed­room, so this ar­ti­cle should be a great read. He talks to Tony Clay­ton-Lea

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

Aer way be­cause it’s such an ar­bi­trary choice to talk to one per­son about their ex­pe­ri­ence, and to cre­ate a sense of oc­ca­sion about it.

“With Stars, we want to make kitchensink mu­sic for peo­ple; mu­sic that you can do the dishes to, drive home to from your mother’s funeral, and get drunk and shag to – all the things you can use mu­sic for. We want you to use us and sort of dis­ap­pear into what your life is. Ul­ti­mately, we’re just a sound­track band for peo­ple’s lives.”

Ac­cord­ing to Camp­bell, that was the ethos from the start; it’s all they had ever hoped and planned for. “Sim­ply put, what we do is sto­ry­telling.” The ob­vi­ous corolNOTHER month, an­other lary here is that the art of ef­fec­tive sto­ry­band from Canada. If you telling mixes col­lec­tive in­flu­ences with an must blame any­one, blame orig­i­nal voice. Are Stars there yet? Their the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment pre­vi­ous album (Set Your­self on Fire) and and its for­ward-think­ing arts their new one (In Our Bed­room Af­ter the grants poli­cies. It is, says, Torquil Cam­pWar) would cer­tainly in­di­cate they are. bell, the singer with Stars, the main rea­son “We’re do­ing al­right, we got a bit of a for the re­cent avalanche of Canuck musithing go­ing, but it’s not like we’re rein­vent­cal ac­tiv­ity. ing the wheel,” says Camp­bell, ever the re-

“If any­one is mak­ing an ar­gu­ment for the alist. “I love sto­ry­telling bands, and I al­fund­ing of art, they should take a look at ways thought that would be a way to make what has hap­pened in mu­sic in Canada over things in­ter­est­ing. I was a big fan of The the past few years. The whole thing started Beau­ti­ful South, and the idea of hav­ing about 20 years ago as a fund­ing mech­a­nism two points of view in the songs gives you a for bands, and you can re­ally trace a lot of lot room to cre­ate sto­ries. If you like that, what is hap­pen­ing now to the abil­ity of just then fine, if you don’t, then it’s be­cause get­ting out to tour, get­ting records dis­tribu­tyou hate me.” ed. Once you have that in­cen­tive and a Er, sorry? That’s a strange thing to say, sense of be­ing able to do some­thing, rather even if your name is pos­si­bly some­thing than be­ing stuck at square one for years, that got you picked on at school. But then the sky’s the limit. Torquil Camp­bell is un­re­pen­tant.

“It isn’t that hard to play rock’n’roll; any“As we get a bit of no­to­ri­ety you can see one can do it. It’s just a case of be­ing so di­fan el­e­ment of vit­ri­olic ha­tred di­rected tofi­cult to get any­where with it, and the head wards me. On the face of it this is not good, start we had in Canada ac­counts for a lot but I ac­tu­ally think it’s fan­tas­tic . . . as an of the suc­cess we are hav­ing now.” artist I’m quite happy about it.”

Isn’t too much be­ing writ­ten about th­ese In a way, clar­i­fies Camp­bell, it’s someCana­dian bands, though? If it isn’t Ar­cade thing he has al­ways wanted. “Get­ting into Fire, then it’s Met­ric, and if it isn’t Pa­trick rock’n’roll, for me, was about pick­ing a Wat­son then it’s Bro­ken So­cial Scene. fight with all the peo­ple who said that Camp­bell is prag­matic about the level of what I lis­tened to and what I was as a kid me­dia cov­er­age. was noth­ing. To an­noy th­ese kinds of peo-

“Oh, look, there’s too much be­ing writ­ple is my re­venge!” ten about prac­ti­cally ev­ery­thing in the world ex­cept for the things that re­ally mat­ter. I guess Stars are just an­other dis­trac­tion, but we’re a lit­tle bit more sin­cere. The whole thing of pub­li­cis­ing records and talk­ing about them is some­thing that I dreamed about in my bed­room – I had all my an­swers ready. That was amaz­ing for a while, but now I find it in­ter­est­ing in an­oth-

Torquil Camp­bell (cen­tre) and Stars

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