Skip to main content

Music > Interview

Unfashionable

Stars
Jan 31st 2013 | Kitt Di Camillo

Following the release of their well-received sixth album The North late last year, Canadian indie rockers Stars prepare to bring their live show down under for the third time. Kitt Di Camillo chats with multi-instrumentalist Evan Cranley.

Heart on your sleeve songwriting has taken a back seat in alternative circles, making the success of Canada's pop rock heroes Stars decidedly against the grain. The five piece of Torquil Campbell, Chris Seligman, Evan Cranley, Amy Millan and Pat McGee are unashamedly emotion driven, creating addictive melodies with a penchant for expressive passion.

“I think it's intensely unfashionable and intensely uncool to talk about music and lyrics on an emotional level,” laments Cranley. “I think it makes people uncomfortable, but I think it's what makes us special to other bands. I take a lot of pride in that. That's just music we've always made, you know? And I think that separated us from a lot of other bands, and now that we're in our fifteenth, fourteenth year, a lot of it stems from our personal experience. There's only one way of doing Stars, and that's to just be us. It's still totally unfashionable, but at this point we don't care anymore. I think a lot of independent music is totally production driven and tone driven, and content hasn't become as important to some other bands. Production levels and the way things sound have taken over priorities for a lot of people, but not for us.”

Six studio albums into their career and the Montreal based group are still in the pursuit of the perfect pop song. Campbell and Seligman first started creating music under the Stars name in the late '90s, swapping members with fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene before consolidating on the current line-up. Their popularity has endured with every new release, and the band's songs regularly included on soundtracks to the likes of Gossip Girl, The O.C. and Queer As Folk. The five friends are now comfortably into the second decade of their career, and continue to evolve as musicians and songwriters. Cranley himself began on bass before evolving into a multi-instrumentalist and key composer of their music, and admits to an unapologetic love of pure pop melodies.

“I think what has kept us together for all these years is our obsession with the pop song,” explains Cranley. “We're all obsessed with the same music in the same way, and writing an amazing pop song at the end of the day is kind of the arc that has kept us together. It's a common obsession which has really held us together. I think what informs the music is that we have similar influences with one another, but we do bring different things to the table. I think that's what makes a band a band. If everyone was into the same five bands - that's not an original idea. I think when people bring different influences to something that's what makes it special.”

With the group sharing members with Broken Social Scene as well as being involved in various other projects, the lives of each member show no signs of slowing down any time soon. A heavy touring schedule combined with a healthy six albums in 12 years is evidence that the group have pre-planning down to a fine art. “I like to think we're actually very calculated,” admits Cranley. “Not only in the way we write and produce records, but in the way we actually write songs. We're not a very prolific band in the way we actually write material together – if we're out on the road, we don't do any writing at all, we concentrate on the live show. So the cycle of touring is very much dedicated to the live experience. And when we get off the road and write, then the priority becomes writing the record. I think it's having those two minds of the live world and the writing world, that's what's helped us with our longevity in a way.”

“And we're very lucky! We've had a long career, we've made records, we have great fans, we can afford to take off, concentrate on the new record and only that record, and then come back and present the material.”

Stars will be playing the following dates:

Saturday 9 February - Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
Sunday 10 February - The Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
Monday 11 February - The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
Wednesday 13 February - Perth International Arts Festival, Perth WA

 

Comments

Related Articles



Poster IT

Connect with The Music

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter

Galleries

<span>The Rolling Stones Press Shoot</span><br />Adelaide Oval

The Rolling Stones Press Shoot
Adelaide Oval

<span>The Blurst Of Times Festival</span><br />

The Blurst Of Times Festival

<span>Out On The Weekend Festival</span><br />

Out On The Weekend Festival

<span>Allday</span><br />Fowlers Live

Allday
Fowlers Live

<span>Thirsty Merc</span><br />The Basement

Thirsty Merc
The Basement

<span>Say Anything</span><br />Amplifier

Say Anything
Amplifier

<span>Torche</span><br />Oxford Art Factory

Torche
Oxford Art Factory

<span>The Whitlams</span><br />Metro Theatre

The Whitlams
Metro Theatre

<span>Soulfest</span><br />Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

Soulfest
Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

this week's magazine

Digital Version
Airlie Beach Music Festival Australasian Worldwide Music Expo Beyond The Valley BIGSOUND Bleach Festival Blue Mountains Music Festival Blues At Bridgetown Bluesfest Breakfest Brisbane Festival Brunswick Music Festival Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival Caloundra Music Festival Campfire Festival CoLAB Deni Blues & Roots Dungog Festival Earth Frequency Festival Fairbridge Folk Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Festival Of The Sun Follow The Sun Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Gorgeous Festival Great Southern Blues Festival Gympie Music Muster HyperFest JamGrass Music Festival Jungle Love Music & Arts Festival Just For Laughs Let Them Eat Cake Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Lost Paradise Manifest Melbourne Music Week Meredith Music Festival Mitchell Creek Rock 'n' Blues MOFO Mullum Music Festival Nannup Music Festival Noosa Jazz Festival NYE On The Hill Originals Music Festival Out On The Weekend Outlet Music Festival OutsideIn Paradise Music Festival Poison City Weekender Port Fairy Folk Festival Queenscliff Music Festival Rainbow Serpent Festival Riverboats Music Festival Rottofest Soulfest Soulfest Soulfest Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Southbound Splendour In The Grass St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Strawberry Fields Subsonic Sugar Mountain Festival Sydney Country Music Festival Sydney Fringe Festival Tamworth Country Music Festival The Blurst Of Times Festival The Hills Are Alive Toowoomba Carnival Of Flowers UNIFY: A Heavy Music Gathering Valley Fiesta WAM Festival WOMAdelaide Woodford Folk Festival Yours And Owls

The Music Store

Australasian Music Industry Directory
The ultimate print sourcebook for all the contacts…
Jun 18th 2014
Arts Advertising Packages
The Music Arts Packages provide promotion in The Music…
Jun 18th 2014
Indie Band Advertising Packages
The Music Indie Band Packages provide promotion in…
Jun 18th 2014
Galleon Krueger for Sale
Galleon Krueger Bass Amplifier. 1001RB As new, current…
Jul 12th 2014
Jazz guitarists wanted for weekend jams.
We are a bass and drums unit rehearsing in St Peters…
Jul 12th 2014
Premier Sydney Punk/Rock Band seeks Drummer
One of Sydneys Premier Punk Rock Bands seeks energetic…
Jun 18th 2014

Listen