Interview with…The Easton Ellises

Way back at the beginning of September, I set out looking for some suggestions for new music for the podcast. I had been “off” all summer long, and just completed a move to a new house, so I needed some help. Blocsonic came through in spades, and in paricular recommended to me The Easton Ellises, a duo from Montreal.  I played them in podcast #32, and in last week’s Weekly Airwave – obviously, I like these guys.

I sent them some interview questions, and Simon Roy was kind enough to write back with some responses – and not make me look too bad in the process.  They have some good insight on how music is broken these days in the wake of lower record sales.

Alternative Airwaves:  Artists usually have some different reasons for releasing their music under a Creative Commons license – why do you choose to do it?
Simon Roy: We actually chose to release our music on a creative commons license because in a certain way, we don’t totally agree with the traditional way of dealing music online.   The true spirit of the internet is free, and Creative Commons is in sync with the culture.  It’s also a very good way to reach a lot of people.  We hope that our music will reach and touch enough people so that they come out and see a show when we are in their neighborhood.
 AA: Being a group based in Canada, it’s already difficult enough to crack the international market – but do you feel that you face a greater challenge being independant vs if you were signed to a label? Or do you think that Canadian musicians face the same challenges regardless of label status?
SR: I think that a Canadian band trying to make it internationally, it’s pretty difficult in both scenarios (signed or not)  Of course, a label has usually the power and the contacts to make it happen but most are still out of touch with the shift happening to the music industry.  With the current situation of traditional labels making less and less money on record sales, they don’t have that much power to push and promote new bands.  The rules of breaking a band have changed and will continue to do so forever.
We are working with a few netlabels (Enough Records, Magnatune, Bloc Sonic) with whom we sign non-exclusive deals for distribution and promotion based on our creative commons license).  They are making a lot of noise about our band on line.
AA: What was it like working with Pierre Bazinet in studio?
SR: Working with Baz was a great school of learning how to record and  great studio habits. Analog gear education, tone, etc. not to mention how he has greatly improved our song writing and production.  We had a lot of fun and we learned a lot with him!
AA: Tell me a little bit about Bret Easton Ellis – the namesake for your band. How does he influence your music?

SR: We got to know about Bret Easton Ellis like most people, through the movie taken from his very popular novel: American Psycho.  We both later read a couple of his novels (Less than Zero to Lunar Park which are all very good reads).  There is actually strong inspiration and resemblance with our lyrics which talks about addiction, sex, love, alcohol, etc…  A kind of concept that colors the world of our songs 🙂  And also, we loved the phonetics of his name!   

Once again thank-you very much to The Easton Ellises for taking the time to answer my questions.  I know I am definitely going to add the books of Bret Easton Ellis to my list of things to read – I honestly did not know that he is the one responsible for American Psycho. 

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