The Luyas

This Q&A is part of a series with Paper Bag Records artists to celebrate the label’s 10th anniversary. Interview by April Robinson.

Montreal’s The Luyas are Pietro Amato, Mathieu Charbonneau, Bucky Wheaton, Sarah Neufeld and Jessie Stein, a “retro-futurist” five-piece whose debut album, Too Beautiful To Work was not only celebrated by critics and long-listed for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize, but lead to a deal with their brand new label, Toronto-based Paper Bag Records.

Their forthcoming “intuitive, seductive, moody and textural” sophomore release was recorded in the wake of a close friend’s death. “Animator is supposed to be some weird resuscitation,” says singer Jessie Stein. “The animator’s job is to create the semblance of movement in things that cannot move themselves. The musician’s is to make us feel like something is happening with a sound.”

Stein kindly took some time to answer our official PBR10 Q&A, outlining her future hopes with her band’s new label — though, admittedly, it seems they’ve already dropped the ball in the sending-puppies-in-the-mail department…

What one word went through your head when you first met Paper Bag Records founder, Trevor Larocque?
I can’t really remember the first time I met Trevor.  I was still a teenager and had just moved to Toronto and he was probably one of a number of dudes who were much snazzier than me at the back of the Rivoli when I was still the kid at the very front of the stage jumping over excitedly at a Fembots show.  He has kind of been an icon around of the Canadian music industry since I became aware that there was such a thing as the Canadian music industry.

What was the deciding factor in signing your name with PBR?
Hope that they can do the thinking about the Canadian music industry for me, so I can let those kinds of thoughts fly the coop.

Describe the PBR culture in one sentence.
It’s getting more interesting with every new signing.

Favorite PBR artist?
Tim Hecker is probably making my favourite sound in Canada. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan are some of the boldest performance art teams. Moonface with Siinai was the best show I saw all year.  Spencer just beat himself up with a tambourine and glared like the crowd was an ocean he had to cross.

Favorite PBR song?
It will be on the next Tim Hecker or Moonface record.

Favorite PBR album?
Probably the next Tim Hecker or Moonface record.

What’s the craziest/most fun thing PBR has pitched you?
It was pretty fun and crazy when they pitched putting out our next records for us!

What’s the sweetest/most endearing/warm and fuzzy thing PBR has done for you?
They have been good to us, but I haven’t received any puppies from them in the mail or anything. (Get on that, Trevor… —Ed.)

What’s your career highlight since signing with PBR?
We had a great rehearsal the other night.

If this were a PBR high school yearbook, what would you write?
I would tell them to be bold, dare them to be ahead of their times and keep their ears to the ground, because not everyone has the power to influence what makes it into ears, but they do have a slice of that power. There is music out there that changes the way people hear and influences the way people see themselves and their lives and their politics. I do not believe in much, but I do believe that music is important. I have trust that listeners are smarter and more open-minded than we think. I want to see a little faith in the listener.  Then I would walk away, feeling like I wrote too much.

The Luyas new LP Animator will hit October 16 and can be pre-ordered now.The band will play Saturday, September 29th as part of Paper Bag Record’s 3-night PBR10 Anniversary Concert Series at Toronto’s The Great Hall. You may ENTER TO WIN OUR PBR10 PRIZEPACK GIVEAWAY HERE,which includes tickets to see opening night of the concert series, September 27th.

Look for new Q&A’s from PBR artists to hit soon. Read completed ones here from You Say Party, PS I Love You, Winter Gloves and The Rural Alberta Advantage.

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