So, I'm on 'Sesame Street,' walking around with all these monsters, Elmo and his buddies, a whole bunch of chickens, a whole bunch of penguins and a number four dancing about. It was just pure joy, simple, ridiculous fun, stupid joy. There's no irony. 'Sesame Street' is just a crazy great place to be.
When I first played '1234' it was on stage in San Francisco at some kind of, like, sticky-floored club. And it felt like a punk song. I mean it's ridiculous to say that now, but it had that kind of, like, piercing straight melody. And then this fist-pumping ending, you know that pa-dap-pada.
I'm a Canadian. Outside Canada I carry the flag. Canadian nationalism isn't as insidious as American nationalism, though. It's good natured. It's all about maple syrup, not war.
There have been times I've planted stuff in songs where four years later I'll be singing it from a subconscious, kind of chameleon little lizard mind... and at a certain moment, all of a sudden, I'll hear a line from a different vantage point and it'll change its meaning. It's something I wrote but it changed because I did.
The group-effort sound in recording of 'Sea Lion' is like, you really hear all the people in the room and hear them interlocking. There's a real freight-train energy of all these people at the same time playing.
There's nothing better than not knowing what's going to happen until you put the pieces together.
Music is pretty intimate stuff and I can only work with very few people: Gonzalez being one, Mocky being another and, on a completely different level, Broken Social Scene. With Broken Social Scene it's not one-on-one, it's a one-on-12. It's very healthy, very comfortable, like a big pot luck supper among old friends.
You never know what's going to play into what's worthy of getting encapsulated into a song.
There's real potency in metal. Metal fans love metal as if it's a nation they would fight for. It's not diluted by pop culture.
'Gatekeeper' was sort of my first attempt to put a little bit of a frame and boundaries around songwriting, and try to figure out a way to approach it that had a sort of end result in mind. I haven't written many like that.
I once looked over the shoulder of a friend on Facebook and it looked like hieroglyphs to me. There's merit online, of course, but social media gets super freaky. Imagine if three generations from now, people online have forgotten what date or day of the week it is.
Surreal can be exciting and good, and it can be like living inside an alien landscape, and it can be completely interesting, or you can be alienated from your own life - inside your own life, it doesn't feel familiar any more.
The idea of having one ensemble do everything is what was on 'Sea Lion' and that's what I tried to make happen for 'Metals,' which is having five people in the room and all of us contributing equally to every arrangement and every song.
There's a crazy amount of goodwill, and I don't know where it came from, and I don't understand, but the more I pay attention to it, the more it's going to sting when it flips, so I think I'm almost subconsciously cultivating this naivety to it all.
Well, there's just some universal truths in a way that I've just observed to be true. You read Voltaire. You read modern literature. Anywhere you go, there's these observations about romantic love and what it does people, and these rotten feelings that rarely are people meaning to do that to each other.
When I did '1,2,3,4' on 'Sesame Street' they'd rewritten the song and made it about counting. At first, I balked. I was like, 'Counting to four? That's where we're going with this?' Then they sent me appearances by other people like James Blunt doing 'You're Beautiful' as 'My Triangle.'
When I was in Beck's world, I felt like the little sister. I'm in the big brother's room with all his friends. You just hang out and keep your mouth shut so they don't realize you're there and kick you out. I like being in situations where I can be an underdog, where I can be in the corner and observe and soak it in.
And of course, pop music is all about memorability and simplicity and positive messages and a little dash of joy.
I live and die by puns.
If you keep bashing your head against the same wall, at some point you're going to fall over and be still for awhile.