Saturday, 8 June 2013

TUMBLEWEED DEALER INTERVIEW

Album cover artwork by Alex Goulet.
"Hello, I'm LK Ultra.  Tonight, I'll be speaking with fellow Canadian SEB PAINCHAUD of the band TUMBLEWEED DEALER.  But first, a word from our  sponsors."

BIO:
"Sometime in June of 2012, Seb Painchaud (member of The Last Felony, former member of Ion Dissonance, Nefastus Dies & Vatican) decided to indulge in the greeny goodness for the first time in years. Never one to do anything half way, in a few hours a three and half was turned into smoke and the inspiration hit him. He decided to write and record right then and there on his home studio some tracks inspired by bands like Earth & Horseback. 3 songs were created that night and the following night he went at it again, creating two more songs, this time incorporating post-rock and math-rock influences (Which were later released as the Unreleased Demos) A few weeks went by, and the inspiration hit again and Seb, who had now returned to his old chronic self of yore, wrote and recorded a few more songs. All these songs were rough demos with simple drum loops and never meant for public consumption, but when he wrote and recorded Death Rides Southwards, he knew he had something. He knew he had found his sound. In another drug filled evening with good friend and fellow The Last Felony band member Felix Roberge we’re rocking the tracks and decided to combine their efforts, and Felix would take over drum programming and supervise Seb’s hectic and drug laden recording sessions. Out of this collaboration came the Death Rides Southwards EP that was distributed for free on line to get the band’s name out there.

"The band recruited Dopethrone skinman Carl Borman and recorded and released their full length debut album in april 2013."

DESCRIPTION:
"Tumbleweed Dealer plays 70’s inspired psych rock and stoner/desert rock while incorporating subtle post-rock and math-rock touches that might only be tangibly visible to the band themselves, yet help them distinguish themselves from other purely retro bands. Although mostly written out, their music involves room for improvisation, making every performance of these tracks an original unto itself."

PREAMBLE:
"Welcome back.  I'm speaking all in red today to distinguish my voice from others', and of course, this being an all-Canadian convo, well, the color seemed appropriate.  To give you a little idea of the man answering the questions, he sent me this message along with his interview responses: "Here it is, sorry 'bout the delays, work was hectic so I kept getting fucking high as soon as I stepped out of there, then I'd get home and be too stoned to answer haha". And now, I present to you, my interview with Seb."

INTERVIEW WITH SEB PAINCHAUD:
1). This has long been a subject of rock and roll interviews, but since we`ve just read your bio above and what it says about the origins of the band, what would you say is the relationship between your music and weed and how important has it been since those early days to the creative process of Tumbleweed Dealer?

It’s very important. Ever since I started playing music, I’ve always wanted to revolutionize everything, make something completely out of left field that will redefine the way music is perceived or something, so I over complicate everything, I get bored with a song and keep adding on to it ‘cause it’s never enough. When I’m high, I just try and come up with good riffs. You’d think I could try and do that sober, but I over think everything. I just get high, loop a riff, and find about 10 other guitar lines to add over it. As long as they sound good, I keep going. Weed makes writing good simple songs easier, and that is what this band is all about, me giving up the overly technical and extreme music to just write good songs, nothing more nothing less, and apparently I’m too stupid to do this without dumbing myself down with weed!


2). The band started as a one man, one night smoke-filled recording session that folks can actually listen to on ‘The Unreleased Demos’ album on your bandcamp page.  Since then you’ve recruited Dopethrone drummer Carl Borman.  How did that collaboration come about?  Are there plans (or at least hopes) to expand the membership of the band even further so that you can hit the streets of Montreal and start gigging?

I’ve known Dopethrone since they started off, since we started Vatican with Vince from Dopethrone on drums, pretty much at the same time. Both bands would alternate jamming and we’d end up all getting drunk at Vince’s place. At first I talked to Vince, but he was preparing for their first European tour. He lives nearby so I wanted to jam a bunch of times and work everything out. But I quickly figured that wasn’t the way to do things for this kind of music. When I hit up Carl, I sent him the finished guitar tracks for the album, he listened and jammed to it for about a month, and we only jammed together the one time. Most of what you hear is improvised. I recorded the bass at the same time as he did the drums, sitting in a corner of the sound booth so I could give him signs as to when to change riffs and stuff. My friend and tumbleweed-supporter from the beginning Felix Roberge will be picking up the bass so we can jam as a 3 piece and get ready for shows.


3). There are no lyrics to Tumbleweed Dealer music at this point, but the notes and the dirty bluesy / cowboy feeling of the music tells a story of its own.  Therefore, you strike me as a visual thinker (?).  Are there any non-musical influences to Tumbleweed Dealer music, such as film.  And if so, can you recommend any good ones?

I don’t know if I’m a visual thinker in everyday life, or even in any other musical project I may have contributed to, but for tumbleweed Dealer I definitely have a movie scene in mind for every song. Most of the time it’s something I made up real quick in my head. Often I’ll come up with what I consider a good song title, pair it up with a riff or two, and then the scene will just happen in my head. From then on I know exactly where I’m going with the song and how I wanted it to sound. It’s how I figure out the basic feel a track should have.

FUCK YEAH! (Artwork by Glenn Fabry)
As far as specific non-musical influences, the comic book PREACHER is my biggest influence. The vibe, feel and look of that comic book has always been something I wanted to capture in music. A few TV shows too. I try to have the music influence the title that then influences the music and so forth. I came up with a riff and just felt like it sounded like a “swamp riff” for some reason, the kind of thing you’d think of while crossing the bayou neck deep in murky waters. I ended up slowing it down and playing it a bit higher, and then it had a much more predominant Egyptian feel ‘cause of the scale it uses. Thus “Trudging Through An Egyptian Swamp” was born, with me envisioning a platoon crossing a swamp as they forge on towards a pyramid with an eye atop it that seems to call them in. When a song has two distinct parts I always name the 2nd part even though the title will never appear anywhere, and since the song goes into a much more typical stoner feel in the 2nd half I always referred to it as the “Addicted To The Pharaoh’s Weed” riff. Sometimes I can’t even figure out how the image works with the riff, it just kinda feels right for some reason. I can come up with a new riff and instantly go to myself “This song has to have something to do with mushrooms” and I’ll have no idea how I made the association, but I did, and now it HAS to be that way. I might just have OCD too...


4). Speaking of these bluesy / cowboy vibes in the music, was this a conscious decision you made or was it just the result of what came out of you?  If so, why do you think that is?  Are you particularly interested in western movies? (actually there’s more a vibe of No Country for Old Men, The Road or even The Big Lebowski than John Wayne/Clint Eastwood movies I think)

Yeah it was a conscious decision. I just wanted to make a big melting pot of everything that has to do with the south when it relates to musical styles. Sludgy swampy riffs, desert riffs, western riffs, blues, just mix everything together on one side, then on the other have a melting pot of... well, pot. Just everything having to do with drugs when it comes to various genres. So obviously stoner rock, but also 70’s psychedelic music and space rock. I try to mix both musically as well as thematically. It doesn’t have anything to do with my appreciation of movies or anything related to specific genres of movies, I just pinpointed some specific “feels” I really enjoyed in music and went for it. I’m not a big fan of movies as a whole honestly, I mostly stick to TV series. My favorite movie ever is Clerks though, seen it over a hundred times.


5). Can you tell me a little bit about Montreal.  What’s the stoner doom scene like out there.  Are there good venues where underground bands get to play / get to know each other and feed off each other’s music?  Everyone I know who’s spent some time in Montreal didn’t want to come back to Vancouver.

Dopethrone pretty much is the scene for Montreal, ain’t much stoner out there other than them. Black Khox from Quebec City are awesome though. We got some good venues. I don’t go to shows much anymore. I’m really not “in” the scene anymore. Plus I’ve always been in the more death/black metal scene up to now. I’ve spent some time in Vancouver, especially the downtown area, and I wouldn’t want to go back there even at gun point so I understand the people you know. Crackheads and constant rain aren’t everyone’s idea of a great place to live!


6). Is it just me or were the first few episodes of the new Arrested Development pretty disappointing?  By episode 4 it starts to pick up but, what do you think?  Are you happy with the new season, is it everything you’ve been expecting?

I thought that at first too, but when you catch what the season is all about, you have to understand that it had to be a bit more boring in the beginning since they were setting up all the jokes that would pay off 5-6 episodes down the line. It reminds me of a more extreme version of later-seasons seinfeld the way the stories all end up entangling. I think they took a huge risk and it really paid off, it’s not just funny but incredibly uselessly complex which adds to the humour. A slow start was a small price to pay as far as I’m concerned. I was more disappointed with how the ending falls a bit flat, but that’s probably just because they’re setting up the movie to be the big finale. This season was very much a “transition” one, probably the weakest on its own, but serves its purpose perfectly.

(Update: I'm finally up to like episode 6 or so and the show has seemed to have been given ANUSTART and is up to it's old high standard.)


7). It appears you’re already all set to record album #2.  How is that going and can you give us some details, how many songs, etc?  And how does it differ from what we’ve heard from the band so far?

I’m far from being “all set” but I’m working on stuff, got a few songs close to being 100% finished. We decided to record guitar tracks one track at a time, so I can lay them down as soon as they’re done writing and give Carl more time to figure out his drum parts before he hits the studio. I’ve got basic ideas, feels and titles figured out for the album, probably 7-8 songs, and more “darker” songs like “March of The Dead Cowboys” and “Dark Times A’ Comin” ‘cause there’s only so much I can do while sticking purely to the blues scale before I run out of ideas.

8). Lastly, please keep me and Paranoid Hitsophrenic readers posted on the next album, I’d love to catch up when it comes out.  Thanks for chatting with me.  

Will do! I’ll probably be dropping song titles, studio updates and stuff soon enough on our facebook so make sure you hit us up!


And thank you, dear reader, for reading.  Make sure to listen on the player below, then follow the links to Tumbleweed Dealer's bandcamp, this is some killer stuff full of southwestern feelings.  O, what pretty pictures it planted in my mind's eye, imagery I viddied real horrorshow.  I've been LK Ultra and for Seb Painchaud and Tumbleweed Dealer I say, good night and drive safely.

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