Chris was interviewed by Troy Richter. I have had the pleasure of working with Troy over the last couple of years, writing, recording, and performing with him on multiple occasions. Mostly helping with his Friendly Dimension project. He has earned himself a cult like status most notably for being the front man to the now defunct, minimal punk band Gilbert Switzer, whose influence may not be fully realized until later, as you can hear their signature sound ripple through the young bands of the punk underground of Montreal and beyond. Currently Troy reads and watches lots of movies, favorites include Argento horror movies, and then philosophizes about them in his poetry, which as he puts it tries to "unite the personal with the universal." Troy did this interview on his own free will and offered to donate it to Avant-Lard. And we are very grateful he did!
1. What gives you the biggest buzz, performing music in front of people or composing/creating music?
Making music, definitely. performing is secondary to actually making the music. The creation is the most important part of the musical process to me, and performing is only one of many ways to distribute that music.
2. Is your music strictly traditional? Do you ever mix your influences together?
I totally mix them together, but usually not intentionally. Generally when I start making a tune I think "okay, i'm going to make a ____ tune", whatever the style or aesthetic may be, but once I start putting the pieces together, the pieces seem to have come from all kinds of places, and by the time it's finished, it doesn't sound anything like what I wanted to make. A lot of the time the music that I was exposed to as a child seeps in subconsciously into the tunes I make, and sometimes the stuff I've learned in the past comes in without my noticing. So I'll try and write a pop song, but it comes out sounding like Kurdish music. I'd also like to mention that I really, really hate world fusion music.
3. Your Myspace wallpaper is really pretty, what is it?
Thanks-- I think it's an arabesque design from a really old book on interior design?
4. What's your favorite science fiction movie and why?
To be honest I don't know very much about movies, so I can't really think of that many science fiction movies that I know and like to begin with, but I did read lots of Isaac Asimov as a kid. The Foundation trilogy is really great, and of course the Robot stories. I really like science fiction that asks moral questions that will be applicable in the future. Especially now that we're starting to make frightening leaps in scientific progress like controlling rats' and monkeys' minds with microchips, and making computers that learn by themselves, some of the ethical issues raised in old science fiction like that are actually going to be totally relevant.
5. What's the biggest difference between Montreal and Halifax?
I don't completely know yet as I've lived here less than a year, but one difference is that drivers don't stop for any pedestrians here. Motorists are awful here, and they're allowed to turn right on a red light, so every time I try to cross the street there are cars coming at me from my right and left.
6. What is your favorite memory from your trip to India last year?
I think the best decision I could have made was to move into the dip tse chok ling monastery. Every day for two months I woke up at 6am to the sound of monks reading sutras and guru pujas. The monastery is on the side of a mountain in the himalayan foothills so every morning I could look over the valley while the sun came up over the himalayas, and watch the monkeys run around the trees below. I think I needed that Isolation from the world for a while. A few months of peace and quiet in a far away place can really shake off any unwelcome djinn.
Chris D'eon somewhere in India.
Cute photo of Troy I cropped from a picture from facebook. I believe it's China O'brien's.