Dark new agers DOOMSQUAD (No Pain In Pop, Toronto/ Hand Drawn Dracula) re-code the electronic music narrative with a more worldly and cosmological presence than the genre would normally dictate. Their songs are rich in variance and full of vividness, spanning across their entire debut LP Kalaboogie. Drawing in guitar, flute, percussion and synth, the Montreal and Toronto-based siblings Allie, Jaclyn and Trevor Blumas act as aural anthropologists, teaming relics of cross cultural traditions like chanting and repetition over seismic ripples of deep bass.
DOOMSQUAD’s mixing of influences leaves you feeling awakened. Allie studies contemporary dance in the francophone part of Canada, whilst Trevor’s acting background found him in Toronto, and works together with Jaclyn as part of the visual arts collective Heretical Objects. Experience in different disciplines of performing arts has given them an edge in this regard, and live shows can often manifest themselves into something both captivating and haunting. Such a live show caught the eyes and ears of Toronto luminary Owen Pallett, who chanced on a show in 2012. He immediately got in touch to connect them with Polaris-prize winning producer Leon Taheny, with whom they produced an EP last year. Their debut album Kalaboogie is out since February, 2014.
Jaclyn is tongue-tied and wishes she could whistle.
Trevor has a mole on his bum, and he is also loves donuts.
Allie recently developed a fear of flying and she loves rice pudding.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
We listen to everything. So what you hear in our sound is most likely a bit of everything that has moved us in some way. Some other major inspiration we should probably recognize is repetition. There is so much to be expressed and experienced in repetition. George Bataille is a huge influence to us! We love him and all his crazy ideas. Also I would say the forest and the idea that it offers fear and refuge at the same time. This is how we learn about creating art, collaborating and becoming unified.
How and when did you get into making music?
We all got into it at a young age actually. We all studied classical music growing up and went to this awesome Art Public school when we were kids, where we learned a lot about performing and playing different instruments for ensembles. DOOMSQUAD was part of something larger that was happening for most of our lives I suppose, but we didn’t realize the music we were making till we were conscious of presenting it.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
Mary Margaret O’Hara- Miss America
DRC Music- Kinshasa One Two
Chris Isaak- Wicked Game
Karen Dalton- In My Own Time
The Bulgarian Voices (Angelite) featuring Huun Huur Tu- Fly, Fly My Sadness
Brian Eno & David Byrne- My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
What do you associate with Berlin?
Strong people with good morals.
Awesome green public spaces to hangout.
Watching the sunrise every morning.
What’s your favourite place in your town?
Toronto (Jaclyn)- Christie Pits Park or Bloor Street West and everything on it, including my backyard. !
Montreal (Allie) The canal, Girouard Parc, Kalmunity, Dad’s Bagels, Bethlehem XXX
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I would become a taxi driver, that way I could at least offer something else important to the world, and still be able to receive personal exchanges from humans. Or a Medicine Woman.
What was the last record you bought?
Allie – Igro Stravinsky’s – Le Sacre de Printemps
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Clara Rockmore for sure! Her grand father invented the theremin and she plays it like next level galactic vibe. And if we ever could get the chance, a Loon.
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
We played a show in Tofino, it’s a small town situated in a temperate rainforest on Vancouver Island in the West coast of Canada. We powered the show on generators and whatever juice we could get from our RV. It took place on a full moon in the middle of the woods. You could watch our show from canoes in small bays/inlets, or from nets hanging between all the massive redwood trees. It was late at night, and because not to much speakers and dance music travels to Tofino…. the entire town came to the performance. It became a full on rave that lasted all night.
How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology has been incredibly helpful to our creative process. Having the ability to manipulate and duplicate sounds helped to shape the sonic structures to our music. We build all our samples, tones, sounds from analogue machines then we loop and jam to that. The more involved we got into the idea of minimalism the more involved we got into technology. Its an incredibly fragile relationship between a machine and man or vice versa.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
Funny thing is we are actually siblings. So, I guess we all feel great about it what each other is doing.
Laura-Lynn Petrick | lauralynnpetrick.com
| Interview with DOOMSQUAD by Digital in Berlin