Interview by Alyssa Tutay of Heavy Gauge airing every Thursday’s at 2PM.
CELLOS from Windsor, Ontario have been and are still gigging nonstop this year. On June 7th, they were sharing the stage with Cursed Arrows, Hawkeyes, and Bleet; a Friday night dubbed “an orgy of punk/noise/doom” at the Bovine Sex Club. Read on to see what we talked about, and go check them out at http://cellos.bandcamp.com!
CELLOS: Kyle Marchand – Vocals/Guitar, Dave Allan – Drums, Joe Rabie – Bass
Aly: What are you guys listening to currently?
Kyle: What are we listening to currently? What are you listening to currently?
Dave: Uh, I am currently listening to a lot of the new Daft Punk record which really has no influence on our music whatsoever. Uh, lot of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, always, I love that stuff and Tangerine Dream as well. Yeah. Lot of ambient kind of weird stuff, so…that’s me.
Kyle: Yeah for me, well, we just saw Torche last night so I mean right now that’s all I want to listen to is Torche. I love them, great band.
Dave: KEN Mode, too.
Kyle: KEN Mode, yeah also KEN Mode. Very awesome band. Our very first show was with KEN Mode and it was in a dingy little basement venue in Windsor called the Coach and Horses, and last night they were at a place called the Magic Stick in Detroit which is like a well-amplified—nice PA, big room, and it was like really intense to see them in a room like that. They’re good, I don’t know, what else, what have I bought recently? I like the Chelsea Light Moving EP that came out, the Thurston Moore band. I bought the new Baptists record the other day, it’s a Vancouver band – Southern Lord, kind of crust punk kind of thing. Man, what else? I don’t know, Dave and I listen to so many different types of music, a lot of—I don’t know, I’ve been in a kind of 90’s hip hop mood lately. Like, I’ve been listening to a lot of Illmatic and like, uh, first couple Wu Tang records and stuff. New Ghostface, that’s good too.
Dave: Yeah, our band doesn’t really reflect our listening tastes to a whole, you know. There’s a lot of different ideas we take from other genres and try and slip them in a little bit, so.
Kyle: Yeah, I think like the obvious influences which would be, like, I guess like sort of grungy, maybe like Touch and Go 90’s-type stuff like Shellac and—
Dave: Jesus Lizard.
Kyle: Jesus Lizard, Melvins, all that stuff. That’s like stuff Dave and I had been into for years and years. But we listen to so many different types of music. Like, Dave and I sat around and listened to Thriller one night a couple of weeks ago and just loved every second of it.
Dave: Yeah, it was great. It blew my mind, the Making Of documentary, whew. And we just sat around and kept yelling “Quincy Jones!” at each other for like an hour or however long that record is, but yeah. We’re all over the map anyway. [Laughs]
Kyle: Definitely are all over the map.
A: I was just gonna say you guys have this interesting sound that allows you to play with heavy bands but also some pop-punk outfits as well which is pretty intriguing. Like, nowadays where you don’t normally see that happening, cross-genre kind of bills.
Dave: Yeah, we’ve heard—we’ve been called metal, we’ve been called punk, indie noise rock, all that stuff, and we just don’t really put it under any sort of genre. To us it’s just heavy, loud, crazy music and we just really enjoy playing it and going nuts on stage so, uh, we seem to have picked up a following of people through different, er, you know, no matter what kind of music they listen to, so it’s cool.
A: That is very cool. Congrats.
Dave: Thank you. [Laughs]
A: What is The Accident aside from being the title of your latest EP released March of this year, Ah Some Records?
Kyle: The name ‘The Accident’ just comes from, actually, the cover art is based on an old cartoon from… [slaps hands with guys walking past] These are our friends from Windsor actually, Greg and Tom.
Greg/Tom: Hey what’s up? / Hello.
Kyle: Swizzle dizzle! See you later!
Greg/Tom: See ya guys!
Kyle: Yeah, so ‘The Accident’ comes from a cartoon, that’s like a cartoon from the 30’s, right?
Dave: Yup, yup. It’s public domain now.
Kyle: Yeah. It’s called Crazytown which is funny actually ‘cause of that band, you know? That band Crazytown?
A: Crazytown, yeah.
A: Oh yeah, I did listen to that recently.
Kyle: That’s a shame.
Kyle: But anyways, yeah I guess they maybe got their name from this cartoon, but we were just hanging out one night watching old cartoons, a compilation of them that could be found at a discount bin at a big department store and I don’t know, we just liked the look, that old cartoony look kind of jives with the aesthetic we want for our records. It doesn’t necessarily read that it’s a heavy album but it does in some ways because we’re into Jesus Lizard and we’re into Melvins and they use that sort of imagery and so The Accident, just in this cartoon there’s a pig riding a motorcycle and he hits a tree and then these rabbit paramedics come and they take his bike away rather than take him away. I don’t know, we just thought it was funny at the time and I came up with this idea of like, you know, the front being just the pig on the motorcycle and the back being the rabbits taking the bike away. Just a silly idea, I don’t know. You know, we don’t want to have too much serious stuff going on because the music’s got pretty serious vibe…but we don’t take things that seriously.
Dave: Lighten the mood a little bit.
Kyle: Yeah. We’re guys that just like to drink beers and have fun so we don’t want people thinking we’re all bummed out about life. So, you get cartoons on your records and you hope people don’t think you’re a jerk.
A: Tell me how you guys became CELLOS and how the writing process went for Bomb Shelter.
Kyle: Well, it started just with Dave and I, and we’ve played in other bands in Windsor, like quite a few other bands in Windsor, so we’ve known each other for a little bit but we didn’t know each other well. We just sort of had a mutual appreciation for one another’s bands and playing style and, uh, one of my other bands played a show with one of his other bands and we were chatting, and we’re a Windsor based band but Dave grew up in sort of the Essex County like about half hour outside of Windsor and I was working there at the time, and we just sort of brought up the idea of, ‘Oh hey, let’s jam,’ whatever; we both liked each other’s playing and we jammed and we wrote a song right away. Pretty much instantly.
Dave: We wrote two songs in the first practice, yeah, that ended up on the record, so.
Kyle: We talked a bit about sort of what style of music we wanted to play and were like, Oh yeah, well I guess we like the exact same stuff,’ so we know what’s going on there and we, you know, we just jammed and it was pretty easy, very natural. So, the first bunch of songs we just wrote, sort of just the two of us, and then we had a few bass players come and jam and we liked Joe, too. Joe’s a little younger than us but he’s played in a bunch of other Windsor bands and we like the way he plays too, so we got him in and it clicked pretty much right away. We sort of like, when we record, we record before we’re really sort of ready to record music. We, really, we jump the gun just to keep us on our feet and make sure we have a steady flow of music coming out… So, we recorded Bomb Shelter actually in a couple different sessions so I guess whenever we have a batch of five or six songs, we’ll go in and record at a place called Sound Foundry Studios which is also in Kingsville, Ontario (just outside of Windsor) and Bomb Shelter actually is comprised of a song from a different session and then an original session and then we’ve done like several sessions—we sort of pieced them together to make albums, so we don’t write as a sort of like, ‘Here’s gonna be our album, let’s start writing an album’; we just write a bunch of songs and when we’re ready to record them, we do, and then we release them sort of however we want I guess. So, Bomb Shelter was like a sort of—we just rushed it, really. That’s how we do things. We rush them and I think that’s cool. It gives you like an immediate, ‘This is what our band sounds like right now,’ you know. That’s sort of our ethos.
Dave: Yeah, and we’ve both been in bands that have, you know, they’ve been great and everything but have definitely just taken their time and maybe have been guilty of waiting too long to put things out so at this point we’ve got about almost, I think, 17 songs out within two years of being a band, so we’re pretty pleased with that and we’re working on a full length right now for maybe the end of the year or something like that.
A: Cool. I noticed on Bomb Shelter which was released in 2012 off Dead Beat Records, track four, ‘Toronto,’ Kyle, I think you refer to Toronto as being somewhat of a black hole. Do you think most cities are black holes?
Kyle: Yeah, you know, actually I think when I came up with the idea for that song, it was more of like a literal thing than people even think. It’s not like an anti-Toronto song necessarily but yeah, I just was thinking, imagining like, what if the world caved in where Toronto is? What if there was just a giant hole there? It would be such a crazy thing. Like you know, I was thinking about actually…what’s that Tool song where they’re talking about the earthquake and—
Dave: Automa? Aenima? [Laughs] Whatever it is.
Kyle: Yeah, ‘Learn to swim.’
Dave: Yeah, yeah.
Kyle: ‘See you in Arizona Bay,’ all that stuff, I thought: what if that happened in Toronto? So it’s not like, uh, I mean I have problems with Toronto but I think it’s just like any big, sort of urban, heavily populated city. They all suffer from the same problems and it’s not specifically an anti-Toronto song or anything but just came from an idea I had of like, ‘Ah, what if there was just a big hole there? That would suck for a lot of people.’ That’s pretty much it. But I—I would never wanna live here, that being said.
A: Hey CELLOS! What do you think of metal cellists Apocalyptica?
Dave: Uh, when I was in high school, I grew up a very huge Metallica fan so I think the only thing I heard them do is the covers, the Metallica songs—
Kyle: The Metallica covers, yeah.
Dave: Which I loved when I was in high school. I was all about that.
Kyle: Yeah, they’re pretty good.
Dave: Yeah. Full respect there to Apocalyptica, and we have Metallica playing across the river this weekend in Detroit so we’re gonna take some beers down to the river in Windsor and listen to Metallica.
Kyle: Hopefully we can hear some shredding across the Detroit River. We might be able to.
A: Excellent. How about world famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma? Do you have any opinions about him?
Kyle: Ah, I guess he’s fine? I don’t know. I’m not really that familiar with his work.
Dave: Seems like a nice guy.
Kyle: The first thing that comes to mind when I hear Yo-Yo Ma is the Seinfeld episode; Kramer had a nervous tick where he was yelling ‘YO-YO MA!’ But, on that subject though, because we’re called CELLOS, we get a lot of spam for, like, used cellos, ‘Are you looking for stringed instruments,’ or something because there’s all these internet, you know, bots that find your band name and assume you’re a cellos dealership or something. So, in that respect it’s kind of funny. I don’t know; we came up with that name just…it was like the first suggestion I had and we were just like, ah, it’s fine, I don’t know. It’s kind of arbitrary picking a band name. But yeah, you get a lot of spam about cellos sales.
Dave: We’re playing pretty low, dense, heavy music so we thought it was kind of fitting in the end, and we had a show coming up and we needed to pick something so that’s how we ended up with it.
A: If you guys were stranded on a deserted island, which drink and album would you bring with you?
Dave: Hands down, mine is a Forty Creek whisky and Dr. Pepper together. I love that, and Hall & Oates – H2O, and not in an ironic way. I am dead serious. Hall & Oates is my favourite band.
Kyle: He is actually serious, I can attest to that. And that’s a hard question. Both those parts of the question are very hard for me. Like, I guess…just drinking beer.
Kyle: I can’t give a great answer there. Uh, a nice beer, a nice, you know, fresh, refreshing crisp beer. Cold. I don’t even care what kind of beer. Just a nice cold beer, an unlimited supply of nice cold beer, and a record, ah geez. Um, I don’t ever really get sick of listening to the Rolling Stones; I guess Exile on Main Street would be one, but if you ask me that two minutes from now I’d have a totally different answer. That’s just the first one that came to mind.
Dave: So, this very heavy band from Windsor is very influenced by the Rolling Stones and Hall & Oates. So, yeah. We’re just gonna become a cover band actually at this point I think.
Kyle: Well yeah, we should actually.
Originally aired June 20th on CHRY 105.5FM