Montreal's Ian Kelly has set out on a cross-Canada tour in promotion of his new album, All These Lines. This tour brings a different sound to Kelly's music, with him scaling back from playing with a full-band to a solo-tour. A chance for Kelly to get to know himself, his music, and his country, fans new and old can expect a very raw version of Kelly on this tour.
Geyser Music talked with Kelly in advance of his upcoming show in Vancouver that will take place at The Railway Club on May 1st.
1. Sufjan Stevens - Carry and Lowell
2. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams
3. Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
4. Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold As Love
5. Spoon - They Want My Soul
G: What does it feel like to strip back your sound? It is something that's comfortable, challenging, or cathartic?
K: It wasn’t really hard this time around because I made sure, when I wrote the songs for All These Lines, that the core of the tunes was a solid one. I used to record super early on in the creation process but not this time, I spent a lot of time tweaking the tunes so they would be strong before I started to add any sort of arrangement. So stripping them down, is just going back to that original form which I already liked.
G: With the new song, I'm On Your Side you repeat "Love's not all, there's plenty more to fear." What do you mean by that?
K: I believe we are so scared of messing up our relationships that we end up doing so. Some are so scared of love that they can’t even commit to anything serious. And the “plenty more” is the rest, anything can happen in life. I could get hit by a bus, we could get sick, something could happen to our kids, etc. I’m just saying: Now we’ve found each other, we love each other, let’s just worry about the rest, not our love. In a nutshell, that’s about what I had in mind.
G: What cans fans, new and old, expect from your show May 1st?
K: Well I do play some of the songs from my previous records, not the first one though for some reason. All These Lines is my 4th one for the record. It’s a pretty quiet show, there are some uplifting/uptempo moments but it’s mostly toned down, softer versions of my songs. I always put a lot of emotions in there, that’s just the way I get them out there. I’ve always been more on the introspective side, I’m a sucker for sad songs and ballads but I still try to balance it out.
G: What role do you feel the musician plays in Canadian culture?
K: It’s an important one, but I think that can be said about any culture. We take music for granted but it’s a huge thing in our lives. We listen to music when we are happy, when we are sad, when we don’t know how we feel, we’re also listening to music when we don’t even know when we are listening to music. The west coast has an immense music scene and it’s totally different from the music in the east but we are sharing all of it and it’s a beautiful thing. I think the CBC is also a national gem we need to keep alive!
G: How has your music, and your move into solo work, changed your own life and understanding of yourself as an artist and a citizen of the world?
K: I always try to be a better human being, day after day, and it’s not always easy. Music is a great way for me to express the whole array of emotions that grows within me and it keeps me sane. Even when I work on more produced works, most of the time I do it in my studio and on my own. I feel I am ready to collaborate more now, but music has always been more of a solo thing for me except for live concerts where I always hired as many musicians as I could afford to. A big part of the experience is all that road that I’m travelling on my own, I’m in my thoughts and I have time to think. I also meet all these amazing people all across the country and it gives me faith in humanity a little bit more everyday…. just have to resist listening to the news.
G: Finally, which bands from Montreal should Vancouverites be checking out?
K: If you haven’t already: Half Moon Run and by all means, check out: Bent By Elephants7. What role do you feel the musician plays in Canadian culture?
G: Thank you for chatting with us, have a great time on tour!