11 Questions With...ARCTIC

>> Thursday, 1 October 2009

A band that has buzz trailing behind them like a, well, persistent swarm of bees, Vancouver’s ARCTIC (that’s all caps, folks) paint lush sonic backdrops that are austere, dreamy and more than a little chilling. Pretty much what one would expect of a band named after the Great White North. The up-and-coming trio is currently in the middle of a criss-cross jaunt of Canada, and is stopping by town on October 8th to play a intimate show at the Standard Tavern (formerly known as Hooligan’s).

I asked 11 questions to the band – frontman/guitarist Marcus Martin, bassist/keyboardist Kirsten Starcher, and drummer Rob Sheldrick – and judging by their playful and thoughtful answers, they had some fun with it. Those mentioned include: William Gibson, Rush, Beast, and the inimitable Master Splinter.

1. Where are you right now?

Windsor. We've just pulled into a hotel after a relatively short drive from Guelph and have a little time to kill before playing the Phog Lounge tonight. The decor here is a little trippy.

2. Who is the best Vancouver-based band (other than your own, of course)?

Marcus: Mongoose.
Rob: Three Inches of Blood.
Kirsten: Adaline.

3. What are your top three, all-time, desert-island records?

Marcus: Gabor Szabo, "The Sorceror".
Rob: Rush, "Grace Under Pressure".
Kirsten: Bjork, "Post".

4. What’s one song you love, but regularly dismiss as a “guilty pleasure”?

Rob: Anything off Rush's "Grace Under Pressure".
Marcus: Club hits.
Kirsten: It's got to be some 80s hit. Something like "Take On Me" or "Tainted Love"... you kind of can't help singing along even if you never owned the album.

5. What was the last great concert you saw?

Marcus: ZZ Top.
Kirsten: I was absolutely floored by Beast last year. Wow.
Rob: Kool Keith. With a K.

6. Of the albums you own, which has the best cover art?

Marcus: I don't know. That's a good one. I really like the Roxy Music one... Avalon.
Kirsten: Pink Floyd had the best ones.
Rob: Hum, "Downward is Heavenward". Sweetest record jacket ever.

7. PC or Mac?

Kirsten: Two of us on Mac, one PC.
Rob: Actually, I'd convert to Mac if I could.

8. Simpsons, South Park, or Family Guy?

Rob: Family Guy.
Marcus: Simpsons.
Kirsten: I suppose I should pick South Park just to keep things balanced. I think it depends on the day, though, and your state of mind. I'd watch any of 'em if I still had a TV.

9. Would you rather have invisibility or flight?

Marcus: Invisibility.
Kirsten: Would you just spy on girls?
Marcus: I would spy on the G8 summit. See what's going on there.
Rob: Flight. I would frequent the moon often.
Kirsten: Yeah, but you couldn't breathe there.
Rob: Shhhhh.
Marcus: Let the boy dream.
Kirsten: I gotta go with flight. I feel invisible enough days, I think I get the idea.

10. What book(s) are you currently reading?

Marcus: "Art and Physics" by Leonard Shlain.
Rob: "Modern Drummer". Lots and lots of "Modern Drummer."
Kirsten: I finished Kurt Vonnegut "Breakfast of Champions" before we left on tour and haven't really gotten started on another one. I've got a William Gibson book waiting for me when I'm ready though.

11. And finally…who’s your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?

Kirsten: I got nothing.
Rob: I'm more of a Master Splinter fan.
Marcus: Rob IS Master Splinter and he can't pick favourites because they might try to kill each other. End of question.

Infinite Playlist: mum - Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know


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