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Frankie Sparo

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Depuis quelques années déjà s'est développée à Montréal une communauté musicale dont le représentant le plus connu est le fameux collectif Godspeed You Black Emporor!. Le label de ce dernier, Constellation Records, avec à sa tête Don et Ian, sert de maison d'accueil pour les autres formations qui gravite autour : A Silver Mount Zion, Fly Pan Am ou encore Do Make Say Think. Les enregistrements se font à l'Hotel2Tango, l'espace de répétition de Godspeed, les groupes s'échangent les musiciens, et en fin de journée tous se retrouvent à la Casa del Popolo, le restaurant végétarien tenu par un des 2 batteurs de GYBE!. Parmi tout ce beau monde, il existe un artiste originaire de Vancouver et qui a sorti récemment un EP enregistré lors de sa tournée européenne avec A Silver Mount Zion début 2001. Frankie Sparo a gentiment accepté de répondre à nos questions par email. Voici en version originale les réponses qu'il nous a données. Un artiste sincère qu'il faudra surveiller de près.

Frankie étant soucieux que ses propos ne soient pas déformés par la traduction, nous avons choisi de garder l'interview dans sa version originale. Frankie Sparo © Laurent Orseau

Why did you move from Vancouver to Montreal in 1998 ? We heard that the life is cheaper and that it atracts many artists. Does Montreal influence your music ?
Montreal is the only big city for me, in this country. There aren't many to choose from, really. Vancouver is just a tragic shell of a city; suntans and exercise masquerading as life. I know some nice people there, though. Some of my favorite people. I could never live there for long, but the island where I grew up is only a couple of hours away by boat. Life is a little cheaper in Montreal, that's true. Cheap coffee, cheap cigarettes. Cheap rent, if you're lucky. Cheap cheap cheap. Which does attract artists. And then the artists attract all their cheap friends with all their cheap talk, clogging up your favorite cheap cafes with their cheap scenes and making you want to move to the country.

Why did you choose music instead of writing or painting as your form of expression ? Why did you choose the guitar? What would you have done if it hadn't been music?
I didn't choose it. I grew up around folk-singers, in the 70's, so when I was young I just assumed everyone's parents played music and complained about Bob Dylan turning into a Christian. I didn't actually start playing early enough, though, and I never took lessons, so I still have trouble considering myself a musician. I don't aim to be a renaissance man, but I like painting, too, and taking pictures. I have a few old cameras. I adhere to a careful aesthetic, when I have the means. And I'm a good liar. If I were any better at that, I'd make films.

I read that you just sent a demo tape to constellation records before actually meeting them and working with them. how did it actually happen, and why did you choose them at the first place and not Secretly Canadian Records for example ?
What actually happened was: When I first moved here, there were shows happening at the old Constellation loft downtown. I didn't know it at the time, even though I was living right nearby, in a little room with no heat. I had never heard of Constellation, but my friend Sivan who is a mover and a shaker had been to one of those loft shows and gave them a tape of some 4-track stuff in case they might want me to play there. Don and Ian called me a couple of weeks later and asked me, we met for coffee, started hanging out some, etc. The record thing didn't come up until later.
If it came down to sending out demos, I honestly don't know where I would send them. I only ever did that once, at the urging of an irritatingly with-it friend, to another label I had never heard of. I got the brush-off. That didn't make me bitter about cool & obscure record labels, but my door is now firmly closed to jive-talking sycophant hipsters.

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