2007 saw the release of of Montreal’s Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, their 7th studio album. While the band had a following since 1997’s Cherry Peel, Hissing Fauna got the band to sell out larger venues, sign on to more festivals, and be more generally in the radar of fans of music. The 12-track album was, like, really weird. It still is a weird album. But it’s as weird as it is good. It’s essentially a staple of 2000’s indie. Day For Night will play host to of Montreal this weekend who will be playing the album in its entirety. FPH recently spoke with of Montreal vocalist Kevin Barnes about Houston, anniversary shows, and refrigerating condiments.
Free Press Houston: Can you talk about the importance of Houston to of Montreal? The band has been here many times, obviously, but I mean, even your booking agent is based here. You’ve also gone on tour with a Houston band, the Wild Moccasins.
Kevin Barnes: Yeah, we’ve had some really legendary shows in Houston. I’m thinking back to the day of playing Numbers and Mary Jane’s Fat Cat. We’ve played so many different places in Houston. It’s always been a really fun city for us to come to. And yeah, our booking agent lives in Houston. We definitely have a long history with the city.
FPH: Can you talk about your new favorite album, also a Houston reference? DJ Screw’s 3 ‘N the Mornin?
KB: Oh, yeah. So I mean, for some reason I just stumbled upon DJ Screw and that whole scene, Chopped and Screwed. I started to get really into it, and I realized that pretty much anything slowed down sounds cooler than it not slowed down. I started doing that a bit with my own music. Yeah, I’ve been getting into it a lot lately.
FPH: How do you find new music such as DJ Screw? I’ve just read an interview you did awhile back where you talked about getting into electronic acts such as Skrillex and Jack Ü. You stated that you kind of got burned out on King Crimson and Neil Young.
KB: I think that it just happens organically. I’ll just stumble upon something, or someone will send me a song. For whatever reason — like the beats — I’ll gravitate towards it. Recently I fell in love with that band No Worries. From there I started getting into stuff in that ballpark, like a lot of Japanese pop from the ‘80s. It’s really all sorts of music that’s been bubbling.
FPH: You’re playing Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? in its entirety. I understand that some of those songs are considered rarities in an of Montreal set. Are there any in particular that you’re excited to play again?
KB: Well to be honest, it’s our most popular record, so we’ve been playing a lot of those songs ever since the record came out. We kind of know them inside out, but there are a couple, like “Labyrinthian Pomp” and “Faberge Falls For Shuggie” that we don’t necessarily play that often, so if I had to pick, those are songs that I’m more excited about playing.
FPH: Do you think you will do more of these anniversary shows as the years go by?
KB: Well we’ve done The Sunlandic Twins in its entirety before. That and Hissing Fauna… have been the only ones so far. Actually, we did do Aureate Gloom in its entirety as well. But that was around the time of its release date. But maybe. It’s pretty fun to go back in time and play the whole album and nothing else. It’s a fresh experience.
FPH: Finally, Kevin, how important is it to refrigerate mayonnaise?
KB: Oh, I don’t really know what the reference to that is.
FPH: Rumour has it Jojo used to not refrigerate mayonnaise before consumption.
KB: Oh, well maybe that was the talks of what you have and don’t have to refrigerate. But I don’t think I’d be into that, non-refrigerated mayonnaise.