Super funny Toronto based duo Phedre kindly made us a wonderful glitchy disillusioned party-driven mixtape and answered a few precise questions. Daniel Lee and April Aliermo are really the guys you were looking for and we are glad Toronto is a source of such a good musical project. We were impressed by their first record, Phèdre, but Golden Age, the second one, is even better! Some kind of artistic pop is growing here and this musical attitude gives birth to some histrionic performances on stage. Phedre are organizing a party right in front of you but you’re still hypnotized by their tracks to give a fuck.
EC: Who are Phedre?
An invincible two-headed beast.
EC: Whitch House, Synth Pop, Dream Pop: these are the labels used to describe your music. We really don’t appreciate this kind of classification. Why do you think we need to find a specific genre? Is it necessary to put someone’s efforts inside a preconceived set?
I’d say Phedre is Soda Pop. Cherry Cola or Orange Fanta. I guess people like ideas they can easily understand and relate to. If something is “unclassified” or “unknown”, it can be scary for some. We like to approach our work the way some bakers or chefs do: sometimes we make pizza other times we make a nice coconut shrimp stew and other times we are barbecuing. We love all sorts of flavours and textures. Our cravings at the time dictate what is next on the table. Food is food. Music is music.
EC: Relate to the previous question: does a genre affect the musician’s way of creating?
It can definitely keep some people stunted. Maybe it helps others evolve. I guess Rodin’s sculptures got better and better? Or did they get boring to see all the time? It really depends on intentions, I suppose.
EC: Having the same tastes and interest could be common among different individuals but when it comes to produce something concrete it could lead to unbearable divergences. How do you find your work as a duo? Does your music come more from a clash or from a pleasant meeting?
We’ve been working on projects together since the day we met, some 10 years ago. Everything we make as a duo comes from a balance of explosive energy and calm energy; a fine yet dramatic balance between fire burning and a tranquil sea. We’re constantly inspiring, encouraging and criticizing each other until we’re both happy with what we’ve got. Sometimes its quite effortless and other times we can drive each other crazy. In the end, it always works out.
EC: We read a funny story about your creative process: “Legend has it that Daniel Lee and April Aliermo entered an attic of an unknown location over three late summer nights.” Is it true? What is your creative approach?
True story. We really like to immerse ourselves in whatever we’re doing. I guess most people who make things become obsessive that way. It can definitely lead to intense restlessness but you wrestle with it until you have conquered it. Conquer or die.
EC: How is a live Phedre performance like? Which kind of backgrounds do you prefer for your shows?
Our favourite musicians to watch really bring it. They can be going wild with gusto or can be very still with immense feeling. They’re all feeling, though. We’ve been trying to channel that. We also love taking our friends on tour when we can. It makes it more fun and contributes a whole other energetic dynamic to the show. Ken Park played keyboard for us in Europe and Beta Frontiers in Mexico. Sometimes our friends Leah and Eleanor dance on stage which takes the party to the next level. Once, Arowbe of Times Neue Roman came on a little tour just to rap on one song. He sat under a gold cloth until it was time for him to do his thing. It was hilarious and dope. Its also fun when its just the two of us on stage with some distorted projections in the background. Christian Arab designed one for our last tour where Janet Jackson turns into a demon and then suddenly there are avatars of us in Second Life flying around.
EC: What are you listening to at the moments? Which artists are under your radar?
EC: Is there an haiku you would use to describe your music?
sweaty bodies eating food
norms and freaks unite