Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Small Sins (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part III)

Not long ago, Thomas D’Arcy, the main-man behind Small Sins, wrote on his website that he’d prefer to never speak about his music once it’s released. Still, D’Arcy agrees to detail the inspiration behind Pot Calls Kettle Black’s title track and his top records of 2010 in the interview below. (Photo by Bree Kristel)

SCQ: Every list-lover's favourite question: what are your top albums of 2010? Feel free to include any older yet worthy records you discovered this year.

TD: The new Meligrove Band record is great. Forget what it's called. Have also been listening to The Black Keys quite a bit lately. The best record I discovered this year without any question though was Owen Pallett's Heartland.

SCQ: What were you listening to a lot of while recording the impressive Pot Calls Kettle Black?

TD: Not much. When I'm making a record I listen to very little other music. You need to give your ears a break after you've been in the studio all day. The only thing I heard was the juke box in the bar we went to in Chicago at the end of each day. It had a lot of AC/DC as I recall.

SCQ: Be cocky for once in your life: what was the finest thing you did all year? That moment where you actually thought "shit, I nailed that..."?

TD: I hate to be obvious, but 'Pot Calls Kettle Black' is it.

SCQ: Effect and Cause: Although far from the flashiest choice, 'You Will Lie' impacted me straightaway as I was walking through a park on the morning of Ottawa's first frost. Its stark gears - that unassuming piano, the effected vocals and rare drum-machine hiccups - matched the naked trees perfectly, and evoked the soft depression that returns with winter's pale light. Okay, your turn: confess a true tale that inspired one of the songs on Pot Calls Kettle Black.

TD: The title track was inspired by a very close friend of mine. We had been out drinking all night, having one of our very long talks. He is one of those people with a wealth of talent, but who never applies himself. I don't know if it was the hangover or whatever, but I spent the following morning obsessively thinking about his situation. When I sat down in the studio that day, 'Pot Calls Kettle Black' just seemed to sort of ooze out of me. Like a note I had to write him, or a summary that had to be penned just to close the issue. The whole song was written and recorded within an hour, and never really changed, right up to the album version. Same instrumentation, arrangement, lyrics. It is very rare that a song doesn't get developed past that gushing first hour of inspiration.

SCQ: If all the reasonable and implausible ideas in your head came to fruition in 2011, what would they be?

TD: I don't know. I guess I need to daydream more.

No comments: