Thursday, 26 July 2007

Malajube Interview

Here is an interview with the band Malajube that I did for Vice Magazine.


In Quebec they still basically only listen to the French equivalent of a Magic FM Sunday medley: mmm easy listening heaven. Johnny Halliday is still their number one selling local artist. I just made that up but you get the idea. So when something actually good comes along everyone points at it and goes: “Hey these guys are great! They are our great guys!”. But then being the only good thing in a mire if lobotmised dullardry tends to get you noticed and once Malajube broke out of Quebec they found themselves hounded around SXSW by bloodthirsty A&R guys chasing them like they were a four man Wally in a big Where’s Wally hunt combined with the golden ticket from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

You guys sing in French. How are we meant to have a clue what you are singing about?

Well actually, we are not worried that the English speaking audiences won't understand what we are singing about because we know they won't understand.

Ok. Accepting. I get it. Maybe I need to be more like that sometimes. Malajube? What does that mean? It sounds weird, like a yet to be invented Jelly Belly flavour.

No. Actually it's the name of a disease here in Northern Qu├ębec. It can get so cold up in the north that your eyes freeze together. You can't keep them open. In order to unfreeze them you need to warm them up in a warm place for a couple of minutes. It hurts a lot and it's really bad for your eyes. That is what it is to be caught by the Malajube.

The record is called Trompe L’oeil. Who are you trying to trick exactly?

We actually want people to think we play world music. But then they put the cd on and they realized they’ve been tricked! So far it seems to have worked.

But if you guys are from Canada then to people over here maybe it is world music?

Maybe. We had not thought of it like that before.

You are pretty well known in Canada and have won a bunch of awards and people love you and all that kind of stuff. Why bother coming here and busting your asses all over again playing to two people. You could just sit at home playing Tiger Woods Golf or something. It seems to have worked out okay for Rush and The Tragically Hip.

Playing small, sweaty crazy places and proving yourself is fun. We played a festival in the West of France once, I really don’t remember the name. We drove for about 12 hours and we got there right in time for our set. It was the night of the world cup foot final so nobody showed up although it was a huge festival with huge stages and a bunch of bands playing.. We actually played one song in front of 20 really drunk people. We now call it the puke fest!

I like how you called the Football final “the foot final”. Like a direct translation.


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