Multi-instrumentalist, musical prodigy, guitarist for Canadian indie rock band The Dears and fellow Montrealer Patrick Krief took some to discuss his latest solo venture, Hundred Thousand Pieces, with The Rover on the eve of its release, April 17.
Your album was released today. How were the months leading up to this day?
Pretty chaotic, but it’s good to be busy… Now we wait and see. It doesn’t belong to me anymore.
You did most of the work on the album yourself, including the production. Has it been more stressful to make something so personal for the public to judge than it was with a band?
It’s one of those things that’s more rewarding when it works and it’s a lot more work involved… This is a direct line of communication between me and the listener.
Is there an underlying theme on the album?
There’s a lot of catching on to reality in the music – the whole idea of fitting in when you get to a certain age and isolation.
What’s going on with you and The Dears?
We’re trailing off the end of a mountain now. We’re starting to discuss the possibility of making another record or touring again.
Did you learn anything while you were in a band with them?
Yeah, I learned a lot about arrangements and how to tour properly. A lot of trial and error that we went through on tour has come in handy for me. It’s been an endless amount of lessons.
Do you have a personal favourite track on the album?
They’re moving around on me all the time… I love all the songs, they’re really personal so they all bring something else out of me. It’s really the album that I’ve been able to tolerate the most, which is amazing because sometimes I can’t even listen to my own records.
So this one you’re really proud of. There’s nothing you would change if you could?
[Pauses] No. I would not change a single thing… It’s totally weird, I’ve never had that before.
As a multi-instrumentalist, which instrument did you begin with?
Guitar. I had a fascination with it because my uncle was a guitar player. I started fooling around when I was two or three, but not in a serious way until I was ten and I got my own guitar.
When you did you start to write your own songs?
As soon as I was strumming a guitar, I was trying to come up with my own shit… The idea of getting lessons was completely out of the question and so I wasn’t being taught anything, I was just doing my own thing. The motivation was to write songs, not play other people’s music.
Did you always want to be a musician?
In my 20s I started coming up with alternate realities because I thought it would be more realistic, but I realized that my only reality is that I’m a musician. Anything else would just make me miserable.
What’s your favourite thing about living in Montreal?
I appreciate the standard of living. I think it’s pretty good bang for your buck here… There’s definitely something going on in the city in terms of energy.