Interview & Giveaway with The Besnard Lakes

Photo May 26, 8 25 40 AMTo mark Canada Day, Olga Goreas, 1/4 of the Montreal indie-rock band The Besnard Lakes, stopped by A.T.W.N. to answer a few questions on reading, bands, and inspiration. Now to add to the Canada Day festivities, and to kick off our new look here at A.T.W.N., we are giving away a signed copy of The Besnard Lakes‘ critically acclaimed new CD, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO. But, let’s get to the interview.

Let’s start with the toughest question…What’s your favorite book and why?

I think I’ve answered this question before with an “I don’t play favourites”, which is the real answer. But I’ll also say that it changes, it always does and so do my reading habits. For a good while though I’ve been into the encyclopedia-style read so I’m going to say Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch. It’s very useful and informative, and everything is in it. I like to think that your life can be improved by the foods you choose to eat, and I know that this type of thing is not for everyone. I also realize it can be a slippery slope with health books, and that one should also remember everything in moderation, including moderation, right? Anyway, that’s my answer and I’ll stick with it.

Photo May 26, 8 49 50 AMWhat are you reading at the moment?

Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. I don’t mind self help books, if you haven’t noticed! It deals with depression and death in a most lovely manner; it’s intuitive and it’s literate. I’ve been grappling with the death of my father and one of the things with grieving and depression is that the body and mind really start to slow down. I’ve been reading in fits and starts, and the way the prose is structured in this book is so sultry. Jace told me that this was the book that everyone would read back in school, which school is anyone’s guess. I know it has that appeal. And I’ve been more like a young lady lately than in a long time, ha! With the greying hair of course…

Is there a book you read as a child that you will never forget?

The Secret World of Og by Pierre Berton. It’s about these siblings who go on an underground adventure in search of their youngest sibling: I happen to be the youngest in my family. There are these creatures there whose language consists of one word… which also happens to be my initials. So, there are parallels! Actually, I should have this also as the first book to blow my mind.

How do you choose the next book to read?

It kind of chooses me – what I’m going through, how I’m dealing with things. I just go through fetishes that materialize as words from time to time. It informs my writing process as well, but not in any tangible sort of way. It’s more esoteric.

Photo May 26, 8 49 47 AMWhat was the last book that blew your mind?

You Are Not A Gadget by Jaron Lanier. I’ve never really been much of a tech savvy person and this book for the most part makes it much simpler for the layman like myself to figure out what the heck people are talking about with all the computer mumbo jumbo. It is still a proper computer geeks’ testament to the importance of getting with the times. And as the title suggests, one indeed shouldn’t be seen as a gadget. I’ve become somewhat welcome to the idea of merging with machines though. I kind of believe in the Kurzweilian Singularity stuff to a certain degree. I definitely think we need to be as benevolent in our communications as possible, via computers and via humans.

Photo May 26, 8 30 36 AMWhat do you hope the title of the biography about the band will be in ten years?

Era Sekal Dranseb Eht :: The Besnard Lakes Are

Does what you’re reading impact your songwriting?

Yes, sort of – I kind of started to go into that a little with the question before the last one. I sometimes feel as though instead of choosing a book, I’ll choose a theme. It’ll come out in my writing, but there’s still the unstoppable force of what the cosmos have in store in one’s life. Yes, fate, you wreck me baby!

Are there any books or bands that have inspired you that you would like to recommend to everyone?

Bands there are far, far too many to mention. Books are a little less numerous as far as quantity so I can rattle off a few: The Grapes of Wrath, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, A Confederacy of Dunces – most of these are books I read in my teens. Reading was funnest for me when I was an adolescent. I’m trying to figure out really what the reason for that is and I thought at first it may have to do with being depressed, which I am but I also was in my teens – so that can’t be why! I think it might also be that our brains automatically over-filter because of the prevalence of useless information out there. I just find it comparatively difficult to get lost in words. I might get over it but then again, maybe I won’t. Life is a bit of a crapshoot that way.

Thanks to Olga for stopping by A.T.W.N. and chatting books and writing with us. You can pick up their latest release on vinyl/CD through Jagjaguwar Records here, or digitally over on iTunes.


We have up for grabs one autographed copy of The Besnard Lakes latest release, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO. Just click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter… Good Luck!

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