16th Annual Artist Survey: Bernice | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

16th Annual Artist Survey: Bernice

Robin Dann, Dan Fortin, Thom Gill, Phil Melanson, and Felicity Williams on #MeToo, Anthony Bourdain, and Bad Dates

Jan 24, 2019 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar's 16th Annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the last year, plus some fun personal questions. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2018 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from Bernice.

Bernice is a 5-piece from Toronto. Their latest album, Puff LP: In the air without a shape, came out last May via Arts & Crafts.

For our annual Artist Survey we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about the midterm elections, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West visiting the White House, the #MeToo movement a year later, mental health conditions in the music industry, whether or not they have Flossed, childhood birthday parties and vacations, which Muppets character they are most like, whether or not they are going to The Good Place after death, and much more.

Top 9 Albums of 2018

Full Band: Not in order of preference.

Sandro Perri: In Another Life

Noname: Room 25

Eartheater: IRISIRI

Tirzah: Devotion

The Mixtapers, Georgia Anne Muldrow & Dudley Perkins: Flowers / Bloom

Ambroise: À la tonalité préférable du ciel

Louis Cole: Time

Chiquita Magic: It's Different

Dan Weiss: Starebaby

A year after the #MeToo movement, do you feel things gotten better or worse in terms of issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and misogyny in the music industry?

Robin Dann: I think change takes such a long time, and it's impossible for me to measure progress accurately from the inside. In my life, I work mostly with men, and also with some women, all pretty wonderful people. It's too bad that it's pretty imbalanced, from a gender standpoint. I'm lucky that I haven't been a victim of assault, but I feel how my experience as a woman making music is subtly different from the men around me, in a lot of ways, and that can be confusing. So, basically, I don't know!

Which Muppets character are you most like and why?

Dan Fortin: You mean The Hobbit? I'm like Sam Gamgee cause he's always hungry, and complaining. Although I actually don't remember if that's true, I might be making that up.

Thom Gill: Also, he's the most loyal friend!

Full Band: Thom is a mix between Rowlf the piano playing dog and the Hecklers. Phil is Beaker! Robin is Mokey the Fraggle. Dan is actually the Swedish Chef. Felicity is Kira from Dark Crystal who speaks all the languages of all the plants and animals in nature.

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit tragically took his own life this year. What should be done to improve mental health conditions for musicians?

Full Band: We're lucky to live in Canada where some mental health resources that are available are subsidized by the government. It's so important to reduce shame and stigma around mental health so that people feel comfortable seeking help. This is definitely starting to happen in our community, but it still takes a lot of effort to seek help. There just really needs to be more visibility and more availability for those subsidized services we have access to.

Are you ready for artificial intelligence and a more automated future?

Phil Melanson: I love the fashion in the original Blade Runner. Also, I'm really looking forward to self-driving cars.

What's been your most surreal experience in the music industry?

Full Band: Dan was playing in Paris on November 13th, 2015 and was locked into his venue for several hours during the terrorist attack. Phil was playing in Mumbai in 2008 during the bombings and was staying in the Taj Mahal 2 Hotel. The terrorists targeted the Taj Mahal 1. Thom's most surreal experience was making out with an on-duty cop while on tour in Stockholm.

Beloved chef, travel TV host, and music fan Anthony Bourdain died this year. If you could have appeared on his Parts Unknown show, which city or country would you most have wanted to travel to with him?

Full Band: Dan and his partner Zazu actually made the crazy pumpkin dish from the Lyon, France episode and it was so rich they could barely eat it. It was a pumpkin stuffed with bread, Gruyere, and cream.

This year The Doctor in Doctor Who was played by a woman for the first time in the show's 55-year history. Which other established character would you like to see switch genders?

Full Band: The president of the United States of America! Santa Claus!

What turns you off the most on a first date? And what's the most disastrous date you've ever been on?

Full Band: Cell phones. Taking anything seriously. Bad kissing.

Dan: I was in high school and my high school girlfriend and I went out for Valentine's Day, and she got food poisoning, and Feb 15th was her birthday. I felt pretty bad about that one.

Full Band: Bernice's most disastrous date: a one word each story: Once I went to Chuck E. Cheese's with dad and mom. Only when we arrived, overly enthusiastic farm hands started barking wildly because Toodles the clown nipped my toe delicately and fondled my mind. We fled the restaurant and went back to reality, aka Thee Olive Garden.

www.bernicemusic.com

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freevbucks
February 19th 2019
5:08am

i love fortin most