2012 Artist Survey: Jason Collett
Broken Social Scene Member Reflects on the Last Year
Jan 31, 2013 Web Exclusive
For Under the Radar's 10th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2012.
Pick up the print version of the Best of 2012 issue to read responses from the following artists: Alt-J, Fred Armisen, Bear in Heaven, Camera Obscura, Chad Valley, Charli XCX, Choir of Young Believers, Clinic, CSS, Dan Deacon, Desaparecidos, Django Django, Efterklang, Egyptian Hip Hop, El Perro Del Mar, Grimes, Halls, Richard Hawley, Hercules and Love Affair, Ladytron, Liars, Lord Huron, Lower Dens, Mount Eerie, My Morning Jacket, The Mynabirds, The New Pornographers, of Montreal, Peaking Lights, Porcelain Raft, Laetitia Sadier, Tame Impala, and Tegan and Sara.
Then download the digital version of the Best of 2012 issue to read all those surveys, as well as bonus responses from the following artists: !!!, Clare and the Reasons, Codeine, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Esben and the Witch, The Fresh & Onlys, Get People, Islands, Kwes, Lost in the Trees, NZCA/LINES, OFF!, Plants and Animals, Still Corners, Violens, Xiu Xiu, Young Dreams, and Zambri.
We are also posting additional web-exclusive artist survey interviews to the website.
Here are responses from Jason Collett, solo artist and Broken Social Scene member.
Top 3 Albums of 2012
I can no longer consume the amount of new music required to come up with a top 10. I like to take my time. There's a few West Coast offerings that I've had on repeat for much of the year, though. Blake Mills' Break Mirrors (came out in 2010, but I only heard it this year—like I said, I take my time), Father John Misty's Fear Fun, and Frank Ocean's Channel Orange. All three are pretty consummate on their own but share some essential ingredients like humor, sex, fresh narratives, and freewheeling fun.
What was the highlight of 2012 for either you personally or for the band?
For me it was the hometown release show for my new record Reckon. I had a revolving door of some 20-odd guests who've been a part of previous records join me on stage. It felt like an old school revue. I've been blessed to work with so many great players over the years.
What was the low point of 2012 for you?
What are your hopes and plans for 2013?
To expand my list of 10 best records to four!
To what extent did the poor world economy affect your ability to make a reasonable living as an artist in 2012?
The running thread throughout my new release addresses the austerity of these times. So you might say I'm cashing in.
What are your thoughts on the 2012 U.S. presidential election?
I'm concerned with how satisfied most people feel with Obama's win. I get the sense of relief over the Republicans' loss but Obama's image is largely an illusion. His record is a litany of disappointments—the section of the National Defense Authorization Act that allows him the authority to detain citizens without due process was struck down in court in September. He's appealing [the decision]. He's used the Espionage Act 6 times to silence whistle blowers, he supports the FISA Amendment Act to spy on millions without warrants—not to mention his "kill lists," bank bailouts (largest swindle of public wealth in history), and failure to close Guantanamo.
Steve Albini criticized Amanda Palmer for recruiting musicians to play in her backing band for free. Was he right to do this and was Palmer right to change her mind and pay her musicians?
I have a feeling we're going to hear plenty more conversations like this. It seems this is just a symptom of a bigger problem. With the traditional sources of revenue for musicians dwindling, we're all fumbling around trying to figure out how to make a living.
What pop culture phenomenon from 2012 would you most like to erase from your memory?
I just don't pay attention in the first place.
Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? Do you think that climate change was partly responsible for the hurricane?
We lost a small tree in the backyard, but otherwise no. Yes.
Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter you had this year.
My 3-year-old daughter rushed the stage during a hometown show, tore off her shirt, grabbed a tambourine, and danced. Completely upstaged me. She's my biggest fan, and I'm hers.