Just the Fax: Stars

Jetpack Envy: An Interview with Amy Millan via Out of Date Technology

Dec 01, 2017 Photography by Shervin Lainez Issue #62 - Julien Baker
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Musicians do interviews in person, over the phone, on video chat, and through email, but no one gets interviewed via fax (at least not anymore). For our new Just the Fax series we thought it'd be amusing to send our questions via a fax machine, with the artist hand writing the answers and faxing them back. This proves a bit tricky when an artist is on tour, but most motels still have fax machines in their business centers. Our first guinea pig is Amy Millan, co-vocalist for Montréal's Stars (and also a member of Broken Social Scene).

Stars formed way back in 2000, starting with co-vocalist Torquil Campbell and keyboardist Chris Seligman, who began recording their debut album, Nightsongs, in New York City in 1999 before their childhood friend Evan Cranley joined them, who recruited his friend Millan. The quartet then moved to Montréal, even though all the members grew up in Toronto, and added drummer Patty McGee. The solidified lineup recorded 2003's sophomore album, Heart, which put them on the map around the same time friends and fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene and The Dears were first making their marks. Guitarist Chris McCarron eventually joined the lineup.    

Now Stars are back with There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light, their eighth studio album (ninth if you include 2007's Do You Trust Your Friends?, in which Stars recruited their fellow bands to cover and remix their songs). It's another winning collection of dramatic and heartfelt indie-pop, sad songs for the last dance just as the lights go up and the club closes. "No one falls in love under fluorescent light," Millan declares on the almost title track, "Fluorescent Light." These are tracks for the empty after-party or cold late night walks home on snowy city streets. Millan has also released two solo albums, 2006's Honey From the Tombs and 2009's Masters of the Burial.  

Read on as Millan discusses fax machines, the less-connected world of the past, out of date technology, the band that is a major musical influence on Stars, and when we can expect another solo album from her.

[Note: This article originally appeared in the digital version (for smart phones and tablets) of Under the Radar's Fall 2017 Issue (October/November 2017), which is out now. This is its debut online.]

www.youarestars.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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