The End: Tom McGreevy of Ducks Ltd. | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The End: Tom McGreevy of Ducks Ltd.

In My Favorite Chair

Nov 19, 2021 Photography by Chritiane Johnson and Laura Hermiston Web Exclusive
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To end out the week, we ask Tom McGreevy of Ducks Ltd. some questions about endings and death.

The Toronto-based duo features McGreevy on vocals and rhythm guitar and Evan Lewis on lead guitar. Their debut full-length album, Modern Fiction, came out in October via Carpark. Modern Fiction follows their Get Bleak EP, which was originally put out in 2019 and given an expanded reissue by Carpark this past May. Producer James Cecil (The Goon Sax, Architecture in Helsinki) put finishing touches on the album and Carpark labelmates The Beths did backing harmonies on three of the album’s songs, including album highlight “Under the Rolling Moon.”

“‘Under the Rolling Moon’ is about trying to be there for a friend who is in a moment of crisis,” said McGreevy in a press release for the single. “Some of the frustration maybe of witnessing someone else’s extremely recognizable self-defeating behavior, but mostly just the feeling of caring for them, knowing they can be ok and hoping that they can find their way to seeing that.”

Read on as McGreevy discusses how he’d like to die, what song he would like to have played at his funeral, his favorite endings to movies and TV shows, and some famous brothers who have been feuding for years.

How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?

80. Asleep. Sitting in my favorite chair. One of my granddads pulled that off. I’ve always thought it was quite an accomplishment, especially given how much he hated hospitals.

What song would you like to be performed at your funeral and who would you like to sing it?

I’m going to say the secret Brian Eno track “Big Day,” which is actually on one of Phil Manzanera’s solo albums, Diamond Head, that Eno produced, but Eno wrote it and sings it. I’ve stolen the idea of playing this at my funeral from my friend Paul Erlichman, who does our string arrangements and plays in our live band, so out of deference to him for hopefully forgiving this act of funerary planning theft I would like Paul to sing it.

What’s your favorite ending to a movie?

Oh man, so I guess this question requires spoilers but I do want to SPOILER ALERT this because everyone should see this bonkers movie without having the ending ruined, but it’s the ending of the Stephen King adaptation The Mist. The characters escape out of the grocery store they spend 80% of the movie hiding in, and they manage to dodge some monsters and drive away but eventually they run out of gas. With no end in sight and, as far as they can tell, an endless world full of mist and monsters outside of the car, the main character (who is played by Thomas Jane) realizes that he has enough bullets left to provide a merciful death for his son and the other passengers in the car but not himself, so he shoots them and his son lest they be ripped apart by monsters and lets out an anguished scream and then steps out of the car to let the monsters take him, and at that moment a U.S. army truck shows up. Turns out they had all almost escaped the mist and the army had the situation under control and if they’d held out a minute longer everyone would have survived. It’s maybe the most nihilistic and frankly cruel thing I’ve ever seen a movie do and I can hardly believe a major studio let someone make a movie that ends like that. It so completely subverts your expectations of what a Hollywood movie is allowed to do and it is quite emotionally powerful. I was stunned by it the first time I saw it.

What’s your favorite series finale last ever episode of a TV show?

I really enjoyed the end of The Leftovers. That show kinda has its ups and downs, but the thing I like about it is that the writing manages to place these characters in truly bizarre scenarios by making a series of small choices over the course of the show, so you end up in these really strange places that feel totally consistent with the characters as they’re written and with the internal logic of the show (eg: the episode when the suburban mom character gets a tattoo of the Wu-Tang logo and it for some reason feels legitimately poignant rather than silly). I feel like there are a lot of things that get called “Lynchian” that end up being weird for the sake of it, but The Leftovers really earns its strangeness and the last episode is super satisfying, in part because of the long and winding journey you’ve been on with the characters to get there.

What’s your favorite last album by a band who then broke up?

This is kind of cheating because they got back together, but I think it’s 16 Lovers Lane by The Go-Betweens. I don’t think it’s their best album (that’s Before Hollywood for me), but it’s the best version of the sound they were going for at that point in their career and I think is generally considered their enduring classic. They definitely had more left in the tank as their quite good reunion album and some of their solo stuff will attest, but I think there is something to be said for going out at the peak of your powers, which they definitely did the first time around.

What’s your favorite way a band broke up?

I’m not sure about the break up itself, but the Gallagher brothers ending Oasis and then spending 20 years sniping at each other constantly during every public appearance has been tremendously enjoyable to watch, even if it’s something I’d never want to emulate!

Whose passing has most affected you?

My friend Toby. He was a wonderful guy.

If reincarnation exists, who or what would you like to be reincarnated as?

Are we allowed to play with the timeline here? If so then the answer is definitely Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He always seems like he’s having a good time being Zlatan!

What role or achievement would you most like to be remembered for?

I’d like to be remembered as a good friend!

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