In celebration of the release of their record My Friends, Paper Lions are touring across North America. This Belfast, Prince Edward Island quartet (John MacPhee, Rob MacPhee, David Cyrus MacDonald, and Colin Buchanan) are still on that celebratory adventure, playing Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco tonight. After their show in Toronto, we had the chance to catch up with Paper Lions in a recent interview, where we talk about starting their own record label, funniest moment at a gig, and their deep hatred for A&W onion rings.
AMBY: Hello Paper Lions, thanks for speaking with AMBY. What’s the band been up to lately?
Paper Lions: Currently: driving home (PEI) from Brooklyn, NY where we played a album release show last night. In general: Much of the same, driving and playing shows in support of our new album.
AMBY: If you were to describe each member in one word, what word would you choose?
Paper Lions: John: crafty, Rob: surly, Dave: goofy, Me: donkey
AMBY: Your record My Friends comes out today. How exciting is that for the band?!
Paper Lions: Very much. We’ve been sitting on it for what seems like forever. Just had to put a few ducks in a row (i.e. start our own record label) and get it out to the world.
AMBY: In celebration of the album’s release you are touring across North America. What are you most looking forward to?
Paper Lions: Mostly the sunny California weather I would say.
AMBY: My favourite song off the album would be Little Liar. Which tracks are your favourite?
Paper Lions: Little Liar would actually be one of my favorites too, I do have a soft spot for My Friend though. I think it’s because it’s just a bit different from what we usually do as far as it’s pure pop sound. It always come across great live as well, very powerful.
AMBY: Does hailing from Prince Edward Island have an influence on your sound? And if so, how?
Paper Lions: Absolutely. Environment always influences art and creativity. There is a long musical tradition on PEI, you will find most people play at least some instrument. But beyond that, the current music scene encompasses a wide variety of genres. Since we are an island, we don’t get that many touring acts coming through, which is a shame in one way but it also has forced us to develop our own sound free of trends or any sort of larger music industry influence.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?
Paper Lions: We once played a gig in which John (our lead singer) had lost his voice just prior to soundcheck. We decided the show must go on and we would all pitch in to cover the lead vox and the banter between songs. We struggled trying to remember all the lyrics and melodies while John just stood back playing only rhythm acoustic guitar, a shit eating grin on his face the whole time. He regards it as one of his favourite gigs ever.
AMBY: What have you been listening to over the summer?
Paper Lions: Lots of the early Them albums. Van Morrison’s voices was just so raw and rock n’ roll on those recording. We also just learned a cover of Tegan & Sara’s I Was A Fool, which is a pretty hot summer jam.
AMBY: If you could hang out with any of your influences for a day, who would you be with and what would you do?
Paper Lions: I don’t know for sure but I think a lot of my influences are probably assholes as people. I think I’d choose someone fun like Wayne Coyne and go to the Zoo or something.
AMBY: What’s the best song of 2013?
Paper Lions: Something of Daft Punk’s – RAM probably. Lots of hot jams on that one.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Paper Lions that nobody knows yet?
Paper Lions: We have a deep hatred for A&W onion rings.
Thank you Paper Lions, for giving us your answers!