Toronto’s indie-rock quartet Papermaps (Dean Marino, Bobby Lee, Betty Dimo, and Andy Soto) released their third studio album Darker Lights in October. We caught up with the band’s Dean Marino (vocals/guitar) to learn more about the album, their new single The Hedonist, and more.
AMBY: Hello Papermaps, how are you and what’s the band been up to?
Papermaps: We released a new full length album called Darker Lights, completed an East Coast tour, played CMJ music festival and released a video for our latest single, “The Hedonist.” Now that it’s Winter we’re taking a break from playing live and concentrating on more ethereal means of promotion – like more videos and interviews like this! I think the live shows will start up in earnest again in Spring of 2014 after the album’s been out there and germinating for a bit. That’s the great thing about music it lives in the æther and there are so many ways of discovering it beyond going to live shows. Going to live shows is still the best, but going to your favourite record store, reading zines or even randomly surfing places like youtube, bandcamp or rdio are great ways to find new music.
AMBY: Which three songs are the quintessential Papermaps?
Papermaps: It’s probably different for everyone inside the band. Personally, my take changes depending on my mood at the time and three songs wouldn’t really cover the bases. If you want the full picture I would listen to “Shadow Theatre” (from Darker Lights) “Wishful Thinker” (from our Self-Titled 2011 album) and Nothing / The Memory Song which are actually two songs forever linked together as a single piece on Darker Lights – is that cheating? Oh well…
AMBY: Your new album Darker Lights was released on October 8th. What’s the significance behind the LP’s title?
Papermaps: I’ve been kicking around the name ‘Darker Lights’ since before the release of our 2012 EP, Inferior Ghost. In fact the two works are creatively connected in the sense that the songs on that EP were meant for ‘Darker Lights’ but circumstances forced me to hit the restart button on the project and we decided to release the resulting incomplete work under a different title. Darker Lights actually came from a review of our first record back in 2011 – the writer used the turn of phrase to describe the moments on the record she liked and it just resonated with me. Having a title for this album before we had written a single note had a huge impact on the resulting mood and sound.
AMBY: Which songs off the record are your favourite?
Papermaps: Right now “Shadow Theatre” is a personal and band favourite. In close second is Betty’s “One by One.” In fact, I am most proud of what I consider to be “Side A” of the record which ends with “One by One,” but citing five songs would be cheating again, wouldn’t it?
AMBY: The new single The Hedonist is a great tune. What’s the story behind it?
Papermaps: I don’t often get asked about the meaning of my lyrics in such a direct way! I was going to write a pretty detailed explanation of the song, but in the end I think that would diminish the listener’s experience. So all I would really like to get across about The Hedonist (and most of my songs) is that they often have a voice or narrator relating an experience but that the voice and experience are not always my own. In the most literal sense The Hedonist is like overhearing a conversation between two persons sitting closely together in a cafe somewhere and you (the listener) can judge the speaker’s motives and ethics for yourself…
AMBY: Does hailing from Toronto have an influence on your sound? And if so, how?
Papermaps: In the early days of Papermaps I think being yet another indie band on the Toronto scene really did influence our sound but I find that to be less and less true with each release. There is definitely something Darwinian at work here in Toronto because of the huge number of bands working and starting up. I think we’ve reacted by intentionally becoming more insular and less worried about how/what other people are doing. That doesn’t mean that I don’t go out to shows, but I do it more for socializing now.
AMBY: Which other artists from Toronto would you recommend our readers check out?
Papermaps: I don’t really know … there’s a band called Programm that I find interesting right now.
AMBY: If you could choose to have your music featured in any movie or show, which would you choose?
Papermaps: As long as the show or movie is not offensive to me personally or to a marginalized group I really don’t care. Things that bother me are sexism, homophobia, racism or stuff that seems contrary to compassion in general. To be honest I don’t follow what’s on television these days and I tend to rent DVDs rather than go to the cinema – although I’d like to go out to the movies more often (any takers???).
AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?
Papermaps: I won’t speak for the whole band here but m.b.v. by My Bloody Valentine was great. I also really enjoyed The Besnard Lakes’ Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Papermaps that nobody knows yet?
Papermaps: Some fans may already know this but I’m a vegan, so no butter on my popcorn please…
Thank you Papermaps, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout