Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Ian Kelly

Ian Kelly
Photo by Martin Girard

Being almost three years since releasing an album, Montreal singer-songwriter Ian Kelly dropped his new record All These Lines on November 5th. Recently back from his European tour, A Music Blog, Yea? spoke with Ian to talk about hailing from Montreal, releasing new material, and a song about how he can’t dance.

AMBY: Hello Ian, cheers for speaking with us today. What have you been up to lately?

Ian Kelly: Well, I spent the last year making this new album of mine: “All These Lines”. I wrote the songs last fall and started the production in January. We (My Co-Producer Eloi Painchaud and I) had to choose the songs from the 50 that I had written, then we recorded all the tracks between the 2 of us and I mixed the album in June. All this while touring Europe and Canada from coast to coast with Sarah Slean.

AMBY: How would you classify your sound to all of your listeners?

Ian Kelly: I would tell them to give it a listen and see if they like it or not. We’re in 2013 and I feel we can listen so easily to anything at anytime, it might not be necessary to tag the music and the artist with a precise label anymore.

AMBY: Your fourth album All These Lines was released on November 5th. What’s the significance behind the LP’s title?

Ian Kelly: Again, I like people to choose for themselves so the same goes with the title. The lines could be a city’s skyline, trees in a forest or a fence that delimits a field. It could also be the lines that we’re stuck in (traffic, at the bank, at the store or at the movie theatre) or a melodic line that is stuck in our ear. It could be the electrical wires or the phone/cable lines that are bringing the world to our computers and such. It could be anything, I just thought it could really inspire the artist, Marc Gosselin,  that did the piece that became the album cover.

AMBY: It’s been almost three years since you’ve released an album. How’s it feel to finally have some new material out there?

Ian Kelly: It’s real nice to play some new songs, I feel these more uptempo and uplifting tunes will really enhance the live show and I’m super excited about the upcoming tour.

AMBY: I Just Can’t Dance is a track which really stands out for me off All These Lines. What’s the story behind the song?

Ian Kelly: I write a lot about deep, intense stuff like the way we destroy our environment or the way the economy rules the world and there is no more fish in the ocean and all that stuff. I thought it could also be important to write about fun stuff and the little things in life, I didn’t want to get everyone all depressed when they came to a show… “I Just Can’t Dance” is a dancing song about the fact that I can’t dance.

AMBY: Does hailing from Montreal have an influence on your music? And if so, how?

Ian Kelly: It probably does, I think our environment influences who we are and everything we do. Musically, Montreal is a really interesting place and a bunch of Canadian musician meet here, often because they came here to study music or learn French or something. It’s a real good place to start a band!

AMBY: Which other artists from Montreal should we keep our eyes on?

Ian Kelly: This is when I should mention that I have a record label and I just put out a new album from a jazz trio named “Kite Trio”. The album is “Strange Beast” and I’d suggest you give them a try: kitetrio.com. These guys are just amazing!

AMBY: What were some of the highlights of the European tour you recently embarked on?

Ian Kelly: I have been to Europe quite a lot since my first album came out in 2005 but I had never been to the Netherlands or Scotland. I had an amazing time there, the vibe was particularly nice and the people were extremely warm! It’s certain that I’ll play there again!

AMBY: Who would be in your ultimate concert line-up?

Ian Kelly: I guess it would depend on the mood I’m in but I would have loved to see (and mostly hear) Led Zeppelin live. John Bonham is my favourite drummer of all time and to me, a live show is all about loud drums! Today, I guess a festival that would put Elbow, The Roots, Father John Misty and The Foo Fighters on a bill could certainly count me in!

AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?

Ian Kelly: I don’t know! I like “Trouble Will Find Me” as I am a big fan of The National. I also listened to Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City” a lot more than I expected I would but the best, I’m not sure. I was pretty excited when QOTSA put out “Like Clockwork”…

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Ian Kelly that nobody knows yet?

Ian Kelly: Nobody? Well, that’s a tough one, I don’t really have any secrets but I guess I never publicly admitted how much I enjoy listening to LMFAO.

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Thank you Ian Kelly, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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