Toronto art rockers the Darcys are currently on tour supporting Bombay Bicycle Club, but that didn’t stop their singer Jason Couse from answering the TGTF Quickfire Questions. Something tells me he’s about my age (Smashing Pumpkins!)…except for the Steely Dan reference…
1. What song is your earliest musical memory?
My Dad must have played Neil Young’s ‘Harvest’ for me nearly every day of my childhood. I also have a vivid memory of sitting with my grandfather at the piano for hours as he played Oscar Peterson’s arrangements of old jazz and soul standards. I should probably thank them both.
2. What was your favourite song as a child?
Really early on it would have been a tie between Spin Doctors’ ‘Two Princes’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’. Following that It would be anything off of Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Siamese Dream’.
3. What song makes you laugh?
Van Halen – ‘Runnin’ With The Devil’. David Lee Roth’s vocal antics are both absolutely hilarious and amazing. I also find a lot of humor on Of Montreal’s Hissing Fauna. Again, it’s all really incredible, but it can also be pretty funny.
4. What song makes you cry?
Antony and the Johnsons – ‘Hope There’s Someone’. This may be the saddest song ever written, and combined with Antony’s cry-like vocal quiver it almost never fails.
5. What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Hayden – ‘Between Us To Hold’. With this kind of thing it’s all about recalling the memory of a specific time and place, and this song always teleports me right back.
6. What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Radiohead – ‘Treefingers’. When someone puts this on at 4am while driving through a snowstorm it becomes hard to stay in touch with reality, let alone stay on the road.
7. Which song (any song written in the last century) do you wish you’d written yourself?
I don’t really consider myself a fan of this band, but I think the last track off of Fleet Foxes‘ EP, ‘Innocent Son’, is an incredibly beautiful song. It is so far from the kind of music that we make that I almost wish it were my own daily. Just to have as a reference point, something to identify with that is less cryptic and dense than what we most often participate in.
8. Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
I have to give this one to the illustrious writing team of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, a.k.a. Steely Dan. The hyper-literacy of their lyrics leaves a lot to be uncovered. Full of references and tongue-in-cheek humor, it’s often hard to tell if a line between serious artistic exercise and irony even exists. Also, with so many studio albums, it makes me wonder if they have come to operate out of process over inspiration. It seems like they write and record for the sake of the craft, yet never have a shortage of ideas.
9. If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I would probably still be in school, searching for something else to grab onto.
10. If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count!)
Do Make Say Think – ‘Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn’. Most often I quickly grow tired of albums that I listen to repetitively, but I can’t ever imagine that happening to this one.
The Darcys’ self-titled album came out late last year and is available now. Thanks to Dana for sorting this q&a out for us.