Small Talk: DONLANDS & MORTIMER

Who are you and what do you do:
Carmen Elle: I’m Carmen, I work at a restaurant.
Johnny Spence: I am the shadow of the waxwing slain. I make music with my friends in an attempt to make myself, and the people around me, happy.

Current obsessions:
CE: Coffee, playing pool, watching TV, saving money, drinking evian, worrying.
JS: Dried fruits. Coffee. Kale. Trying to keep quiet and listen to what surrounds me.

A song or a record that will always put you in a good mood, without fail:
CE: “Brandy” by Looking Glass
JS: The record “Amazing Grace” by Aretha Franklin.

Tell us about an album or artist you think is really under-appreciated, and why they are deserving of more praise:
CE: See Johnny’s answer.
JS: T H O M A S (a.k.a. Thom Gill). Thomas is a visionary. His beautiful music, which he creates at an astonishing rate, is a testament to what a great artist can achieve if they truly challenge themselves. He has a huge palate of textures and harmonies to choose from but uses them with care, always supporting and not overshadowing the song. And what lovely songs they are!

Most played track on your iTunes:
CE: “Hamburg, Noon” by Land of Talk
JS: “Come Get To This” by Marvin Gaye.

Most cherished musical object:
CE: The guitars my dad made me; Margaret, George and Audrey.
JS: My feet.

Proudest moment:
CE: Coming home from my first tour ever.
JS: The first time I realized that I truly loved someone.

Most vulnerable moment:
CE: All of them.
JS: (See my “proudest moment” answer)

If you could score a film for anyone, who would it be and why:
CE: Jim Jarmusch because his films are the epitome of cool.
JS: Ingmar Bergman.

Your favourite use of a song in a film:
CE: Heath Ledger singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” in 10 Things I Hate About You
JS: “Moon River” in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” … Or maybe that scene in Armageddon where Ben Affleck starts singing “Leaving On a Jet Plane” to Liv Tyler and then everyone else joins in… Or John Cusack with his bookbox in “Say Anything”.

Favourite venue to play in and why:
CE: In Toronto probably the Horseshoe and in general I had a great time at Le National in Montreal- it had a beautiful vaudevillian vibe to it and it sounded great.
JS: The “Vogue Theatre” in Vancouver. Laundry in the basement. Amazing sound and lighting. A nice stage in a beautiful hall.

Dream venue to play in and why:
CE: Massey Hall because it’s the only venue in North America that I consider to be out of the vast majority of performers leagues. You have to earn Massey Hall-you don’t just play that venue unless you can permeate every corner of the room.
JS: Your living room. Yes, that’s right. Yours.

Top album released this year:
CE: Strange Mercy by St. Vincent
JS: “Empire Sound” by Doldrums

First band t-shirt you ever purchased from a merch table:
CE: When I was 14 I got turned away from a Feist concert at the Mod Club and as a consolation prize my parents bought me a “Let it Die” t shirt I still have.
JS: I don’t own any band T-shirts… Sorry!

Band you’d leave your bandmates for:
CE: None. Ok, Bjork.
JS: Dick Sanchez… Good riddance!

Album you want to expose your kin to whilst in the womb:
CE: Patti Smith, Horses.
JS: “Ella & Louis”

If for some reason you lost the ability to make and play music, what would fill that gap:
CE: Owning and operating my own record store/laundromat called “Lather, Spin, Repeat”
 JS: Food.

What was your last dream about:
CE: A horse the size of a kitten that had one brown eye and one blue eye that followed me around at Johnny’s chalet. It was just a baby so it grew so fast! It was so cute though and my new dream is to own a kitten horse for real.
JS: I was ‘Scratching’ some vinyl, being very tasteful and making melancholy soundscapes reminiscent of a Kid Koala set. Beside me on the couch (an old brown one from the 70’s) were two unidentified trumpet players attempting to hit ‘high C’.