Sitting down with 3 members of the band we chatted about Montreal, New York and the differences between the two cities.
Orcasound: What are your favourite parts of Montreal?
Sabina: Le Vieux Port. I find it so beautiful. I guess I like everything that is old.
Jesse: It's like France. People here have got their own thing going on. It doesn't feel too generic for a small city.
Didi: That's a tremendous compliment. It's definitely not generic.
Sabina: I think also we're used to American cities. They all pretty much look exactly the same.
Jesse: Many cities in Europe.
Sabina: But they don't look the same.
Jesse: Not how they look. The people. Just like kid's styles. Everybody's kinda got something going on. That's all I'm trying to say. Not necessarily individuals. People just seem like they're into shit.
Sabina: Either way, I think that the whole world is going where the U.S. is already at. It's just the mass market kind of thing. All the money leading to everyone wearing the same and looking the same way. That's how it is.
Jesse: But another thing that came out of America and a lot of other places that new generic thing was intrinsically not generic. What became trendy was to not be trendy. That's obviously what's going on with all those hipsters. I think it's resurged again, you know. It feels like it. People are not necessarily busting their ass and going to…and I don't know, it feels like people are letting themselves be creative. It feels that way here. It feels that way in New York.
Orcasound: How do you guys meet up with your buddies here? At concerts?
Didi: Well, it's different.
Jesse: We stay in touch with people if we meet them at a concert. We work with people. People accost us or we accost them.
Orcasound: What brings you guys back to Montreal so much? I mean, you seem to be one of Montreal's favourite bands.
Didi: Cuz we love it (singing)! Cuz we got hired.
Sabina: Yeah, we got hired. Paris, New York, L.A…Montreal is one of the places where we have a good audience. Usually we have a really good time during the shows, people're really grateful and they understand the lyrics.
Orcasound: You guys get to know the city a bit?
Sabina: Yeah! We have this great girl Maude…
Jesse: We went to the park today.
Didi: We love Montreal. We're thinking of moving here part of the year.
Jesse: Maybe a month or two.
Sabina: There's also a lot of great stuff coming out of Montreal. Great music.
Didi: I saw the band Of Montreal in Brooklyn recently. It was fun. It was a lot of fun. Seriously, Montreal is one of the best cities in North America. One of the best cities.
Jesse: It's true. It feels really great here. The English-speaking Canadian and the French-speaking Canadian. It's an incredible mix.
Orcasound: Is it? The difference is that in New York there's something happening all around – to the left of you and to the right of you. Here you can be centered. I find that's the difference between the two cities. I find after a while it's a bit draining in New York compared to this city.
Didi: It's essential to get out of town if you live in New York.
Didi: You know, it's neurotic.
Jesse: You come here and immediately you feel like the sense of urgency is not there. Pressure is a little less here.
Sabina: It's kinda high energy and high frenzy in New York. Not everywhere. Not in every surrounding. I think New York has changed quite a bit over the last 10 years. From Giuliani onwards. Just the prices, everything. And I think it's lost a lot of it's bohemian and marginal communities just because it got so expensive. It's lost a bit of its bite but it's still there's still obviously great pockets, great scenes and great little crowds.
Didi: But you can still find that energy in certain parts of Brooklyn. Like starving artists can't afford and that's what Manhattan came to be. But if you go to Brooklyn the level of intensity drops a notch. It's a little bit less neurotic. You don't have all the options in your face all the time.
Orcasound: I think New York has really been cleaned up.
Sabina: It is. It is. It's just so expensive.
Orcasound: Do you guys have a preference of performing or recording?
Sabina: Really? I don't.
Sabina: No. It's very different. It's completely different energies. Whatever goes well I prefer.
Didi: When we record we perform. Cuz we play with the same set up without the crowd. Or maybe there is a difference…
Sabina: That's the big difference. But also the sound is very different.
Orcasound: How do the songs germinate with you? How do they come together?
Sabina: It's very different.
Orcasound: Every song is different?
Sabina: Yes, very much so. Sometimes it's a melody that rings in someone's head. Sometimes it's something that comes out of a jam. Sometimes it's something that already existed in somebody's repertoire. Or a tape machine. It's very varied.
Orcasound: Do you find that the music stands up on its own on CD or do you find that your fans should see you live to get the full Brazilian Girls experience?
Jesse: This one's a little bit more closer to our live playing.
Sabina: Closer to our live show from what people say.
Didi: We'll tell people to come check us out. It's a different experience and it kinda makes sense.