PHOTO: D. Brian Campbell
This month, Quick Before It Melts celebrates 10 years of music blogging and writing by honouring 10 Canadian artists who’ve had the greatest impact and influence on Quick Before It Melts over the last 10 years, and each in their own way have left their mark on our website and our soul. We’re calling this special series of posts 10/10.
I think of Natalia Yanchak and Murray Lightburn are the First Family of Quick Before It Melts, and The Dears as our patron saints of pop, as they were the first Canadian band to get mentioned and shared on Quick Before It Melts. That kind of makes Yanchak and Lightburn our Adam and Eve. They Dears are stalwarts, just as Yanchak says in the 10-question Q+A she recently did with us below, they will always and forever be with us (no apology necessary at all). They are also forever tied to Quick Before It Melts’ origin story, and we’re honoured and thankful they’ve been a part of our 10th anniversary celebrations.
10/10 >> THE DEARS’ NATALIA YANCHAK
QBIM: What has been the highlight of the past 10 years for you, either personally or as an artist?
Natalia Yanchak:Having kids (x2).
QBIM: What part of the last 10 years do you wish to forget?
NY: Nothing. We learn from the bad stuff. It makes us better.
QBIM: What do you know now that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
NY: I’m not big on regret in general, but regard looking back as the wisdom that comes with age. That said, I wish I wasn’t so naive and trusting (i.e. a Classic Canadian). I put a lot of faith in people, because I believe in human beings, and have been let down a number of times. Don’t get me wrong, though. The positive people definitely outnumber the shitty ones, and I’m absolutely grateful to everybody (the lame ones and the awesome ones) for contributing to where I am now!
QBIM: What changes do you hope to see in the Canadian music industry/community over the next 10 years?
NY: I would hope to see more equality, in the way business players are treated and how musicians treat each other, and how marketing is put out there. Just because “it’s 2016” doesn’t mean the stereotypes have gone away. Things are getting better but the misogyny and racism is so boring.
QBIM: Digital music was supposed to be the death of the album as we know it, but the resurgence in vinyl suggests that the long play format is far from dead and buried. Will artists ever be able to make a living by making music again, or has the industry been forever changed by the digital revolution?
NY: Hmm. Record sales (physical and digital) have definitely taken a hit, and streaming services have gotten away with devaluing music completely. The thing is that we will always *need* music that speaks to us, that connects the listener with the world they live in. It’s a cultural must. So while we are in this glut of “accessibility” — both to the digital creation and distribution of music — humans will innately be drawn back to the meaningful stuff. We’re also in an age of “branded content,” so we can expect to see more exclusive releases, corporate tie-ins, and stuff like that. Selling out is meaningless, these days. In fact, if you’re *not* selling out, then you’re in trouble.
QBIM: What is the last album you listened to from beginning to end?
NY: Honestly, and not to be cheeky, but that would be The Dears’ “Times Infinity Volume Two.” We finished work that album nearly two years ago, and sometimes I have to remind myself of what’s going on there. That album is an emotional beast! The record won’t be released until 2017, so this is the longest we’ve ever sat on a completed master.
QBIM: 2016 will forever be remember as the year David Bowie died; was he an influence on your music, or is there another hero lost in the last 10 years that had a major influence on your art?
NY: David Bowie and Prince were two icons that will never be replaced. They embodied freedom of expression, not giving a fuck, and challenging the norm. They were inspiring to The Dears each in their own ways (Bowie especially on “Missiles” and Prince, just, everywhere), but what they really brought to the table was that notion of beauty in Art (with a capital A), of composition, arrangement and songwriting. These days everything is just “looks” and “sounds,” trendiness and coolness have seemingly overtaken the craft.
QBIM: What album or artist have you listened to the most over the last 10 years?
NY: The Beatles. Our 10-year-old loves The Beatles so they are always playing. Surprisingly, it never gets sickening!
QBIM: Look into the crystal ball and tell us: what do you see for yourself (either personally or professionally) for the next 10 years?
NY: For The Dears, we will, unfortunately, never die, though many attempts have been made on our existence. Sorry, everybody.
For myself: I’ve been writing a lot, and have nearly completed my first novel of speculative fiction (think Margaret Atwood meets Philip K. Dick). In 10 years, I hope to be working on my third or fourth book, having my previous novels already published, and, you know, kicking everybody’s ass, etc etc…
QBIM: Leave us with one final thought in 10 words (or less).
NY:Love each other, take care of everyone, including yourself.Tags: The Dears