Call & Response: Slim Twig

Call & Response: Slim Twig

Paper Bag Records has had a solid year - You Say Party! We Say Die! and Woodhands went all the way to Beijing for crying out loud! Well, rockabilly punk Slim Twig might be the next big export for Paper Bag. He's got a lot going for him: an artistic urban upbringing in a house full of filmmakers, a main role opposite Ellen Page in Bruce McDonald's film The Tracy Fragments, and two solid EP releases (Derelict Dialect and Vernacular Violence).

Paper Bag has decided to release both EPs as a single LP and Slim Twig will celebrate this with a big show at The Music Gallery Saturday night. I spoke with Slim about his upbringing, his aspirations, and his fascination with fire and brimstone.

blogTO: Why are you called Slim Twig?

Slim Twig: I guess it has to do with my physique. I'm trying to create incentive to maintain my current svelte demeanor. Can't get too portly with a name like that.

Where did you grow up? What did you like best about growing up there?

I take waaay too much pride in being an original Torontonian. Born & raised 100% with little excursion. I was raised in the sewer of a battered old slum. I enjoyed the view mostly.

If you had to pick one Toronto street that would best describe you and/or your music, which street would you choose and why?

Train tracks & rooftops are better, and more fitting...broken bottles and the like.

How did you hook up with Paper Bag Records?

Paper Bag tread lightly so as not to disturb my natural habitat. Once they came close, I pretended I didn't see them but at the last second jumped around in a whirlwind and ensnared them. But really, I just brought in some music to their office.

Now that you're signed, what are your aspirations?

Pretty much the exact same as before I signed. I want to be in the business of idea formation and execution. I want to be a creative force of nature forever, and hopefully avoid sucking. I want to retain a good sense of humour and optimism, and make a living from challenging work.

We've been getting lucky with the nice weather lately. How have you been enjoying the sunshine? How did you feel about all the rain this summer?

I try to avoid the sun for the most part. I suppose at my cottage, if you really must know. Just don't tell anyone.

I saw a blog post you wrote on your Myspace page about the new Portishead record. I love it as well. Your music also has a certain eeriness and sadness about it. When did you first start writing songs like this?

I've been writing music and lyrics together for a half decade now, and have yet write a jovial jingle. I guess I'm too fascinated by the mysterious, and the grisly, the fire and brimstone. All that jazz.

Who (or what) else inspires you?

I try to take in as much music/film/literature as i can to keep ideas flowing, so I'm always inspired by something. My filmaker parents, and David Lynch are a couple big ones.

When are you planning on releasing your debut full-length? Have you already started working on it?

The album is all recorded & will arrive sometime next year.

What can people expect to see/hear/feel at your show Saturday night?

See: Three blokes with stringed instruments, one lady with an orange organ. Amazing projections courtesy of the ever-talented Exploding Motorcar Collective.

Hear: A dust devilin' miasmatic madhouse of opaque pop with pretty crooning.

Feel: Exhilarated hopefully. Loose with their change perhaps. Hopefully none too confused.

Slim Twig and the Mercy Mercenaries
w/ Josh Reichmann Oracle Band, Huckleberry Friends
Saturday, September 6
The Music Gallery
197 John Street
Doors 7pm, show 8pm
Tickets $10 advance at Rotate This, Soundscapes & Ticketweb

Call & Response is a series of weekly Q&A's with artists from or playing in Toronto. Photo: Rachel Verbin.

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