Corduroy on Nicolas Cage and the Toronto International Film Festival

Corduroy has stepped it up this past year. After four months of what they describe as "a stagnant period," the songs started to come quickly, they began playing the Toronto circuit heavily, and with a demo released and an EP on the way, things look on the up and up. They're certainly not the band of yesteryear. I guess they've been really reinvigorated by a new member and a new name.

We arranged to meet up at the Red Room and discuss all of the above and a TIFF kick-off party they are scheduled to play. And, of course, Nicolas Cage.

It was Darren Tarbat (guitar/ "other instruments") and Matt Boudreau (bass guitar/ "other instruments") that I met up with on the patio. While Trevor Blumas is the lead vocalist, every member of the band contributes to the vocals heard on the demo and in their live performances.

Matt is the newest addition and feels that his arrival was beneficial for both him and the band.

"I got here [from Nova Scotia] about a year ago. I pretty much hooked up with these guys right away. It was kind of fluky; I've never even played bass in a band before. But I met these guys, and they needed a bass player and we all liked drinking together and hanging out. It just seemed like a good idea. I could tell when I showed up that the boys were looking for something. The ire was a little low."

Darren explained how Matt's presence helped the band move on and develop.

"When you add a new member when you've been stagnant for a number of months, it changes the dynamic. And that was the first time I felt really good about the band. These are the songs that this band should be making. I feel like we've really graduated into something... and redefined our sound."

Darren went on to add that it became quickly obvious that the band was in desperate need of a demo, or something that would allow them to book a few shows for the summer, like the Cutting Edge Music Festival.

"The idea with the demo was just to test the waters. Matt worked the board and it was all self-produced. We just wanted to have it so that we could play some really good shows this summer and be able to play our new catalogue of songs for people."

Now, they have quite the schmooze-fest to attend. On Wednesday, September 9th they'll play an acoustic set for industry and TIFF types at the Drake Underground. I've been told that if I want to attend then I'll have to dress "all nice." Apparently, what I was wearing was not up to standard TIFF party attire. It hurt a little.

But I had to ask about my favourite song by Corduroy, 'Nicolas Cage,' and how it came to bear his name. As it turned out, Matt was also interested.

Darren explained, "Haha. Okay, I will give you the honest answer, which is not the answer that I normally give as a precursor to the song. Every time we play I'll list off as much of Nicolas Cage's catalogue that I can think of, and talk about how great of an actor he is, which people obviously think is a lie..." As it turned out, Matt also loves Nicolas Cage.

"So I love Nicolas Cage," Darren revealed. "I love his mannerisms... but the truth is that I play the mandolin and when I was writing it I was thinking 'what would Captain Corelli do with this mandolin?' That's just how my brain works. So every time we had to say the name I would just jump up and down and scream 'Nicolas Cage!' until they [the band] gave in."

Matt responded to Darren's revealing of the story he long wanted to learn: "It's funny, because you've NEVER, EVER told us that before when we asked."

It's funny for me, because I've always tried to relate the song to Nicolas Cage somehow but was never successful.

Nicolas Cage, along with four other tracks, will make up the upcoming EP which should be released late November. As for me, I guess I have to go shopping for "nice" clothes. Whatever that means.

Photo by Oliver Pauk

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