Q&A: Faux Canada

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Faux Canada is an SF indie band comprised of members of My First Earthquake, Sir Salvatore, and Crashfaster. According to the band’s bio, their influences include elements of 90’s shoegaze, grunge, and electro-lounge, all wrapped up in an energetic pop sheen. They recently released an EP entitled Copies Fading and have a show coming up at Brick and Mortar on April 4.

They reached out to see to get the word out so we took the opportunity to ask them a few questions. We wanted to know how they came up with the band name, what’s the strangest thing that’s happened to them at a show, and what their favorite neighborhoods are in the city.

How’d you come up with the band name?

Alex: Dave and I were both born in Canada but never grew up there, so the band name is a little play on words that hints at an identity which doesn’t span beyond a passport. Also, it sounds like the infectious intro line of the country’s national anthem-♪”Oh Canada…”♬ To be Canadian has a delightfully awkward place in Americana. To be a faux Canadian is like an abstraction of that, which enables us to selectively take the elements we love without having to apologize for it. Maple syrup!

How would you describe your sound?

Kevin: In terms of a genre we’re in the “uptempo indie rock/pop” category. There are lots of other influences in there, from 90s alternative to 00s indie to 70s funk and classic rock, but indie rock is our umbrella term. More poetically, we like to say our sound is like the feeling of showing up at a raucous house-party and getting pulled into a closet by your secret crush.

Dave: I like to say it’s like an AMC Gremlin getting a hover conversion. Classic indie for modern times.

When did you first become interested in playing music?

Kevin: According to my parents, I was singing along to commercial jingles since before I could talk, so I guess it’s always been there.

Melinda: When I was a young lass, I wanted to be a lounge singer with long, sparkly gloves, lying on top of a big ole’ glossy piano singing into a bedazzled microphone. I was expressive as hell in the company of close family but pretty shy around anyone else. I jammed with friends for years before I started singing in bands.

Dave: I’ve always enjoyed performing music – I was in a traveling boys choir when I was younger and played viola in the school orchestra. However, what inspired me to *write* music and pick up a guitar was discovering all the great early 90s grunge and alternative on the radio.

What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?

Melinda: We opened for a burlesque act where a woman mixed a cocktail with her *cough* vagina. It wasn’t half as strange as it was inspiring.

Dave: Not a show I was performing in, but Les Savy Fav was playing and some unhappy resident decided to pull the fire alarm to get them to stop. Everyone ended up standing around outside and Tim Harrington ended up leading everyone in a massive game of duck duck goose.

What are you listening to these days?

Kevin: We’re all hugely influenced by Broken Social Scene, so we’re loving their new album. I love all sorts of indie rock across the spectrum, from Alvvays to the War on Drugs. Local acts like Day Wave and Jay Som are killing it. Moses Sumney’s Aromanticism album is this pristine work of art that needs to be experienced firsthand to be believed. And of course, we’re all obsessed with SZA, so much so that we’re covering one of her songs in our set. We all have really diverse and eclectic tastes, which is part of what makes creating music together so much fun.

Melinda: Right now, I have a huge crush on Ian Sweet, Diet Cig, Waxahatchee, and Jay Som. Frequently indulging in SZA’s and Rhianna’s most recent albums and I haven’t stopped listening to the self-titled Sales [LP] album since it came out in 2016.

Dave: I’m currently really enjoying U.S. Girls, Against All Logic, and Karl Hector & The Malcouns.

You’re playing Brick and Mortar in April, what can we expect at your show?

Kevin: We have a ton of fun playing together, and that energy and happiness are what we bring to our shows. We’re just a bunch of dorks who love music, and the fact that we get to share that love with an audience is just the coolest thing ever.

Melinda: Long, sparkly gloves.

What’s your take on all the live music clubs closing in the city and people calling the San Francisco music scene dead?

Kevin: The music scene here will never die, though it may have to go into hibernation for awhile from time to time. I’ve lived here for over 10 years and have definitely seen how the tech boom has priced out so many artists and venues, but I’ve also seen how many people are still around fighting to keep the fire burning. It’s incredibly inspiring. And happily, the scene across the bay in Oakland is picking up the slack and keeping things interesting.

Melinda: The city’s changing, man. It’s been changing for a long time. It’s always a sad day when an establishment you love shutters down, but the music scene isn’t dead. The music scene, like the way we listen to and where we go to experience new music, even how we play and produce it, is constantly changing. We just want to continue making music and being part of that scene whether it’s waxing or waning.

What does music mean to you?

Melinda: Music is my safety blanket. I can always trust music to understand me anywhere I am. There is a type of music for every mood and it helps me crawl out of the moods that suck. Newness from Angelo De Augustine, Hamilton Leithauser, and eventually LCD Soundsystem pulled me out of a serious funk last fall/winter. Thanks, dudes!

Dave: Music has soundtracked the ups and downs of my life and there’s a perfect song for every occasion. When I hear a song, I think things like, “This would go great while walking the streets of Hong Kong solo” or “This should be the 3rd song played at a funeral.”

What’s your favorite neighborhood in the city and why?

Kevin: My low-key favorite is North Beach, which surprises even me. When I first moved here I thought it was just a tourist trap full of drunk assholes. And it is. But it’s also full of this amazing energy that you can’t get anywhere else in the City. There’s this NYC/European feel to everything that somehow also manages to be uniquely San Francisco. All the crazy history of the City–from the Beats to the Barbary Coast–is right up in your face when you’re there.I also really love the Outer Mission–it’s my hidden gem neighborhood, and I don’t want to say much more about it because I want it to stay a hidden gem.

Melinda: I love the Embarcadero. I don’t know if there is a name for that “neighborhood,” but I’m a sucker for cinematic, lazy strolls, unique architecture, and amazing people watching.

What’s one thing that people would be surprised to find out about you?

Melinda: I love rats. I think they are adorable and hilarious, but I super don’t want to be close to one. Seriously, please tell me all your rat jokes and send me every meme.

Alex: I once had a pair of Jordans stolen by a pack of young adolescents in Brazil. I was wearing them at the time!

Faux Canada plays the Brick And Mortar Music Hall // Wed Apr 4 2018 // 8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM) // $7 ADV / $10 DOS // Ages 18+

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With a discography that includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.