Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Peverett Phile Interviews: Id Guinness

Hello, welcome back to the Peverett Phile Interviews. Our next guest is a very talented singer who had one album out and is working on another to be released this August. Please welcome to the Phile Id Guinness.

Me: Hello, Id, welcome to the Phile. First of, I have to say that your name makes me thirsty. Is that your real name? I have never heard anyone named Id before. Ed, yes, Id no.

Id: No, it's not my real name although most people call me that now. I used to play in a lot of bands. When I first decided to become a solo artist, I figured I needed a really unique name that people would remember. Originally, I was going to use 'Id Molotov' from A Clockwork Orange but I was talked out of it. I had a song on a compilation album here and while the graphic designer was waiting for my promo shot, he substituted a picture of Sir Alec Guinness in the mock-up. I thought Id and Guinness went well together, so I went with that.

Me: I wanted to interview you because I downloaded the CD "Cure For the Common Crush" from iTunes. Where did that title come from, apart from being one of your songs?

Id: That title just floated into my head one morning and I thought 'oooh, how clever is that?!' Then of course, it was a big challenge then to write a lyric around that title. To me, it's a rather sinister song about cults, bad religion, mind control and such, but most people don't seem to hear it that way.

Me: That CD was well reviewed all over the internet. You must be very proud of it. Is that your first CD?

Id: I've been on a lot of indie records around here, with various bands and as a session player. I did release an EP a longtime ago as Id Guinness, but this is my first recording in a very long time. Prior to this, I took a long break from music and for several years before that I was trying to write for other artists. I started posting demos of songs from "Cure for the Common Crush" on Myspace in 2006. The response was really encouraging. If it hadn't been, I probably wouldn't have finished the album.

Me: You're from Canada, right? Where in Canada? 

Id: I'm on the West Coast. I live about an hour out of Vancouver in the magical village of Mission where Hell's Angels and Benadictine monks live together in perfect harmony!

Me: One of my number one favorite bands comes from Canada... The Barenaked Ladies. Do you know them? Their music is a lot different then yours.

Id: I don't know them personally, but I'm a big fan - they're brilliant.

Me: You've been compared to Pink Floyd, but I don't hear that. I do hear U2 and Bowie influences though. Who is your biggest influence?

Id: Early on David Bowie and Elton John were at the top of the list. A little later, U2, The Talking Heads, Thomas Dolby were favorites. Nowadays, I'm a huge fan of Conor Oberst who, for me, is the most amazing lyricist to come along in decades. I love MGMT and Band of Horses and the huge reverb on their records. Hawksley Workman is a Canadian artist that
is definitely worth checking out.

Me: Who are the Wyrd Sisters? I saw a picture of them and they're all naked, so can't be bad. Maybe I can interview them as well.

Id: The Wyrd Sisters have been big in the folk scene here since the early 90's. Their albums have won a bunch of awards in Canada. My sister-in-law Delina was a Wyrd Sister for a couple of years and we co-managed them for a while. They were going out on tour in the summer of
2007 and their keyboard player couldn't make it. I ended up going on the road with them and had so much fun that I did it again this summer. They are all great people and I love them dearly. Kim Baryluk, who is the founding member, is a brilliant songwriter and one of the most talented performers I've ever seen - let alone worked with. We're starting to work on some new material together.

Me: On your CD you do a fantastic cover of David Bowie's song "Always Crashing In The Same Car". What made you do a cover of that song? Have you heard feedback from Bowie himself on it?

Id: I knew I wanted to cover a Bowie song and that one kept swimming around my brain. "Sons of the Silent Age" and "The Bewlay Brothers" are a couple of others that I wouldn't mind trying someday. I've never heard from Bowie - doubt I ever will, but I'd love to meet him. It's sad that he seems to have stopped making music.

Me: You have a new CD coming out in the Summer of '09 called "Soul Envy." What can you tell the readers of the Phile to expect from that CD?

Id: It's going to be a little harder, more driving and lyrically darker than "Cure...". I've been experimenting with stacking vocals lately so you'll hear a lot of gothic choral sounds going on. For a few years I was fortunate enough to manage one of Canada's primo choirs - The Vancouver Cantata Singers and their brilliance has definitely affected and influenced me. I'm excited to get this one out. I've been recording non-stop for a few years now and my musicianship and production chops seem to be getting better which makes the process so much easier and more enjoyable.

Me: Are you planning on touring America next year behind that album? If so, I will be there if you play Florida.

Id: I would love to tour. I'm looking at Europe for the fall of '09, but a lot depends on the economy. Even in good times, the prospect is really risky when you're an independent artist. Unfortunately, my sound is big and requires a certain number of musicians to pull it off live. I can't really do a lot of coffee house gigs!

Me: You do seem to have a huge band on your CD. How many people do you have in your band?

Id: All my musician friends are juggling many different music projects, so it sort of depends on who is available. Curtis DeBray is one guy I would always have to drag along (kicking and screaming if necessary). He's a brilliant guitarist and the nicest guy in the world. Most of the people that helped with "Cure for the Common Crush" are friends that I've worked with over the years. We have a sort of informal collective where we pool our various skills to support each other.

Me: Finally, is there anything else you would like to tell the readers?

Id: Well, I've just put out a digital-only album called "Crush d - Unfinished Business Volume I". I've re-recorded some of my older material for it. There are also a couple of songs I've written for other artists and remixes and alternate versions of songs from "Cure for the Common Crush".  It's free when people pre-order "Soul Envy". I've got a huge backlog of material that I need to put out so there will probably be a few more "Unfinished Business" collections in the near future.

Me: Id, good luck with your new CD. I cannot wait to hear it. When it comes out, I would like to interview you again if possible. Hope this was fun for you as it was for me.

Id: Thanks for the opportunity, Jason and for thinking of me.

What a good interview again, and a really nice guy. Go to iTunes and take a listen to his music. So, the next interview will be tomorrow with director Ari Gold. I know, not another musician. The Phile then will be back on Friday and on Saturday and Sunday with two more interviews. Also, e-mail me at Until then, spread the word, not the turd.

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