Ottawa’s The Pink Elephants make an early splash in 2019 with this advance beauty from their upcoming album ‘Shrine of Visions’.
Paragon Cause are the duo of Marnie VanKheul (Gatineau) and Kirwan Opthof (Ottawa).
When did Paragon Cause start?
Just over a year ago. I met Marnie on-line. Right off the bat we started writing and recording songs together. We’d never met before. We’d both been in other bands and we were looking for something different.
You met on-line?
There’s a site where musicians can meet. So Kirwan says, “Come and meet me in my basement lair.” And I’m like, “OK.” [laughs]
You’ve released one album ‘Escape’.
The songs on ‘Escape’ were the songs that we wrote as we were getting to know each other, oddly enough. So they were the first songs we did and we liked them enough that we said, “Let’s record and release them rather than waste them. It was a learning experience for the two of us to get some songs under our belt together.
Did you have a certain sound in mind that you wanted to create?
I used to play more blues rock. Back in Halifax I used to be the bass player for Rose Cousins. Then I was in band called Servo with the drummer from Joel Plaskett and Matt Mays. So I was in that scene and I got bored so I started doing electronic music just for fun. But I missed playing the guitar. For me it was just trying to find someone who had an interesting style. We never had a sound in mind.
It started evolving as we played and played together more. There were long jams, like hours and hours. We’d get totally lost in weird modalities and stuff. It was awesome.
There are certainly trip-hoppy vibes in your music.
We never really tried to sound like that whole lo-fi, vinyl-ie kind of old sound. But we both atmospheric music, even instrumental. A lot of our music would work as well with or without words.
Was it an adjustment becoming a duo?
Before I met Kirwan I never really played on a keyboard, only classical instruments and real pianos. I was a bit of a purist in that regard. Then I discovered the wonderful world of synthesizers. Now I’m so addicted, I love it. It was a lot of learning — how sounds are made. It’s awesome. Now I have the chance to blend all of those together.
Are you conscious of the sound that you will ultimately create when you are writing?
Whenever I write music I have a melody in mind and lyrics. For the first album I was going through some not so pleasant experiences. So it was my therapy essentially. It was certainly creating a mood whether I was aware of it or not.
Is is difficult to re-create your sound on stage?
I would say it isn’t, because a lot of the songs started out “live”. For example, “Curiosity” is a actually a live recording. We recorded it in one take. We wanted to challenge ourselves — we wrote the song and said, “Let’s just record it”, and we did it. On stage I work a drum machine and I have a guitar pedal that’s a sampler and a looper. We’ll sample and loop as we play live, plus we have 2 or 3 keyboards and some vocal effects. A few songs are a bit more challenging because there’s a lot of coordination with the drums. But overall it’s not too bad. The next album is going to be more of a challenge, however.
Yeah, we’re going to need a drummer.
Interview by Mark Anthony Brennan
Who are Expanda Fuzz?
Expanda Fuzz is a DIY music project started by two friends with the idea of melding art and distorted pop music.
Why the name?
We originally wanted to call ourselves The Who, but of course that name was taken. We toyed with the idea of The Who Jr, but due to our love distortion and fuzz pedals, we settled on naming ourselves after a classic pedal: The Gretsch Expandafuzz. (Fun fact and somewhat related – we ended up referencing the The Who in one of our songs, The Last Of The Who Heads).
Can you explain the band’s sound?
An homage to the bands we love who use dirty bass, fuzzy guitars, watery vocals, sweet, sugary, boomy, bass driven, mind expanding pop-punk-noise… with beats.
What can people expect at an Expanda Fuzz show?
Distortion-fueled pop music and some fashionable eye-wear. With beats.
What’s up next?
We’re working on our new LP….DIY, of course. And in a nutshell: we’ll be doing what it takes to achieve world domination.
Dark metal with great groove and composition. The title track from the Ottawa group latest album.
50. “Not to Scale or Painted” by Cloudkicker
49. “Sign Of The Times” by Cloudy Head
48. “Chemicals” by Forest Pilots
47. “Goat Lore” by The World Next Door
46. “Vestibule of Hell” by Voices From The Fuselage
45. “The Adulthood Lie (Edit)” by The Tangent
44. “Féminin Masculin” by B LE U N U IT
43. “Soyuz One” by Gazpacho
42. “Under the Eye of the Sun” by Steve Hackett
41. “Origin” by Hold My Hand Spaceman
40. “時(Toki)” by SweetSleep
39. “Insane!” by Sweet Toothe
38. “Nocturne” by OneOverZero
37. “Nova” by Bastila
36. “Grey Shapes on Concrete Fields” by Kino
35. “Far Below” by The Pineapple Thief
34. “ZERO” by Red Cain
33. “Leave This Place” by Bilateral
32. “The Best of Days (ft. Steve Hogarth)” by Gleb Kolyadin
31. “How Big The Space” by Steven Wilson
30. “Summon” by VANCORVID
29. “Something In The Trees” by cecs
Exclusively Premiered on The Sentinel’s Marvellous Kaleidoscope at CFRU 93.3 FM – Show 74: That Jazzerfied Intonation (Hour 1) – http://archive.cfru.ca/archive/2018/05/28/The%20Sentinel%E2%80%99s%20Marvellous%20Kaleidoscope%20-%20May%2028,%202018%20at%2015:00%20-%20CFRU%2093.3.mp3 (Skip to 27:20)
28. “alt to unending conquest (dreams version)” by Luyos MC / Anthony Donovan
27. “LuvBytes” by Dusts of Binary
26. “Vale of Tears” by Riverside
25. “Oubliette” by Raphael Weinroth-Browne
24. “Wilderness Chant” by Stvannyr
23. “War” by Subterranea
22. “Eclipse” by OVILOR
21. “Waterhole” by AWOOGA
20. “Cocaine Kangaroo” by Moths & Locusts
19. “The Colour Pink” by Bodhi Jar
18. “Are All Fish the Same Shape If You Stretch Them?” by Lunar Lemur
17. “Finna Skedaddle” by ART the Band
16. “Là où les veines rétrécissent” by Renard Blanc
15. “Poisonous Kiss” by Archipelago
14. “City Apart (Single Edit)” by Fifth Species
13. “Diamond Duller” by Dizzy Mystics
12. “Anunnaki – Patterns of Light” by Perfect Beings
11. “Untamed” by Lunatic Soul
10. “Landslide” by Arcane Roots
9. “The Weight of History” by Brian Eno & Kevin Shields
8. “Golden Prayers” by Leprous
7. “Danny Don’t You Know” by Ninja Sex Party
6. “Puzzle Box” by Haken
5. “King” by TesseracT
4. “Don’t You Dare” by Nosound
3. “Fukue’s Theme Part I (from the Finding Fukue Soundtrack)” by Jessica Stuart
2. “Wasteland” by Andy Wiseman
1. “I Need A Change” by That Joe Payne
25. “It Will Come to You” by ACTORS
24. “Pure Pain” by Shirley & the Pyramids
23. “Trespasser” by Art d’Ecco
22. “Have a New Name” by Wax Mannequin
21. “Lightbringer” by Still Fools
20. “Queller” by Ivory Towers
19. “Fever Feel” by Fever Feel
18. “Aleppo” by Tremblers of Sevens
17. “Patient Problems” by Problem Patient
16. “The Golden Octave” by Witch Prophet
15. “Lush Life” by Bonjay
14. “Angels of Death” by Jennifer Castle
13. “Heart Shaped Bed” by Nicole Dollanganger
12. “Bird/Alien” by Wallgrin
11. “Into the Sun” by Freak Dream
10. “Basic Behaviour” by Frigs
9. “Monkey Paw” by Phono Pony
8. “Puff LP: In the air without a shape” by Bernice
7. “Rebirth” by Cursed Arrows
6. “Cotton Candy Jet Engine” by Expanda Fuzz
5. “Strange Prison” by Astral Swans
4. “Montreal” by Elizabeth Shepherd
3. “Drugs in the Water” by TETRIX
2. “Trade Winds” by Hello Blue Roses
1. “Cuntrol+Z” by Claude l’Anthrope
(Baffled Octopi = Mark Anthony Brennan)
Expelling one final audible explosive before completing their retractive demise, these weirdo rocker boys get into insane groovy pandemonium in this conjoined song, talking and screaming of parasitic trees and the naughty bits of waterfowl.