May 29, 2013

A TZEEEAC INTERVIEW: Seb Painchaud (Tumbleweed Dealer)

(Sometimes, interviews don't turn out the way you expected. I had originally written 500 questions for Seb of Tumbleweed Dealer and they were profound and really hit at the core of what it means to be a musician in this time and age. Unfortunately, though, this big bird flew in through my window and stole most of the pages I had written the questions on, leaving me with only a handful of pages I had tucked away in my drawer. Obviously, I forgot what the really deep questions were, so I only have some questions about Seb's band, getting high and watching TV. They strangely stop at question number 420... )

410. HEY. So nice of you to agree to take part in this friendly conversation. You are the second Canadian band with which we’ve had the pleasure to chat with, after the satanic rock’n’roll warmongers You Handsome Devil. Why do you think Canada is such a great breeding ground for kickass rock and metal bands? 

Not sure, might have to do with how spread out the population is here. It’s like all the major towns are all microcosms and have their own scene and sound rather than just one Canadian sound. Might also have to do with the better quality of weed we have up here too… 

411. Your first EP Death Rides Southwards was available on the wonderful Moshpit Tragedy label, which is how I found out about Tumbleweed Dealer. What made you choose Moshpit Tragedy as your launchpad?

They actually approached us. At that point, we weren’t planning on doing anything overtly serious with this project so we agreed to let them release it on line. Was a great decision and we ended up having a great relationship with them. 

412. Your social media game is pretty strong. You have a nice way of engaging your fans by constantly updating your Facebook page with news and photos from the studio. I especially liked the way you kept everybody up to date with how the new album was progressing. Who’s in charge of your Facebook account and how important is this interaction for your band?

That’d be me. We’re a 2 man operation, with me writing all the music and playing guitar and bass, so this is really my baby. In the past I was never the main writer in any of my bands, so it really feels like this is my first baby, and like a first time parent, all I wanna do is talk about it and show pictures to people! 

413. Dopethrone’s drummer Carl Borman is also in your band, which is pretty damn cool (wasn’t Dopethrone’s latest full-length fucking DOPE?). How did you convince him to join your gang of troubadours? 

Dopethrone’s III was definitely fucking dope that’s for sure. I’ve been friends with them since the beginning. Dopethrone formed at the same time as Vatican did, in which I played bass and Vince from Dopethrone played drums, so I’ve seen that band grow up. Victor, their bassist, has been a good friend for over a decade, and was a long time student of mine back when I gave bass lessons. Also, Vince’s place (where they also jam) is 2 corners away from my place, so I’m over there every Friday getting drunk and high while they jam. I always hit up Victor for smokes, I thought the next logical step was to hit him up for a drummer! Carl didn’t need any convincing, he really liked my tunes and was more than happy to join

414. All of your songs have a loose, jamming structure which, along with that sweet-ass guitar tone, makes them sound very chill. Also, despite being instrumentals, you take the time to weave stories for your songs. How do you come up with song ideas and new music? I’m guessing it involves a lot of weed and beer. What’s your favorite beer, by the way?

Weed yes, beer not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I drink, but if I’m alone at home writing songs, weed is my intoxication of choice. My favorite beer is Grolsch ‘cause it’s good yet inexpensive, and sold everywhere here. 

As far as coming up with song ideas, it depends. I have written a lot of material in the last couple of years for projects I tried to get started that just died, so I have a lot of material lying around. Sometimes I’ll work off of that to make a tumbleweed song, mostly the darker ones because I’m working off of stuff that used to be extreme metal. “Dark Times A Comin’” is a re-written version of a song we used to play live with Nefastus Dies, a black metal band I fronted a few years back. I rip everything down til I’m back down to the framework of the song, a few chords and a melody, and build them back up into a tumbleweed song. When I write from scratch, I’ll just play the first riff on my looper, let it loop while I get high, and then dick around on the guitar ‘til I find something that goes over that, record it, then repeat the process ‘til I have 12-13 guitars over each other. 

I really like to get a basic idea of the feel of a song, have the chords layed out, or just a melody, and then find the title and then it just makes a scene pop into my head. Sometimes it’s from something I’ve seen, sometimes it’s made up, but I always have a little mini movie in my head I want to try and attain when I’m fleshing the tracks out.

The only specific scene from something pre-existing I can point out is for March of The Dead Cowboys. It’s from the comic book PREACHER, 9th book towards the end of the story, when he wakes up the Saint Of Killers by disturbing his grave, and attempts to make a deal with him. The saint looks out into the night desert and says “Can’t you see them?” and Jesse, the main protagonist in the comic book asks “See who?” to which the saint answers “Well I guess you didn’t kill them” and hands him his guns he made by melting down the angel of death’s sword, then Jesse sees this whole town the saint butchered in his origin story, all these pilgrims and cowboys with half their heads shot off, even children with no legs dragging across the desert floor towards them slowly, THAT is exactly the scene I wanted to convey in that song.

415. Speaking of weed, Pineapple Express is one of Marco and I’s favorite movies ever. We like to think of ourselves as younger versions of Saul and Dale, although we haven’t yet decided who should be who. Do you watch any stupid movies and/or TV shows? What are some of your favorites?

I was disappointed with Pineapple Express honestly, I think it’s when Seth Rogen’s stuff started going downhill. But I get the vibe you guys like, especially if it hits home within your friendship. My favorite movie EVER is Clerks. I’ve seen it over a hundred times, I know the whole thing by heart. And in all my friendships, I’m definitely Randall. I’ll screw over my buddies at the drop of a dime if I think it’ll make for something funny! My favorite show right now has to be Breaking Bad, and I also really like Sons of Anarchy (which is why I HAD to include the word SONS in one of the song titles… I’ll have one dedicated to breaking bad on the next album). 

Besides that, I enjoy some of the more typical sitcom shows, like How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory, and some stuff from when I was a kid, I just got done re-watching Malcolm In The Middle from beginning to end. One thing I adore, and I’ll fight anyone over it if they think it makes me unmetal, is Buffy The Vampire Slayer, it’s just a great fucking show written by a genius. I also enjoy some of the more off the wall comedies, like It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and right now I’m watching the new season of Arrested Development. Just so many good shows, I spend my time off work getting high and watching TV shows and writing music. I’m a hermit. As you can see, if you wanna start a conversation with me, just come over and ask what I’ve been watching lately I’ll talk your ear off for hours.

Seb reppin' the Sons

416. Your full-length album seems to draw on many different musical influences, especially late-Earth. What are the bands that have inspired you and molded your sound?

Earth of course. Also, Horseback, especially their The Invisible Mountain record, fucking love it, it’s the first time I had heard western sonorities mixed with metal and it just hit home. Some space rock too, big fan of 35007 and The Cosmic Dead. And song structure wise, early Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Moya is still to this day one of my favorite songs ever.

417. Are you planning to take these songs to the stage? How would you envision a live Tumbleweed Dealer show in terms of atmosphere, accompanying visuals and so on?

We’re going to start working on getting stage ready as soon as Carl comes back from Dopethrone’s European tour. Felix, my buddy and fellow The Last Felony graduate, who programmed the drum machine on our EP and has always been in the backround helping me with the band, will step in as a stage bassist. Since I end up with 15 guitar tracks at a time, I play with a looper. We’re still figuring out all the logistics but we’ll find a way to recreate this on stage. 

I keep having this discussion with people, since the music is mellow, everyone thinks we should play with dimmed lights, freaky light shows, or movies projected on a screen etc. but I’ve always been a fan of being in the fans faces during live shows, having a lot of back and forth, putting out lots of energy. I know this music is mellow but I can envision us taking to the stage like we were The Dillinger Escape Plan and just creating havoc while we play these songs… we’ll see when we get there I guess! 

418. I know you guys live pretty much halfway across the world from me and postage rates are outrageous sometimes, but what are the chances of seeing some Tumbleweed Dealer t-shirts and other merch in the future?

Sadly, since I’m funding this band out of pocket and we have no shows to make revenue off of, merch will have to wait for me to be able to put up the money for the first batch. But it’s something I want to get to ASAP, I really want shirts out there, and we just made a small batch of posters which is already sold out, but I plan on making a bigger batch and offering it up to the fans. 

419. Finally, a burning question courtesy of TZEEEAC reader and friend Meetzer: Are you ever going to make a song about roaming the great American plains, the deserted highways of Arizona and New Mexico, riding the dragon toward the crimson eye, flapping the wings under Mars red sky, discovering a new reality under the hood of the American muscle-car you’re driving, in the embers of the blunt and in the stars which light up one by one in the dark night sky like so many dreams waiting to be dreamed by all the people who seek to find a beautiful world through music?

I was just gonna write a concept album about Unicorns but that sounds a LOT better… 

420. As we usually do, we leave the last question up to you, so you can say whatever you want. Thanks for talking with us, keep making great music and see you around Facebook!

Can we just go back to shooting the shit about tv shows? I love interviews when I discuss anything but the band! Comic books, TV shows, obscure 70’s prog and jazz, indy and japanese pro wrestling and stand up comics are my favorite subjects, so to all the potential interviewers out there, just stick to that! 

To anyone who hasn’t heard our music yet, roll a fatty, sit back, go here and press play and let the wave of greeny goodness just crash over you .

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