The Weakerthans As Interviewed by Michael Barclay

The Weakerthans at Webster Hall
The Weakerthans at Webster Hall

Canadian music journalist Michael Barclay interviewed John Samson of The Weakerthans in July of 2007 and he just published the full interview on his blog, Radio Free Canuckistan. I’ve included a couple of excerpts below, but you should go to his site and check the whole thing out.

JS on being a slow writer:

…Craig Finn came up to me a year ago in New York and said, “˜Since you put out your last record, I’ve put out three.’ And what do you say to that? They’re all really good records. That was a nice impetus. You don’t often get people coming up to you and telling you, “˜Get to it.’

JS on his Canadian identity:

…You know, there are a million curlers in the world, and three-quarters of them are Canadian. I think it defines us more than hockey does, but that’s a whole other interview. I do feel like there are some obvious nods to the Canadian vernacular and society, and now that I have some perspective on it, the [band] name is quintessentially and maybe sadly even, Canadian.

But I find I’m more interested in regional writing, those people who explore the places they’re from and distort them in a way that allows us to hear those places in different ways and understand our own communities in fresh new ways. I often feel more comfortable in Minneapolis than I do in the streets of Vancouver, and that’s something to do with the landscape and the impact of the landscape on people. That’s a huge force.

That’s what I’ve always been most interested in: the localities. In an accelerated culture like ours, that is the most valuable tool for exploring the world. The centres of culture are so difficult for me to get a handle on, and the people writing about the world from the margins””either marginalized places or marginalized positions””are, to me, having the most insight into who we are right now. The idea of a Canadian identity is a bit troubling to me, but it’s certainly there.

The Weakerthans 2008 Tour Dates
02/02/08 – Guelph, ON – Hillside Inside Festival
02/02/08 – Toronto, ON – Toronto Winter Cities Festival

PS On a side note, it seems that Michael is taking some time off from the business of music journalism this year to ah, do something else. Well, Michael, if you’re reading this, “best of luck” in your non-musical endeavours.