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Violin-looping virtuoso Owen Pallett brings his new music to life

Monday 01st, September 2014 / 19:39
By Jamie Goyman

Owen-PallettVANCOUVER — “There’s an incredible thrill about doing what I’m doing, carting a violin around and hoping people show up, and when they do and I really nail a song.”

Owen Pallett has been divvying out his knockout musical talent for 10+ years, not only on his violin strings, but with pinpoint vocals to match, and from the way things have been going it doesn’t look as if it’s going to stop anytime soon. Which is, of course, no problem as musical stylings by Pallett are always appreciated. “I’m really happy with how the A-side of In Conflict turned out all the way to ‘Chorale’. I think that’s some of the best recording material I’ve done.”

Coming off the release of In Conflict back in May, he found himself doing back-to-back tours with Arcade Fire and on his own. The man literally has spent around 10 days in his own bed this year. This lack of downtime may worry fans into thinking there will be a slow start to new material, however Pallett has made sure to keep up with song structure and lyric writing while on the road.

“Something I’ve actually done with what’s coming up after In Conflict is I’ve laid it all out already. I know how I want the songs to behave and interact with each other and I know how I want them to be structured. I have no idea how I want the harmonic or melodic material, but give me a couple hours at a piano and I can have that figured out pretty easy.”

There is a mood of excitement around this tour and there is good reason for it. Not only has it been four years since Owen Pallett’s last album, Heartland, but also there are two new names joining the band – those of which have surely aided in the growth of the music.

“I felt discouraged after a year of touring Heartland and I knew I wanted to get a band together because I think that discouragement was coming from the feeling that for the first time I made an album I couldn’t live up to it in a live context. I wanted to put together a band that was going to be amazing and blow every single part of Heartland out of the water and any other earlier Final Fantasy songs and make them sound amazing.”

Joining the roster are collaborators Matt Smith and Rob Gordon, which help bring a whole new aspect to the live shows, bringing a bit more energy with live drums and guitar. “I wasn’t sure if I loved my own music, my album In Conflict, wasn’t feeling secure about the live show,” explains Pallett, “and now I’m basically only thinking about making a new record, going on tour with my band, and playing those songs.”

This September Pallett will be going on tour, coming through Vancouver, and will wind it all down at The Polaris Awards, where he is not only performing but nominated as well. This is some Grade A talent coming through the city and time should really be set aside for this one and hell, wish him luck on hopefully taking home a win.

What about the show in Vancouver? “…It’s gonna be fucking awesome! We’ve been playing a lot over the past year, haven’t done a proper tour yet and I’m really excited about Avi Buffalo and Foxes In Fiction, its a really stacked bill.”

Owen Pallet performs at The Imperial September 9.

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