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A sextet from Montreal the Dears create a new sound through old influences. A whirlwind of sonance reminiscent of The Smiths, Belle & Sebastian, Serge Gainsbourg, the Kinks and a list that could go on forever. Brit pop, french pop, art rock. Lyrics and drama that create orchestral anthems for a new age. With ten years behind them the Dears are ready to descend upon us as more than just another band in the Canadian contingent, as more than just a band that sometimes sounds like Morrissey. The Dears are George (drums), Martin (bass), Murray (vox), Natalia (keys), Valerie (keys), Patrick (guitar). This week Murray Lightburn took some time to answer our questions...

Let's get this out of the way, where did your band name originate?
I was on the phone with my best friend and we thought it would do. Only now do I realize that it's something I actually want to be.

What is your first conscious memory of New York?
When I was eight or something, I found money on the ground on Utica Avenue.

What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
My least fave would have to be, of course, getting our van broken into, stuff stolen, and having to go to the store and spend money replacing shit so we could do the gig that night.
My fave would be the time when I was eight...

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about playing shows in New York?
We don't mind playing New York. I always go for a Chinese massage on Grand.

There are a lot of bands we’re hearing about lately coming from Canada. Do you think your Canadian connection shows in your music? If so, how?
If it wasn't for the Dears, there would be no Canadian Connection. Ask anyone.

How do the Canadian/Montreal and NY music scenes differ?
I pay less than $300 a month for rent and I live right next to a mountain.

On your website bio it states that “idols must be killed”. I remember hearing that Jim Morrison once burned all of his journals/writing/lyrics because he felt that he was subconsciously imitating his idols and wasn’t be original. What's your opinion of that? Do you agree with interpreting your own private work as imitative?
I have been me my entire life. Once, in grade school, I was suspended because I refused to take off my hat.

You recently opened for Morrissey, how did he influence you?
"Call me morbid call me pale/ I spent too long on your trail/ far too long/ chasing your tail....oh....."

Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action:

“You know you’ve made it when….”
You get up, have tea, and do two or three interviews. EVERYDAY.

“It’ll be time to pack up the gear for good when….”
Your last good album was three albums ago.

“I’ll never forget the first time I….”
Punched someone in the face.

“I’ll never forget the first time [insert another band member’s name here]….”
George smoked his first joint.

And finally, lets have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if you’ve got no discernable feelings, make something up that won’t embarrass you in the morning):

Yankees
Reaching

Mets
Boring

Britney
Done

Bridge & Tunnel
?

The Darkness
Completely done

Times Square
....zzzz

Bloomberg/Smoking Ban/Noise Laws
Not here. Yet.

Questions inspired by movies...

If you will, a brief justification of the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma (in less than 10 words). (Reality Bites)
I've got to get some sleep.

What came first, the music or the misery? (High Fidelity)
They came together and made me.

A few quickies on the music tip:

Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
Drums - John Bonham
Bass - the guy from the Bar-Kays
Guitar 1 - Jimi Hendrix
Guitar 1 - Johnny Marr
Synthesizers - Wendy Carlos and Tomita
Organ - Issac Hayes
Piano - Serge Gainsbourg
Lead vocals - Me

If you released a 7” what would you put on the cover?
Melting buildings.

What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
I never do that.

The Dears play with the Benzos, Head Set and Saints & Lovers at the Mercury Lounge tomorrow night, Saturday January 15th. The show is sold out, but you can enter our contest to win tickets!