"theatrical'? Campbell doesn't think so.
know what that words means," he said from a tour stop in Atlanta.
"We wanted to find the storytelling aspect of the band and
make sure we were creating songs that existed in their own individual
worlds, like little films. There was an intention to up the ante
on the narrative side, and to write music that felt big, but there
was no conscious decision to make it more theatrical. Certainly
there's that aspect of the band because we do put up a fourth wall.
We do talk through characters."
Not every song
on In Our Bedroom
is an exercise in storytelling. Since
the band formed in 2001, Stars has become renowned for its unique
style of gorgeous indie pop that's been compared to such acts as
Morrissey, The Sundays and Saint Etienne. Perhaps a better comparison
would be to the other bands that make up the currently very hot
Canadian indie music scene. Millan and bassist/guitarist Evan Cranley
also are members of Broken Social Scene, a band that spawned indie
darling Feist. All three acts are signed to Toronto label Arts &
Crafts, and along with bands like, Arcade Fire, New Pornographers,
Metric and Wolf Parade, are the driving force behind the new Canadian
the resurgence of Canadian pop is partially the product of a program
called FACTOR -- Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent On Records.
Founded in 1982, the private non-profit organization's mandate is
to offer grants and loans that allow bands to record albums, tour
and market themselves.
"gave people breathing room," Campbell said. "There
are so many good bands that pack it up after a few years when the
real world catches up with them. They couldn't keep fighting the
fight. That extra cash allowed people to go on tour in a real way.
That was a big part of it."
pointed out that Canada is beginning to come out from under the
cultural shadow of the United States, thanks in part to the amount
of immigration over the last 20 or 30 years. "There's so much
immigration that (Canada's) become much more cosmopolitan, and different
voices are being heard throughout the country," Campbell said.
But maybe the
most important factor is the work and dedication by the artists
themselves. "It's like what's happened in Omaha," Campbell
said. "There are a few people working hard along with some
talented kids, and the press got behind it. There are places that
have these moments, and then that energy goes on to somewhere else.
Canada was ripe for that moment, in a way."
With that in
mind, Campbell said the band is looking forward to playing in Omaha.
"To be honest with you, we're all kind of nervous," he
said. "There are so many great bands and such a great scene
there. You guys have created something really independent and vital;
it mirrors what happened in Montreal."
Published in The Omaha Reader Nov. 1, 2007.
Copyright 2007 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.