Thursday, 21 March 2013

Images Du Futur - ATWN Interview with Montreal band Suuns

With their sophomore album, Images Du Futur, released earlier this month, All The Write Notes chatted with Max Henry and Liam O'Neill, one half of Montreal’s alternative psych-rock band Suuns, about reading on the road, their favorite books, and who they're listening to.

Favorite book(s) and why?
Max: It's hard to pick a favourite... there are a few books that have stayed with me - Tropic of Cancer comes to mind; it's a proper indulgent fantasy of how most artists like to imagine themselves. I thought of Montreal more than once reading it. I'm big on Camus (The Plague). Heart of Darkness and Lolita both for proving how effortless beautiful language can be. Cancer Ward still jumps out at me every now and then, for the introducing me to Bacon's Four Idols... heavy shit.
Liam:  Call me a generation Y-er, and that's precisely why I love this book, but it's gotta be Infinite Jest.  It is truly the book of our generation - nothing else has touched me so deeply and dealt with problems that I deal with.  I've read a lot of books that I find interesting or stimulating, but nothing that I've had so close to me.  It's a friend, it's a manual, it's hopeful and terribly sad.  I think about that book every day.

What are the members of the band reading at the moment? 
Max: Liam's reading Karamazov. I'm between books, just finished Invitation to a Beheading.

Does what you read have an impact on your songwriting?
Liam:  Definitely, insofar as what you're reading introduces you to different modes of thinking and creating.  When I read David Mitchell's number9dream, it totally changed my perspective on John Lennon's songwriting and got me into that world.

What was the last book any of you couldn’t put down? 
Max: Lucky Jim. Hilarious.
Liam: Breakfast of Champions.  I read it when I was fifteen or sixteen, and it introduced me to a totally new way of thinking.  I remember reading it in the backseat of my parents' car, driving on a vacation somewhere, getting my mind blown, my introduction to critical thinking and philosophy.  Plus it's fucking hilarious and anyone who knows me knows I like a good laugh.

Kindle or hardcover? 
Max: Oy. Kobo - I read 'The Human Stain' on it. Just doesn't cut the grapes. It's kicking around here somewhere under a pile of books.

What other bands/artists do you enjoy?
Max: Valleys from Montreal. Marc got me hip to Wallace Stevens.

Have any of you ever re-read a book? 
Max: The Great Gatsby was totally lost on me in high school. Very glad I re-approached that. Outside of that it's the standard reader's anxiety - too much to read, too little time.

Favorite character from a book?
Max: The lost generation's women stick out to me. Bee? Bess? Bert? Was it Bert? Call me old fashioned.
Liam:  Probably Murray from Don Delilo's White Noise.  Wide eyed and weird. 

On the road, do you get much time to read? 
Max: That's where most of the reading goes down. Down time can easily be very unhealthy for your mind - bands'll sweep through TV series, all kinds of garbage. I guess that can work, but it makes me feel pretty lousy.

What was the inspiration behind the new album, "Images du Futur"?
Liam:  It's hard to talk about a literal inspiration behind the album, but in retrospect, it seems like we were probably inspired by now obsoleted, once futuristic technology and movements.

What is it like touring with fellow Montreal based band The Besnard Lakes?
Liam:  They are the sweetest.  Proper ladies and gentlemen, consummate professionals, and they like a good nip of scotch too.

What does success mean to the band? 
Max: Progress, growth - sincerity? So long as we keep it honest I think we'll be ok. Easier said than done.

Is there an author you would love to have a beer with? 
Max: Robert Pinsky? Fuck it, Leonard Cohen, jesus I'd love to meet that guy. He's around here somewhere.
Liam:  Probably George Saunders.  I think he used to be in a band!

Are there any books you would like to recommend to everyone? 
Max: Borges' Labyrinths! And Palvgrave's Golden Treasury. I carried that mofo around like a bible for while.
Liam:  Just read Infinite Jest. Just read it. I know two types of people: those who haven't finished IJ and don't like it, and those who have and say that it changed their lives. So there it is.

Thanks to Suuns for stopping by, and as a treat to our readers, we're giving away one copy of each of their full length albums. Now, if you aren't one of the lucky ones to win our giveaway, or you just can't wait, you can buy Suuns new album, Images Du Futur, over at iTunes,or from their labels official store. If you would like more info on Suuns, you can check them out on TwitterFacebook, a recent review in the NYT, or better yet, check the tour dates below to see if they are playing at a venue near you.

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Suuns Tour Dates
03/23/13 Toronto, ON - Lee's Place
03/29/13 Joliette, QC - Cabaret Arena w/ We Are Wolves
03/30/13 Terrebonne, QC - Moulin Neuf w/ Plants and Animals
04/04/13 Montreal, QC - Sala Rossa
04/05/13 Quebec City, QC - Le Cercle
04/09/13 London, ON - Call The Office
04/10/13 Windsor, ON - Phog Lounge
04/11/13 Hamilton, ON - Casbah
04/12/13 Kingston, ON - The Grad Club
04/13/13 Ottawa , ON - Ritual
04/15/13 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
04/16/13 Washington, DC - Black Cat
04/17/13 Pittsburgh, PA - 6119
04/18/13 Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/19/13 Grand Rapids, MI - The Pyramid Scheme w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/20/13 Chicago, IL - Schuba's w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/21/13 DeKalb, IL - Otto's Nightclub w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/22/13 Bloomington, IN - Bishop Bar w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/23/13 St. Louis, MO - Firebird w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/24/13 Fayetteville, AR - J.R.'s Lightbulb Co w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/25/13 Dallas, TX - Club DaDa w/ The Besnard Lakes & Black Mountain
04/26/13 Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest
04/29/13 Rome, IT - Lanificio 159
04/30/13 Modena, IT - Mattatoio
05/02/13 Zagreb, HR - Culture Factory Club
05/03/13 Krems, AT - Donau Festival BUY TICKETS
05/04/13 Munich, DE - Atomic Cafe
05/05/13 Berlin, DE - Comet
05/06/13 Cologne, DE - Studio 672
05/07/13 Metz, FR - Les Trinitaires
05/08/13 Zurich, CH - Rote Fabrik
05/09/13 Paris, FR - Trabendo
05/10/13 Lille, FR - Le Grand Mix
05/11/13 Brussels, BE - La Nuit de Botanique
05/12/13 Amsterdam, NL - Melkweg
05/13/13 Brighton, UK - The Haunt
05/14/13 London, UK - XOYO
05/15/13 Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
05/16/13 Dublin, IE - The Grand Social
05/17/13 Liverpool, UK - Kazimier
05/18/13 Bristol, UK - The Exchange
05/22/13 Victoria, BC - Lucky Bar
05/23/13 Vancouver, BC - Media Club
05/25/13 George, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival
05/26/13 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge BUY TICKETS


  1. Great interview, Spence. I hadn't heard of them until you mentioned them--and I really like their sound. :)

    And huge thanks to the Suuns for generously giving their time for the interview and hanging with us today :) Happy touring! :)

    1. Thanks, Lynne. They are amazing live. I can't wait to see them in April.

  2. Good stuff! I bet seeing them live with The Besnard Lakes would leave you expanded and exhausted(in a good, post-rockish way)!

    The book choices made me hark back to an earlier blog post about influences, though; surely there's a Mack Bolan/Able Team or trashy Dean Koontz novel floating around that tour bus...

    1. Thanks. Those two bands together are an amazing night. As for their book influences, I wasn't surprised, and your point about Koontz might not be that far off.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I'd love to have a drink with J.K. Rowling. "Is it surreal to have your own theme park?" Stupid question. Of course it must be. I'll have to do better than that.

    Great interview!