Wolf Parade are back!
Today is a glorious day!!!
Read more over at Pitchfork
Oh and you can follow them on social media now!!
Here’s hoping we get more info!
With their debut album coming out very soon Operators are announcing their first North American headlining tour! Tickets are on sale now:
03-28 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
03-29 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue – 7th St Entry
03-30 – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge
04-01 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake Lounge
04-03 – Spokane, WA – The Bartlett
04-04 – Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern
04-05 – Vancouver, BC – Fortune Sound Club
04-06 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
04-08 – San Francisco, CA – Social Hall SF
04-09 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater – Bar Stage
04-10 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
04-11 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
04-13 – Austin, TX – Sidewinder
04-14 – Dallas, TX – Three Links
04-15 – Houston, TX – The Raven Tower
04-16 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
04-17 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
04-19 – Washington, DC – DC9
04-21 – Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right
04-22 – Philadelphia, PA – The Boot & Saddle
04-23 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East Upstairs
Operators announced today that they’ll head out on a short run with support from Little Scream. Tickets go on sale Friday!
02-17 – WATERLOO, ON – STARLIGHT SOCIAL CLUB
02-18 – HAMILTON, ON – CASBAH LOUNGE – RSVP
02-19 – LONDON, ON – CALL THE OFFICE – RSVP
02-20 – ST. CATHARINES, ON – DETOUR MUSIC HALL – RSVP
02-25 – OTTAWA, ON – RITUAL – RSVP
02-26 – PETERBOROUGH, ON – RED DOG
02-27 – KINGSTON, ON – GRAD CLUB
Today marks the 10 year anniversary of Wolf Parade’s ‘Apologies To The Queen Mary’. This record has influenced and inspired a legion of fans. The ’12 Days of Apologies’ project was full of art, videos, covers, essays, all inspired by the 12 tracks that make up this brilliant record.
Thank you Arlen, Dan, Spencer, and Hadji for creating this record. Your music has been the soundtrack to my life, and for that I will forever be grateful.
Check the main anniversary page for quotes, short stories, art, and more all inspired by Apologies To The Queen Mary!!
Dan and Spencer at Wolfe Island Festival 8/2015 – Photo by Hyden Weiner-Grossman
Justin Joffe from The NY Observer wrote this amazing piece about Apologies to the Queen Mary.
If you haven’t read it already, read Brandon Stosuy’s amazaing review of Apologies from the Queen Mary from September 2005. my favorite line is “In a few years, other folks will still remember where they were when they first heard Apologies to the Queen Mary.”
Thank you Wayne Massingham for this:
“10 years ago this weekend an album was released that changed my life. Wolf Parade felt like they existed just for me. They were fully charged with emotion and their songs were epic productions of heart stopping grandeur. Guitars and drums and keyboards crashed in an unholy mess that was beyond thrilling. They had released some EPs that caught my attention. The first time I heard them I was hooked. Then they released their debut album. “Apologies to the Queen Mary” was born and in time it would become my favourite album of all time. It is near perfect. 12 songs of exploration, love, joy and passion. Two singers and songwriters, Dan and Spencer, that pushed and pulled each other to great heights. If a more perfect song has ever been recorded than “I’ll Believe in Anything” then I would like to meet it. I was lucky enough to see them twice in Canada in 2005 and in 2007. I will never forget them. They released two more albums of impeccable quality and then went their separate ways. I will never forget them and I will always have their perfect first album living deep inside my heart.”
Track 12 from Apologies to the Queen Mary is This Heart’s on Fire
And so it ends. Today is the last day of our ’12 Days of Apologies’ project. I really can not thank Arlen, Dan, and Spencer enough for entrusting me with their memories. This site has always been an absolute labor of love for me. Apologies really means alot to me personally, and it literally lead to great changes in my life. I’m so grateful to know these guys and to have been part of an incredible 10 years.
Now on to celebrating This Hearts on Fire!!
That the album ends instead with “This Heart’s on Fire” becomes an act of triumph for Mr. Boeckner, who still talks about his mother (“I am my mother’s hen, and left the body in bed all day, we don’t know what to do”) but has begun to look forward to the future. “It’s getting better all the time,” he repeats again and again, while the song builds to a final closure and he yells, with a pack of brothers behind him, “This heart’s on fire, this heart’s on fire!” Backed by Mr. Krug’s keyboard arpeggios, Arlen Thompson’s nearly heavy metal drumming, and Hadji Bakara’s textured electronics, the swell is felt just as strongly with repeated listens.
This old 2003 demo is the earliest version of ‘This Heart’s On Fire’ with just Spencer, Arlen, and Dan.
Here’s an excerpt from the last chapter of my talk with Spencer. He also graciously emailed me how 3 of his songs from Apologies came to fruition and the inspirations behind them. You can read the full post here.
Who came up with the tracklist for Apologies?
SK: To be honest I think Sub Pop had a lot to do with putting the track list together. I remember Stuart (Meyer) from Sub Pop saying ‘You Are a Runner…’ has to be first and us just being like ‘yeah we don’t care, of course’. We didn’t care back then. I can’t remember if they had an idea for the entire sequence but I definitely remember Stuart wanting that song to be first. I remember talking for a long time about the sequence for Expo 86 and for a short time on the sequence of Mount Zoomer and not talking at all about the sequence of Apologies. The first record we didn’t care. We didn’t think it was that important probably. The label just suggested a sequence and we were like, yeah. I think we liked it because it went me, Dan, me, Dan for the most part. That set this precedent for all the albums.
This is also the last chapter of my talk with Arlen. Here’s part of it, but read on the main ‘This Heart’s on Fire’ page about the hilarious take of ‘You Are A Runner..’ that disappeared, featuring a dub reggae singin Isaac Brock! I’ll have the full version archived eventually on the ’12 Days of Apologies’ page:
That Rocket Bar show in St Louis that Spencer and Dan talked about was probably thee worst show we ever played. The place had a really weird set up to it and it had a bunch of the regulars, and they really didn’t give a shit. We played with two really bad openers and everyone was in a bad mood. We were just all super burnt out at that point. Burnt out with each other, burnt out on everything. You know playing a show that there’s no crowd; I don’t think there was any promotion or whatever. We were just super burned out. I remember we got in the van after that show and drove straight home to Montreal. Then we were in Montreal for a long time, basically waiting around for something to happen and that was pretty frustrating for us that we didn’t have any mixes and didn’t know what was really going on. There were songs that were unfinished which now I finally got the full master reels. I just got the reels last week actually.
This one created by Hadji’s step-dad has over 2 Million views!
The one and only time Wolf Parade performed on late night tv! Performing ‘This Heart’s on Fire’ on Craig Ferguson
You can see more videos, some amazing covers and illustrations, as well as the last chapter of my talks with Spencer and Arlen here.
Track 10 from Apologies to the Queen Mary is It’s A Curse
Here’s the version from Wolf Parade’s 2004 self released 2nd EP:
Fan Made Video
I spoke with Spencer Krug about his memories from recording Apologies and how some of the songs were created. Here’s Part 1. You can read the full post here
I remember driving to Portland from Montreal and halfway there being like ‘We’re only half way?” As we were getting closer it’s sort of dawning on us, just being like, why are we driving to Portland to make a record? This is insane. We live in Montreal. You know the travel anger just building up, the anxiety. We’re just like, what are we doing here? Then we got there and we went to Isaac’s house and he clearly was surprised to see us and didn’t expect us until at least the next day. He didn’t care, but that just right away showed how disorganized everything was. He was like ‘Oh yeah, fuck, you guys, right, yeah I booked the studio, we gotta do this. I wasn’t expecting to see you yet’. And us being like ‘I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to be here but you could be right’. In retrospect anyone could have been wrong about when we were supposed to be there, we were so disorganized.
Arlen Thompson sent me some great photos he took while Wolf Parade where on tour in 2005.
See more amazing art, Arlen’s tour photos, and read the rest of my talk with Spencer Krug on the main It’s A Curse page.
Track 9 from Apologies to the Queen Mary is I’ll Believe in Anything
This track is probably the most recognizable from the record. So many people are utterly inspired by this track. Here is a great quote from a fan:
John Watson: “My favourite song on this album is believe in anything- I have 4:36 tattooed on the back of my arm (the running time of the song). I used to commute to school in the Canadian winter by train and used to listen to this album on repeat. This song in particular I associate with the changing in friendships, enemies and overall relationships I had change over the course of my early 20s. Another key point to note about this song is that Spencer wrote it an extremely long time ago and along with standing the test of time, like people, has changed and warped into what it is today- a beautiful reflection of the hardships of a man. That’s something I really love.”
I’ll Believe in Anything first appeared on Spencer Krug’s earliest release as Sunset Rubdown, ‘Snake’s Got A Leg’, which features this amazing solo version. You can purchase Snakes Got A Leg from Absolutely Kosher Records:
Here is an excerpt from the last chapter of my talk with Dan Boeckner. Here he talk about the songs he wrote for Apologies and what they mean. You can read the full entry here. Thank you again to Dan for sharing this with us.
A lot of the songs like ‘This Hearts on Fire’ obviously are just completely autobiographical. ‘Same Ghost Every Night’ is also about that, and about living in this environment. This weird isolated rural area in Canada. It’s a little different now, the world has changed and there’s no industry here and the redneck component is a lot smaller. But at the time when I was growing up there was this backdrop of family tragedy but there’s also the environment you’re in. If you liked punk rock music, the environment is hostile to you. Because of the people who lived there and the environment itself, the natural world. People come here for vacation now, but for me as a kid I tuned into this aspect of it, an almost ‘Lovecraftian’ cosmic horror of living in this tiny outpost of humanity surrounded by the woods. And not in a nice way. In a way that nature is constantly just trying to swallow up these little colonies of humanity and just doesn’t give a shit about you. This forest just doesn’t care about you. You’re insignificant compared to it. And those two thing, my mom passing away and that feeling of being here I think that translated into the way I started writing songs and how I wanted to communicate things. I wrote about landscapes and describing geography more than I wrote about personal relationships or love. I would rather write about that, this place. Existential horror with a bit of positivity thrown in there. Maybe there’s an exit. There’s dignity in feeling that bad.
Official video by Matt Moroz
Fan Made Videos, Covers, Art
You can see all of the incredible artwork, videos, and covers as well as the last chapter of my talk with Dan here.
Track 8 on Apologies to the Queen Mary is
Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts
Dan Boeckner and I spoke last week about the creation of Apologies to the Queen Mary. The last 7 parts of this conversation have been about the recording process and the year it took for the record to come together.
These next two parts are more personal. Dan spoke frankly with me about his personal life. He wanted to share with the fans what he was dealing with personally and how those events inspired his lyrics for his songs on Apologies. I want to truly thank Dan for sharing this with us. You can read today’s post in full here.
A lot of the songs on that first record are about Cowichan Lake. I’m a 15-minute drive from there right now. I’m gonna have dinner tonight at the house where a lot of those, at least the psychological component of those songs were born and incubated. I was trying to have my own voice and I think I figured it out on that record, just naturally. Cause the stuff I had done up to till then was really informed by a lot of other musicians, people I worked with in Victoria, a lot of the Atlas Strategic stuff has like wacky science fiction components in it, with failed attempts at humor. Before I moved to Montreal, my Mom died in a pretty horrible way. She had been ill for a really long time, since I was a child, with systemic Lupus. We always had these groups of doctors saying ‘all right get ready she’s gonna die, everybody prepare for the inevitable’. But it would just never happen. She’d always pull out of it at the last minute. Her lupus would go into remission and this was the backdrop to my childhood, up until I was in my mid 20’s.
Here’s the early EP version of Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts. From Wolf Parade’s self released EP 2. You can purchase it from Cheap Thrills:
In one particular Buddhist religion – and don’t ask me why I referred to something Buddhist – but there are these neat characters in Buddhism that are these tortured characters. They symbolize one of the levels of Hell. I forget the name for it – but there are a bunch of different levels of Hell, and one of them is this level where hypocrites and liars go; not the worst sins, sort of middle-ground punishment. And when they get there, they turn into hungry ghosts, that’s the best translation for it. And hungry ghosts are always thirsty, and always hungry. They’re sort of like that character Tantalus in Greek mythology: he can’t eat or drink, but he’s always hungry or thirsty. And these ghosts, they have really tiny throats, so if they try to eat, it chokes them and they die, because they only have these little straws for throats. I THINK that when they drink water it turns into fire. Yeah, so Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts is addressing my own generation, I guess. Insatiable thirsts, and hunger for whatever.
Fan made videos and art
You can see all the photos, videos, and illustrations inspired by Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts here.
Track 6 from Apologies to the Queen Mary is Same Ghost Every Night
Here’s part 6 of my talk with Dan. You can read the full post on the Same Ghost Every Night page.
We got back to Montreal and I didn’t have a copy of the record. Nobody had a copy of the record. We couldn’t listen to it. Then we stopped hearing back from Isaac. So we had done this thing and nobody knew what it sounded like, it only existed in our minds. I was so fucking broke I was living on my friend’s couch in Hochelaga, which is a shitty suburb of Montreal. My girlfriend at the time had moved to Taiwan. So I just worked my ass off at my job for a month, saved up for a plane ticket, and flew to Taipei. When I got there she broke up with me and I lived in Taiwan for 3 ½ months after that. All in the back of my mind I’m thinking, there’s like a record, we did a record.
Possibly the only live version of this track was recorded at the CBC Radio 3 Sessions in November 2004.
From Brandom Stosuy’s review – Pitchfork:
There’s no question the lonesome crowded sound is here, but when Wolf Parade dig in and dust off their influences, the band rolls like a Ritalin-deprived power-Bowie or 70s Eno flexing piano-based hooks over Pixified rhythms. Component ingredients include electronics, keyboards, guitar, drums, and two spastically surging, forever tuneful vocalists (Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug), but there are also surprises: A theremin cries in the slow-poke “Same Ghost Every Night”– one of the longer tracks, it grows in pageantry as it swells to the six-minute mark
I found this short film titled ‘Same Ghost Every Night’ by writer/director Darren Anderson. Wolf Parade’s song ‘Fine Young Cannibals’ is playing at the 7:59 mark:
Check out the rest of the videos and photos as well as part 6 of my talk with Dan on the Same Ghost Every Night page.
Track 4 from Apologies to the Queen Mary is We Built Another World
Dan explains what the song is about in this 2005 interview:
“We Built Another World” is about this time she and I went to a Halloween party and got thrown out for breakdancing. And also fighting with some people. We were super-drunk and on this street laughing, and it started snowing. It was the first snow I’d ever seen in Montreal. And we ended up in the back of this cab just making out.
Listen to this early version from EP 2, which you can purchase from Cheap Thrills
Oh my god man, I mean just listen to “We Built a Another World”. That’s the track that’s about how awful it is go out at night to parties, but how you’ve got to because that’s the only place you can exist on your own terms. There’s a feeling of being trapped there, a feeling that you could call Springsteen-ian if you wanted, of poetry and romanticism, but the two meet each other and never resolve. “I had a bad, bad time tonight” goes the chorus. There’s such a footstomping beat to its chorus, its determination whim the low “whoa whoa”s that you can’t help sing along. The catchiest part of the song is the part where you can’t give up on what you’ve built.
A selection of Part 4 from my talk with Dan about the recording of Apologies:
After the CBC Radio 3 session Spencer and I flew down to Los Angeles to listen to mixes and mix with Chris Chandler and Isaac. I remember Issac had done a pretty great job mixing and Chris was backing him up. But we went to LA and we just didn’t like the mixes. They were very polished. Isaac had just come out of making Good News for People Who Like Bad News. Issac had never worked in a pop studio format before and I think he had to do all sorts of stuff he’d never done before. Like tons of vocal comping and having 4 pro tools set ups running at the same time. So he was in that mindset, with vocals way up front, like everything being really clean. I remember that being the biggest problem we had with the original mixes.
Here’s part of the incredible story of how the title of the record came to be, as told by Hadji Bakara in a 2006 interview:
The Queen Mary was basically the nexus and the sleeping quarters for everyone who was playing All Tomorrow’s Parties and the bar closed really early. I mean it was literally a boatload of musicians and the bar shut down at like midnight or something. Our friends from Frog Eyes were also in town, so they came down. Whenever closing time was, I don’t really remember, but at some point we eventually got kicked out of the bar. Security on the Queen Mary was nice enough, though, to unlock a door that got us onto this area of the boat that was usually restricted and told us that we could make as much noise as we wanted because we wouldn’t disturb anyone.
You can read the rest of the story and my conversation with Dan, as well as David Grossman’s essay at the main page for
We Built Another World.