heartless romantic
::questionnaire::













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ht2.jpg
photo by lindsay-marie

Loads of thanks to Murray Lightburn for taking the time to answer the questions!! Please do not use any part of this questionnaire without permission. Questions [by Lindsay-Marie] are in red, Murray's answers are in

white italics...

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Which generally comes first in The Dears' songwriting - the lyrics or the music? Do you have sudden bursts of inspiration?

"A mood, a beat, a rhythm, a melody and a lyric that I can sing over and over. In that order. Books and current events can cause inspirational explosions."

What is your favourite song that you've written so far?

"Heartless Romantic is pretty close. No Return from the new EP is also in there."

What kind of effect do you hope your music has on people?

"When U2 was cool, they had a lyric that went: "I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." "

How do you view the media has perceived The Dears?

"Some of my best friends are media people. We have so much in common: smart, jaded, cynical, pseudo-alcoholic.."

How long did you spend in the studio recording 'End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story'?

"The process we went through to make 'Hollywood' wasn't the tradtional, "let's go into the studio and make an album." I started writing the songs in the summer of 1998. I demo-ed a song every couple of weeks or so. They would just come to me after some kind of mini-breakdown and I guess I was just keeping a sort of musical diary of what was happening to me. By August 1999, whilst in the pit of despair, I had enough songs to tell a complete story.
I rented a bunch of recording equipment. I was recording another band at the time and we split the cost cos we had no money. We did both recordings in a guy's dining room in Westmount while his mother was away. I slept on the couch . I wasn't living anywhere at the time. I worked on the other band's recording all day and The Dears all night. One night I didn't get out of a chair for 8 hours straight , not even to go to the bathroom cos I had to get some rough mixes done by sun-up.
This ridiculousness went on for ten days straight. When the guy's mother came home, we packed up, moved out and recorded the strings and vocals in Natalia's living room before we had to bring the gear back to the rental store. Weeks later, when we scraped up enough dough, we rented the equipment again and mixed the bloody thing.
By this time, the guys who played bass and drums on the album had left. So in the end, it was just me and Natalia who finished the job, as Brigitte wasn't officially in the band then but played on the album. When Natalia would fall asleep at 4am during the mixing sessions, it was just me. We mastered the bloody thing in October. We mailed out a few copies.."

What has been your favourite live show that you've played so far and why?

"That's a really hard question. Maybe opening for Sloan? I don't know. It was a fun nite, though."

What bands / artists did you admire when you were younger?

"I listened to The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths a million times on vinyl."

What bands / artists do you admire now?

"Bernstein."

What inspires you the most?

"The fact that the world is truly falling apart on every level."

What is your favourite thing to do?

"After being ont he road, I really like to sit in the tub, wearing a facial mask, reading the Economist. I also like video games."

Can you please sum up your life philosophy in a paragraph?

"I try to remember that this world is only an illusion. It's like taking my soul for a jog."

Is there any message that you would like to give to your fans?

"You write the most beautiful letters.."

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[Copyright June / July 2001]