When Wolf Parade hits The Fillmore stage this Wednesday night the wile that has made them favorites of critics will be most evident, but so will the sonic scope that has given the band legions of fans. With splinter groups Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs swirling through the ether, as well, you've got the makings of one dynamite night. Niteside caught beat-keeper Arlen Thompson to talk secret handshakes, his daughter's taste in music and a young Al Pacino.
Over the summer WP released Expo 86 -- congrats! I really dig the secret pact creation story behind the title, but is it at all true? It's a half truth. We all attended Expo 86 at some point during its run. It was a pretty huge event growing up in British Columbia. We didn't actually make a pact or anything. In fact I can't really remember anything about being at Expo 86 besides seeing John Lennon's car. The idea of us all meeting came from riffing on weird ideas while sitting in a tour van for hours and hours.
Then is there a secret pacts we need to know about? We have no secret pacts. Dante [DeCaro] and I once had a really elaborate secret handshake that we developed over a tour. At the end it took us about five minutes to get through it.
How 'bout a far-fetched yet entirely probable creation story behind any of the album's 11 songs? I think the banal truth of how we made this record probably seems more far-fetched than any story I could think up.
Okay, of those songs "What Did My Lover Say?" brings to mind Lodger-era Bowie (that's good by the way; damn good) -- any chance that LP ever made it into heavy rotation back in the proverbial day? I definitely was feeling some Bowie vibes on this record. I'm a big fan of Low and all that Berlin/ Eno-era Bowie. It's the projection of a kind of relaxed intensity.
Speaking of heavy rotation... what was on everybody's turntable back in the day? I was digging Abner Jay a bunch while making this record. I don't know about everyone else. We all have pretty diverse tastes.
And these days? My daughter pretty much dominates the stereo now. I've probably listened to the songs from "Hey Gabba Gabba!" more than anything else.
Caught Handsome Furs at PS14 a few years back, and I'm fairly certain Sunset Rubdown's swung through South Florida a time or two too, but has WP ever played Miami? I've never been to Florida. It's actually the only state I haven't been to in the continental USA! When we cross into Florida tomorrow, I'll have been to all 48 states. I guess that's a nice milestone.
Well, you're staging at The Fillmore, which is Jackie Gleason's former home and a rather fabled venue, so you're up for a perfect first time. What can fans of the band expect from Wednesday's show? We will hopefully channel the spirit of Jackie Gleason and the band will breakdown like an episode of "The Honeymooners." I'm the fat one in the band, so I'll get to be Ralph Kramden.
This date's bookended by Orlando and Atlanta, so you'll only be in town for a hot minute. If you do get some down time, would you rather hit the beach, the club, the museum or Little Havana? Dan [Boeckner]'s planning on hitting the beach. I'd love to get to see Little Havana and hang out a bit. Touring can be a disappointing way of seeing great cities, but sometimes you get lucky.
What's your impression of the MIA anyway? I think my impression of Miami has been fostered by television and films. If I don't get to see a sweet '80s Ferrari or Lamborghini or a young Al Pacino I'm gonna be pissed.