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When Warring came out, I thought it was going to be the record for us. How naïve I was. Warring doesn't have a conventional single: the songs are too complex, the choruses aren't big enough or well enough defined and the lyrics are too abstract for commercial rock radio. I even remember having that clichéd conversation where someone said "I don't hear a single."
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It's a very specific feeling when you know you're about to get demolished by a semi on a dark highway in Ohio. Someone in the van said "we're going to die." The world seemed to move in slow motion. There was a body of water running parallel to the road and now, because we had spun, we were facing it. I had time to think about flooring it and taking our chances swimming in the icy water.
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On Wednesday night I was standing four blocks from where three people were murdered. During SXSW, a drunk driver crashed his car into a crowd of people. He killed three and injured dozens more.
Definitely a good time for self-reflection. Serenity vs. chaos. In a world where airplanes are stolen out of the sky, I struggle to decipher my feelings about the SX crash.
I've even taken to exclusively wearing my Blue Jays hat on tour. Sadly, when people see it they connect it with one person: Rob Ford. Since Mayor Ford has been stripped of virtually all of his power, I thought he may have some time to listen to a fraction of the great music that I think defines Toronto.
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To preface this story, I have to admit that my relationship with porn has always been a dishonest one. If I was to watch it on the Internet, I streamed it. I have never bought a DVD or subscribed to a website nor financially contributed to the industry in anyway, only stolen from it. Then, one day, porn got me back. Someone on Twitter sent me a link to a porno that used our song. Art-rock is a tricky thing. It's precious. People talk about it like fine art or good wine. It's pretentious, it's serious and not for porn. So the implication was that I should be immediately up in arms. My art was stolen and slapped over some smut film. How dare they defile something I labored over?
For music programs to stay and to continue being relevant, they need to be modernized. In a perfect world, students would have access to computers with recording capabilities and music editing software so they could learn to edit, produce and mix. We need to understand how music and careers in the arts have changed and find ways to teach classes that reflect this ever-shifting landscape.