Ratio live recording and NXNE questionaire

ratio may 29

On May 29th we played an improvised (and untitled) set of droney space rock. In rehearsal it was intentionally a fairly mellow affair, but we managed to rough things up a bit at the show. Jacqueline Noire belts it out good and proper around the 12 minute mark. It was, of course, captured by Joe Strutt of Mechanical Forest Sound (who presented the show).

With our June 17th NXNE showcase coming up at the Smiling Buddha (961 College Street), We also answered “5 Simple Questions” for The Spill Magazine.

1. What’s your favourite thing about a festival like NXNE?

Well, it’s a chance for our live set to be reviewed by music journalists who wouldn’t ever review our show, if they’d come at all. When we played CMW we got slagged by a reviewer based on the hat I was wearing. That never would have happened otherwise. I felt like that was the kind of treatment Morrissey would get from NME in the 80s so I was pretty excited about that. Like we’d hit the big time.

2. What should we expect from your live show?

We’re an improvisational psychedelic space-rock band so a lot of psychedelic effects and jamming. Some nice drawn-out space drones. A pretty mind-expanding experience. The venue has a tiny stage so we won’t be moving around much. Actually I’d be shocked if any of us move at all. We can probably be mistaken for corpses. But corpses who haven’t been dead very long. No rotting flesh or anything so sensational. So it’s best to just close your eyes and take the trip. Smell the colours, taste the sound. Laying down on the floor is a good option but I’d recommend bringing a blanket or yoga mat.

3. Tell us something we probably don’t know about your band.

I think people don’t realize how improvised most of our set is. Jacqueline Noire makes up the words as she goes. What’s sung at one gig or rehearsal probably isn’t at the next. The same goes for the music. We have grooves or riffs that are the basis of our “songs” but they’re ever-evolving creatures. We have a couple that are fairly solidified now, but more than half the set is made up on the spot. Since we’re playing rock and we’re not a jazz combo, I think people don’t realize how much it’s on the fly.

4. If you could write the soundtrack for any existing film (from any decade) which film would you choose and what would the songs sound like?

I rather fancy the idea of doing a soundtrack for Pink Floyd’s Live At Pompeii. It would sound like early Pink Floyd but more spacey and more psychedelic. Maybe like a combination of Hawkwind and early-70’s Miles Davis.

5. Would you rather open for Neil Young or Bruce Springsteen, and why?

I’m afraid to say, it’d have to be whichever one pays better. Because I can’t see either audience taking to us. Maybe Neil would have more old hippies in the crowd who’d be into improvised psychedelic space-rock. We might be able to pull in 10 or 15 per cent of his audience and I’d think we could only get maybe 1% of Springsteen’s. On the other hand, Bruce didn’t come up with the Pono. I’m not sure I could be diplomatic about the Pono to Neil’s face. Now, if a time machine were involved, and we we opening for one of them in 1972, then definitely Neil Young.