Paper Bag It may not be the cultural mecca that is SXSW, but Canadian Music…
- Posted on Sep 12th 2012 2:00PM by Lonny Knapp
PS I Love You Facebook
We catch up with PS I Love You hanging outside Toronto's Mod Club Theatre. Later that evening, the two-man band will showcase at Festival Music House, the invite-only three-day event designed to connect Canadian musicians with music supervisors, producers and actors in town as part of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF.).
With a stellar performance tonight, the young band might get a song placed in a summer blockbuster. Who knows, they might even get to hobnob with A-list celebrities?
Vocalist and guitarist Paul Saulnier admits he is feeling a bit nervy.
"I always feel like there is more pressure to impress at these types of industry events," he tells Spinner with a laugh. "Because you never know, someone might introduce me to Ryan Gosling after the show."
If the prospect of meeting one of Canada's biggest film exports is making him antsy, he hides it well. In fact, though it's mid-afternoon, he and drummer Benjamin Nelson look like they could use a nap.
You see, just 24-hour hours ago, PS I Love You wrapped up its tour of China, and they're now staving off jet lag.
Few North American bands tour the Far East. But, PS I Love you spent most of August touring in mainland China, playing places such as Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan.
For a couple of guys from the college town of Kingston, Ontario it was interesting to see rock 'n' roll filtered through a different culture.
"Rock 'n' roll is really important to the kids in China. But they have a different way of experiencing shows," says Saulneir. "There is infrastructure for touring bands, but a city that has like 20 million people will have only one decent rock club. Only 10 people might come out to a show, but those 10 people will really, really, love it."
"They audiences were so respectful. They would just listen and wouldn't even cheer at the end of the song until Paul said thank you, then they would go crazy," adds Nelson.
The band's tour wrapped in South Korea where, according to Saulnier, audiences were "way drunker, and sort of out of control."
That final gig must have prepared PS I Love You for its TIFF showcase. Last night, the band took the stage, bashed out grungy garage-rock from its sophomore release, Death Dreams, and managed to keep the crowd engaged throughout the entire 45-minute set.
That's no mean feat. The Festival Music House serves complimentary cocktails, and the industry crowd gets quite saucy and often seems more interested in networking than discovering a new band.
Who knows, though? Perhaps somewhere in the audience, a big time producer came up with an idea for a film: It's a classic buddy movie in which two polite Canadians form a rock 'n' roll band and tour the land of the rising sun, but through some unintended cultural faux-pas-maybe, shot-gunning cans of beer at celebratory banquet dinner -- I'm looking at you Paul Saulnier -- piss off the ruthless Chinese Triads. Hilarity ensues.
I asked the band who they'd cast to play them in the film.
They volley names: Paul Rudd and John Candy, Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman, Seth Rogen and "who's that guy that plays Robin in the new Batman flick," Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Suddenly, Saulnier is inspired.
"What about this: Chris Farley and David Spade?"
He says it with certainty, and the names hang in the air for a split second before Nelson shoots them down.
"I don't want to be David Spade," he says.