[INTERVIEW] Blue Hawaii at CMJ 2012
WORDS and PHOTOS by TRAVIS GILLETT
CMJ was a rocky ride. Maybe it was due to the fact that I rarely (never) visit New York and therefore had no idea where I was at all times, or because I had $1.17 in my bank account at one point (thanks Mom!), or possibly because the festival is spread throughout dive bars and venues across the entire city (and I had to drink in every one of them, duh). Whatever it was, it doesn’t really matter, because I got to meet Blue Hawaii.
If you haven’t heard of this experimental-dub-electronic duo from Montreal, you’re in for a treat. It’s perfect for the darker days and downpours of Fall (I sit listening to their music alone in my room with a space heater blasting me in the face and try and forget these unfortunate facts, it’s hard). Also, Argo and Raphaelle were two of the sweetest people I met in the Big City (yes, this is a proper noun for people that were born in Idaho) and they even posed in front of their Rolls-Royce limousine for our photo shoot for me (ballin’).
How would you describe your music to a stranger?
R: I’d say it’s ethereal dub-inspired music definitely of the electronic vein. To parents, I’d probably be like “do you know Bjork? I take a lot of inspiration from her.”
I’m going to change that question, how would you describe your music to parents?
A: When you asked us the question, the first thing in my head was that my Dad just sent me an e-mail saying that our new song sounded very “Enya-esque.” And we love Enya a lot. So, that’s very true. When you’re talking to a parent you have to give them some point of reference, like Cocteau Twins.
R: Cocteau Twins with added guitars.
A: Other than that… Electronic, vocal-electronic, experimental.
R: I definitely love pop music. I mean, some pop is very vapid and that bothers me, but some pop music is just really great. It’s like candy, but sometimes you feel sick from eating too much candy.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
A: I don’t do karaoke [laughs].
R: I’ve done karaoke once in my entire life, for my 21st birthday in America in Cincinnati or something. But I sang “The Scientist” by Coldplay, it was a nod to Austin in BRAIDS, it was sort of our song in High School.
A: I’d sing that Bruce Springsteen song, “She’s on Fire.”
What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
A: So many good things!
R: I think that nice coffee we had together…
A: Yeah, we shared a really nice coffee across the street before the show.
R: I think we played a pretty good show, I think we did a good job, that’s a good thing.
A: We fucked up a little but it was still pretty good.
R: It was a little weird playing in that small of an environment, it was super fucking intimate [laughs].
If you had a pet cactus, what would you name it?
R: Oh we have a pet cactus!
R: Yeah, we do! What’s it called… Moonbeam? Yellow Moonbeam?
A: Oh yeah, that one is called Yellow Moonbeam. I got it for her a couple years ago.
R: Super cute!
A: I think everyone probably does that at some point…
R: Buys a cactus?
It’s like a love fern…
If you had one inanimate object that you could deem your “best friend” what would it be?
R: Piggy and Tishon. They are my two stuffed animals. Piggy is a pig that Agor got me for my birthday and Tishon is a lion that my Mom got me. I love them so much, they have their own personalities.
A: I’m trying to develop a very good relationship with my piano.
R: Piggy and Tishon [Laughs].
A: Yeah, my answer was much more mature.
R: Whatever Agor!
If you were participating in the Olympics, and it included any activity, what event would you be best suited for?
R: I think we’d be really good at diving.
A: I can do a flip.
R: Yeah, he can do a flip. Or synchronized swimming, and you can lift me over your head.
A: I used to do long jump as a kid and maybe I’d do that again.
R: You have very long legs.
When are you guys the happiest?
R: In bed in the morning.
A: Well, I’m happy in so many different circumstances and then very quickly fall to being unhappy, and then quickly rise again to being happy. It’s not as extreme as it sounds but, like, I could be doing the dishes and sometimes I love doing the dishes because my hands get nice and warm and I really like the efficiency and productivity and seeing everything happen and my mind can just sit and think. But then, towards the middle or the end, I can just start hating doing them. But then, once I’m all done and the kitchen is clean I like them again and can feel really good. But then later I may feel bad about how happy I felt doing the dishes…
R: I’m keeping it simple, I really like waking up in nice bed. With poofy sheets and poofy pillows, all sunken in, with the sun light coming in.
What’s your favorite tour snack?
R: I wouldn’t say this is my favorite tour snack, but I know that it works, it keeps me healthy. It’s my really gross green smoothie.