Q&A: Daniel Snaith on Sasquatch!, Club Music, PhD Level Mathematics, and Caribou Meat

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caribou matea jocic.jpg
Matea Jocic
Caribou's playing Neumos tonight and Sasquatch! this weekend.
Caribou's Swim is one of the sexiest records I've heard this year ; the record's

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Q&A: Daniel Snaith on Sasquatch!, Club Music, PhD Level Mathematics, and Caribou Meat

  • Q&A: Daniel Snaith on Sasquatch!, Club Music, PhD Level Mathematics, and Caribou Meat

  • ">

    caribou matea jocic.jpg
    Matea Jocic
    Caribou's playing Neumos tonight and Sasquatch! this weekend.
    Caribou's Swim is one of the sexiest records I've heard this year; the record's a masterpiece of intricate and calculated club music. Caribou -- aka Daniel Snaith of Manitoba -- will be at Sasquatch! this weekend, but if you're not hauling over to the Gorge, he's also playing Neumos tonight. A couple months ago I spoke with Snaith from London - where he's lived for the past 10 years - about his upcoming Sasquatch! performance, dance clubs, and his PhD in mathematics:

    Do you still stay connected with the math world?

    It's such an all-consuming thing that I don't keep up with mathematical research or findings. But I've got a lot of mathematicians in my family, so I guess I kind of by osmosis hear about it from them.

    Was your family disappointed that you went a different route?

    No, they were overjoyed I think. It gets to the point where it gets boring that everybody in the family is an academic of some kind. For my parents, coming out to see a gig or reading about one of my records in the newspaper, it's more exciting to them.

    Can you tell me what kind of math you studied to get your PHd?

    I mean, no. The thing about being in mathematics at that level, it's nonsensical to anyone. It's really cumulative, you understand what this thing means, then that allows you to understand what the next thing means. This is definitely a true statement: it doesn't have any relation to any kind of things in the real world.

    So that kind of analytical way of thinking - do you find yourself thinking about music the same way?

    I guess I have two sides to my personality in that respect. I'm capable of thinking in that way and breaking down a problem - how am I going to get the sound I want? - kind of assessing things in a rational way. But to me that's the boring part about music. The more interesting thing is being intuitive and being emotionally connected to the music you're making.

    What are the main differences between Swim and Andorra?

    This record is dance music, club music, which is something that wasn't really there on the first record. I think it's a very exciting time, all over the place, but particularly in London, for dance music. I was excited by the idea of listening to music in a club and making music that sounds really good at an incredibly loud volume on a really good PA system that really makes people want to dance.

    Where did the name Caribou come from?

    It came from an acid trip actually. We were touring Canada at the time, and I knew I had to change the name. We had a day off and we were just hanging out in the prairies. We sat in a field and took acid, and that name appeared to me during that.

    Have you ever eaten caribou?

    No I don't think I have. Have you?

    I haven't. I'm not very adventurous with meats.

    I'd give it a try. I've had venison, which isn't probably too far away.

    How do you feel about your big tour coming up?

    I'm really excited to get out there and play this music. I have this really bipolar life where for a year or more, I've been just at home making music all the time, living an almost hermit-like existence. I just see my wife when she gets home from work and don't leave the house too much. And then the next year, we'll have the most extrovert lifestyle possible. Literally never at home, go out every night after a show, meet people, see if there's anything going on.

    Does your wife go on tour with you?

    She's extremely tolerant of me going away. We've been together since I started touring, so she's very understanding. She comes on the fun parts of the tour. She actually came to the last tour when we came to Seattle and then with a bunch of friends travelled down the West Coast.

    Has she liked the shift to your more dance-oriented music?

    She really likes this record. I could have anticipated that maybe she wouldn't have liked it as much, and that's the first really important feedback that I get, she hears all the music right at the start and has a very keen eye for that works and that doesn't or whatever. But she's really into this album, luckily. It would be a shame if I made an entire album and she was like, "that's shit."

    Have you played a lot of big festivals like Sasquatch?

    There's more festivals generally in Europe, so we end up playing more festivals here, but I've always wanted to play Sasquatch specifically. The lineup always seems really good, the location always looks really good. A couple times we've toured through Seattle around the time of Sasquatch, and everybody at the show is like, "why aren't you playing Sasquatch?" And now we are.

     
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