interview : The Birthday Massacre

As The Birthday Massacre get ready to release their fifth studio album, Hide and Seek, on October 9th with Metropolis Records, and set off on a supporting tour; we caught up with the beloved band known for their horror mixed with cute aesthetic and their dedication to their music and fans alike.

photographer : Ian Compton
fashion stylist : Pretty Deadly Stylz
makeup artist : Christina Parasiliti of Sinner Saint Artistry
hair stylist : Pretty Deadly Stylz
interview by : Dylan Madeley

[ additional content and images not included in the October/November 2012 Issue ]

So with this being your fifth album, it’s expected to have a certain sound. Do you ever wish that you could take The Birthday Massacre into a new direction, but don’t because of a backlash from fans?
Rainbow : I don’t think we worry about it too much. I think as I said before we have a natural chemistry, as you know between Mike [Falcore] and I, between Mike and I and Chibi, and we don’t… if we really wanted to take something in a completely different direction we would probably call it something else. It wouldn’t be The Birthday Massacre. I think one thing that I like about certain bands that I listen to, it’s that they establish something and that’s who they are. There are countless bands in the world doing all different types of styles of music and all different styles of types of things, and I think it’s important that a band’s name represents a certain body and genre of work. And if you go too far outside of that, you have the responsibility to call it something else. We’re not going to do a hip hop album because that’s not who we are, and, yeah I’m starting to prattle again. But The Birthday Massacre is… a lot of it’s to do with our childhoods and how we grew up and where we’re from and who we are as people naturally, without trying to branch out to foreign… any direction that isn’t naturally us and doesn’t come quickly. So The Birthday Massacre is just this group of people who are brought up in this certain age, this certain environment, and have a certain interest and worked with one another just expressing how we feel and who we are.
Chibi : And honestly for me I feel like we did capture something very different on this album than we did on the last one. I mean we are who we are and we will make the type of music that we have come to love. And there will be similarities between all albums of course, but to me this was as completely different recording experience for me, this is a different lyrical experience for me. I was totally… we were all in totally different parts in our lives while we were recording, so there’s gonna be similarities, but to me, I can feel the difference between this and the last, and I’m sure we all can. What about you?

The Toronto music scene has been popping out great underground groups. Why do you feel the city seems to be a breeding ground for bands?
C : I think a lot of people, I mean us included, grew up in sort of small Canadian towns. I mean I’m from Cambridge, Ontario; Mike and Rainbow are from Dundas, Ontario; and so when you’re sort of growing up… I mean we’re not like the States. Canada is not like the States in that there’s sort of two or three major cities that people go to. I mean, Toronto, Montreal and then Vancouver. The States have tons of towns, or cities that people go to. So I mean, we all… you think about moving here. You grow up in a small Ontario town and you think about Toronto, because Toronto is sort of your Emerald City for lack of a better term, don’t you think?
R : In Canada, yeah, definitely.
C : So people in small towns go here. You have people in Winnipeg and they do the same thing, people come to Toronto. So you can get a really really good scene of music lovers and people. Musicians who want to do something really cool.
R : And I think with any major city, there’s always going to be a lot of people attracted to it and a lot of things going on. I think all it takes is one or two bands to, for whatever reason, break out of it and that attracts a spotlight on to the city. And if you, you know, lift up the rock of any major city and shine a light on it you’ll find all kinds of interesting cool bands. And I feel that that’s, you know, if there’s a city that’s hip, like Seattle with the grunge thing, one or two bands come out of it and then the focus of the media goes on it and then they notice all these other things, and they make it a thing because they need to, that’s what they do. So, I think you know if there’s a certain buzz about Toronto right now, it’s because of that. But I think the artists a lot of times aren’t even aware of it, they’re just so busy doing what they do and it’s as simple as that.

Okay, at this point I’m going to ask you really random amusing questions. One question per person. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Owen : I got this. Red velvet. I had that the other day, like red velvet cake but it’s ice cream. Incredible.
Rhim : There’s a whole bottle of food coloring in that stuff.
O : I know. I don’t care.

It puts the red in the velvet, doesn’t it?
O : Just to extend my answer, I rarely eat ice cream because it gives me a lot of gas.

Lactose, right?
O : Lot of lactose.

I made a good choice here, didn’t I?
O : So if I can change it to gelato, pretty much any kind I will devour that.

Yeah, but if you had to narrow it down, to one to make this a challenge?
Tasha Farrington : If you had to pick one.
O : Pistachio is really good. Pistachio gelato, yes.
N : What do you have for me?

Earlier we were talking earlier about a really bad music in high school. Did you have a favorite band when you were growing up that you feel kind of guilty about having liked now?
N : Oh yeah, for sure. 311. Favorite band ever.
C : Oh my god, 311.
N : I’m kidding. Joking. Favorite band ever? Kylie Minogue for sure, 311. Yeah.
O : Are you joking? Who are you?

He does a good deadpan, you can’t really tell.
C : I think it’s real, isn’t it?
R : The thing is about this question everyone has all these shitty bands that they loved and will never admit to it.

It’s true, just trying to have a little fun, that’s all. Dialogue.
C : 311, Kylie Minogue.

That’s what’s going on the record.
R : You can’t be judging, it’s all about association. If you listen to, every time you listen to 311 if you got a little chocolate bar and a backrub when you were a kid you’re going to love 311. If you have good memories…

That’s why I qualified that as, “when you were young,” you know?
R : I’m saying the back rub sounded weird, but you know what I’m saying?
Rh : Who’s giving you a chocolate bar and a back rub as a child?
N : I would give you a chocolate bar and a back rub.
Rh : You were hanging out with the wrong people as a child.
R : What are you talking about you’re just saying that because you want a chocolate bar.
Rh : Were you getting into white vans as a kid?
C : Okay let’s give Rainbow one of your questions.
R : I had a good point, you just ruined it.

Well now I’m totally distracted.
TF : Rainbow, what is at the bottom of the rainbow?
R : Is that a real question, are you actually asking that?

What would be the ultimate thing to be at the bottom of the rainbow?
R : The dream that I would find? Sorry I thought Chibi was sharing pizza with me…
C : Oh no I’m just telling them there’s pizza back here.
R : I don’t know man, it’s fucking what, three more fucking wishes, I don’t know. Whatever. I’m sorry, I’m terrible at answering that question.

TF : We can do another one if you want. I was just playing with your name.
R : Rhim Davis is there, Rhim Roundie’s at the end of the rainbow. Rhim?

TF : How about what’s your three top erogenous zones?
C : Oh! That’s a nice one for Davis…
Rh : Do I have to have them?
R : Can you just pretend?
Rh : Ones I’ve heard of?
R : Don’t lie, just for real, what do you love? Just rein it in.
C : Yeah I’m inhaling this.
Rh : My mom might read this at some point. Really.
C : Then make some funny shit up.
Rh : You know what, I believe from what I understand technically about erogenous zones in my extensive research, I think that everyone’s are very different, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. Like some people it’s like their whole head, some people it’s like their shoulder, some people it’s like their elbow it’s really…
C : Eew.
R : I think the problem is you’re seriously answering the question. I think that makes it way creepier.
Rh : So I think really for everyone, I don’t know.
Falcore : Just refer to that poster you have up in the masturbatorium.

R : From what I gathered in the white van with chocolate bars and backrubs, everyone is different, let’s leave it at that.
Rh : I don’t know anything about erogenous zones.
N : Rhim is just one big erogenous zone.
C : That’s disgusting.
Rh : Your brain is your erogenous zone.

There’s actually a term for if intelligence turns you on. There’s actually a term for this.
C : Oh really?
F : Sapio?

You know the word! Sapiosexual, that is the word. It’s actually a word.
C : I don’t want to sit beside you anymore.
Rh : I will now answer the question seriously, for real. I don’t know anything about anything, but I do think kissing is nice, I think kissing should make a comeback…
C : Rhim.
Rh : Completely non scuzzy non bizarre sort of way, I think kissing’s very nice. I think kissing works. I’m serious about that.
C : Well done.
Rh : I’m serious
C : You’re right. Nothin’ wrong with that.

C : Here he is, the man with all the answers, Michael Falcore.

O : Go deep.
C : I have one! Can I ask one?

Awesome, go ahead.
N : Oh great. You’re giving the power to her?
O : Don’t do that. Never give the power to her.
C : It’ll be a good one. Who are your fictional heroes?

See, that’s a good one.
C : Films, books, who are your fictional heroes?

TF : Comics.
C : There it is. Even comic books. Who do you aspire to be when you look in the mirror and you delve into your private fantasy world?
F : Well there’s Hicks from Aliens.
C : Eew! We’ve talked about this a million times…
F : Out of everyone here, I share the most characteristics.
C : Yeah, he is Gorman from Aliens…
F : Yeah, this is my moment to shine. So, Hicks from Aliens.
C : Zeus, also, as well.
F : And then from a mentor, somebody I’d like as a mentor? Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. I would follow him anywhere, even into a white van.
Rh : To get a back rub!
C : He’ll try to kiss you in the back.

Well, knowing him, at least there will be candy. Because you just never know with a white van.
C:  And that’s also true, I’ve been saying it for years. All right, my turn.

Okay, this question is based almost entirely off of your tattoo.
C : Okay.

The one on the left.
C : No I’m with you, yeah.

So, basically who is your top Scout there?
C : My top Scout is Sailor Saturn.

I guessed that, I don’t know why.
C : She was sickly and not, I’m eating, that’s so sorry. She was just kind of weak and ill but at the end of the day she was the most powerful Sailor Scout of all of them, and ended up having her… she was possessed by the spirit of this horrible villain but she had enough power in her to end up committing suicide at the end to kill this villain. So her season was very depressing from what I understand and they fired all the writers who were on her season, I think it’s pretty cool because she had the strongest magic and she was willing to sacrifice the most. Both things that I can relate to, these guys will probably make fun of me for that.

TF : Sounds good.
Okay, end interview.
C : Yes, but, come have pizza with us Dylan!

Will do!
C : Get in there!

view the full feature in the October/November 2012 Issue

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