When you win the Polaris Music Prize, as hometown heroes Karkwa did last week, that's when
Perhaps due to the fact that Karkwa never thought they'd win the Polaris Music Prize, they made a deal with their friends and fellow nominees Radio Radio that, if either of them won, they'd give the other group a quarter of the $20,000 prize money. Given that Karkwa did, in fact, win, it seemed only fair to ask the group's Louis-Jean Cormier (vocals/guitar) if they were going to pay up.
"It was a joking pact," laughs Cormier. "But no, we broke that deal right after we won [more laughter]. We might use the money to hire a real tour manager, but we've been talking about renting a studio for a week and maybe making an EP with Radio Radio and Besnard Lakes."
As we speak, Cormier and the rest of the band are in a tour van heading north to play their first-ever show in Maniwaki, a world away from downtown Toronto. They've been doing press non-stop since their win, and as such, the evening served as something of an introduction for the rest of the country to a band that Montrealers already know (the award-winning album, Les Chemins de verre, is their fourth).
"Yes, we are a little unknown for everybody else and I think this will be very interesting in helping us go to play in new places," says Cormier, before observing that they're not the first group to flourish despite a language divide.
"I don't think it matters as much in 2010. I mean, we are usually compared to Sigur Ros and they don't sing in English. We are a part of Montreal's indie rock community, but it is important for us to represent the city's French music scene as well."
Karkwa w/ Leif Vollebekk At Pop Montreal, Métropolis (59 Ste-Catherine E.), Sept. 30
Article from Brendan Murphy, Hour.ca, Pop Montreal : Karkwa, When is a deal not a deal ? September 30th, 2010