Adrenaline Hot Tub interviewed Julien Fillion (TW’s frontman).
Interview by Jenna Hannon
Earlier this week I heard from my friend Julien Fillion, a fellow Canadian kiteboarder, regarding his music. I am always blown away by his ability to be one of kiteboarding’s ‘gnarliest’ wave riders, yet at the same time a contemporary musician with the incredible ability to capture our deepest of emotions. I caught up with Julien for a few questions about the new video and influences.
Black Swan inspired? Everybody asks this. It’s funny, maybe because of the darkness of the our video. I had the vision of this music video about a year ago (before I even watched the Black Swan). In Montreal, being the promise land of contemporary dancing, I frequently go see dance shows.
What inspired this album? I’ve been doing music since I was 12 years old. Although, no one really knew about it. I would always hide to play. Since I didn’t play any popular covers, I thought that nobody could relate to my playing and I would annoy people. Three years ago, my good friend Sheldon heard me play and told me it sounded really good and I should really pursuit this. So I started writing and I finished the 30 something songs that I’d started. I then teamed up with one of Montreal most notorious music producer Toby Gendron, and together with the band we recorded “Nowhere is Now Here“. The album is a gathering of several of my thoughts from the past 3 years.
Does kiteboarding influence your music? Of course it does! Without kiteboarding, I wouldn’t travel the world the way I do, and I wouldn’t share all those amazing experiences with all my travel buddies. For example, the song entitle Tsunami was inspired by my feeling of big wave surfing, especially the first time I standup paddle boarded Peahi (Jaws) un assisted.
What 5 songs are repeating on your Ipod as we speak? I rarely listen to only 1 song, but I will listen to the same album for months at time. I would say the last 5 albums would be : Clara Furey – Live, Karkwa – Chemin de vere, Pearl Jam – Vitality, Winter sleep – 2003, and this week I started Crooked Fingers – Breaks in the Armor
Julien Fillion’s vision and the musicians’ collective came together under veteran producer Toby Gendron’s masterful direction. Gendron gave the collective the room it needed to play, the guidance not to get lost, and the setting to have fun in his notoriously relaxed yet professional Montreal studio, the Gypsy room. All songs are at once melodically ethereal, sometimes almost explosive, and always shifting slightly as they progress, unpredictably, along with Julien’s acoustic guitar. The end-experience: a passionate, honest, masterful, playful yet intense debut album with a complexity of musical and lyrical layers that make you want to listen over and over again. In terms of sound, for fans of Jeff Buckley. Arcade Fire. And Radiohead in the early days.