Art d'Ecco's debut album, Day Fevers, proudly plants its glamtastic flag in an era when glitter was bought in bulk, androgyny was hotter than gold-dipped platform shoes, and Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco was the most fabled club on the Sunset Strip.
Favourite party memory: “A few years ago I made a trip out to Montreal to visit some friends. After a long day of drinking in the old town, I met two lovely French-Canadian girls. They convinced me that the real Montreal was being celebrated across town, and if I wanted to enjoy “an authentic francophone experience” I should abandon my plans, hop in their cab, and join them. So I did. After 20 minutes of driving, and some awkward Frenglish small talk, we arrived to our destination. Like a fish out of water I began to make my way through the packed dance floor when the place erupted in unison. The DJ had just put on a classic French pop song that sounded refreshingly different, yet classic all the same. For the next few minutes I was swallowed by the crowd as everyone began to shout the lyrics at the top of their lungs, drinks spilling and bodies swaying to the beat. I ran upstairs and rushed to the DJ: ‘Who is this band?’ Between his accent—and my poor hearing—we failed to connect. Embarrassed, I just handed him my phone and he typed it into my notes. For the rest of the evening, and until the early morning, I was lost in Franco-pop bliss. Weeks later when I was back in B.C., I went searching for the name of that band, trying to find the bar—anything to help me recall that evening. Was it all a dream? Did it even happen? I eventually came across an odd note in my phone, three peculiar words that would put the mystery to rest: ‘Les Rita Mitsouko’.”
Seminal local influence: “Speed To Kill, 2002-03. I was living in Victoria and I’d just graduated high school. My sister’s new boyfriend was the singer of a Vancouver band and they were coming to play Lucky Bar. Speed To Kill were a four-piece, and they were stylish in a slight ’80s way before the Killers et al had made it retro-cool again to wear eyeliner and rock tight pants. But sonically they sounded more like the Clash meets Cheap Trick with elements of QOTSA. They were also all tall. When they took the stage, the singer Jason Corbett announced to all in attendance that we were in the company of greatness, and in a few months we’d be seeing them on MTV, ha ha! I loved the confidence. The swagger. Rock ’n’ roll is a dish best served with a side of danger; and they absolutely embodied it in their aesthetic and sound. They were loud and all monster musicians. Over the years I’ve gotten to play with Jason, and he’s certainly influenced my sound, at first with mix CDs—introducing me to artists like Bowie, Nick Cave, Interpol, Joy Division, Iggy Pop—and then in recent years by producing my music. But it was that very first Speed To Kill show that lit the fire—and still has legs after all these years.”
Art d'Ecco plays the TD Burrard Stage at 3:30 p.m on Saturday (July 8) at the West 4th Avenue Khatsahlano Street Party.