What's In Your Fridge: Conan Jurek Karpinski

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      What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.

      On the grill

      Conan Jurek Karpinski

      Who are you

      Despite being South African, Portuguese, and Polish, I’m the frontman of a Canadian band called Soul Push. I’m also a film composer, music producer, and avid concert-goer.

      First concert

      The first concert I remember seeing was the Scorpions at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver back in 2007. I have always been a sucker for “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, and they did not disappoint. I was underaged and introduced to this new world of roaring amps, sweaty drum sets, and loud crowds. I was standing front and center and have been hooked to that view ever since—it’s very rare that you will find me on the sidelines at a concert. I am always front and center because being in the pit is the reason you go to concerts. You have to dance, you have to rattle with the crowd. The Scorpions were a great introduction to a mosh pit.

      Life-changing concert

      Life-changing is an understatement. It would have to be Bombay Bicycle Club in 2012 at the Commodore. I was underaged so I couldn’t attend the show as it was a 19+ venue. They knew I was a big fan so they snuck me backstage, gave me my first beer, and let me out into the crowd when it was time for them to play (sorry Jack if you’re reading this—it’s been 10 years now so I think we’re safe to tell this story). Since then they have become good friends, especially their frontman Jack Steadman. I’ve seen them about 10 times since in cities like London, New York, Johannesburg, Vancouver, Calgary—you name it.

      I used to live in London with my bandmates, and in our first week there Jack made us a home-cooked meal, showed us around the city, and introduced us to the best spots in town for a pint. He even stayed with us when we lived in Portugal and let us use his recording gear. Everything from Diamonds up until Good Man was recorded with his gear, including this magical console called a Great River Mixmaster 20. What a beautiful piece of equipment. More recently I caught them at Truck Festival in the U.K. and it was probably one of their best shows ever. They just keep getting better and better. Jacks been very good to me and the guys, and it’s all thanks to that one show back in 2012 where I met him. So I think it’s safe to say that it was a life-changing concert.

      Top three records

      Labrinth Imagination & the Misfit Kid Melody, melody, melody. If you haven’t listened to this album you are sleeping on the Mozart of our generation. This album is so diverse that I never get bored of it—it has a song to fit every mood. These days a lot of people struggle with lack of confidence, myself included at times. Whenever I am feeling unconfident, or if I need a little boost before going out into the public, I crank this record in the bathroom or in the car and it always puts me in the right mood. It’s got the swing, the harmonies, and what he does with his DAW is incredible.

      Role Model RX Tucker is on fire right now. I remember listening to the record for the first time while trying to fall asleep and when the track “Stripclub Music” came on. I sat up in bed and didn’t sleep for another three hours. I just had the record on repeat. The music I make can be quite busy sometimes, and this record taught me that music can be so simple yet complex.

      COIN Uncanny Valley At the moment, I think COIN has the best production in the game. Not only is this album full of catchy tunes, but the production itself is enough to keep you listening over and over again. It’s been on rotation for two months for me and I’m still not done learning from it. That’s right—it’s an educational listen. “Take a Picture” is probably my stand out track.

      All-time favourite video

      Soul Push “Diamonds” I’m going to be really cringe with this one and say our own video for our song “Diamonds”. It’s basically two years of our lives in London and Portugal through our old camcorder and iPhones condensed into four minutes of memories and good fun. If anyone ever wants to know what we are truly like in person, this video is the best way to get to know us.

      What’s in your fridge

      Pastel de nata. I’ve been travelling Portugal for over a month now and over here they have this egg custard pastry that is absolutely divine. I have one every day before bed with coffee and a brandy.

      Grapes. I have an addiction to grapes—so much so that sometimes friends buy me grapes as a gift. I usually buy so many grapes that in a fridge with three shelves, it will take up one of those shelves. So basically one third of my fridge is filled with grapes.
      Please don’t ask me why, I haven’t figured it out myself.

      Tomato sauce. I’m South African so I call it tomato sauce, but I think in Canada they just all it “ketchup”. I have it on everything: eggs, avocado, tuna, peanut butter. Yes… sometimes I will eat only peanut butter and tomato sauce together. Don’t knock it till you try it.

      You can check out more by Soul Push here