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True North: Quentin Boone

July 6, 2018

Artist: Quentin Boone
Single: "Pot of Gold"

Album: The Seasons

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What is your new single "Pot of Gold" about?

Pot of Gold began to form in 2010 while I was away for a school term in Germany. I remember sitting in a big farm field behind the house, playing an old 12 string acoustic that my guest-father let me use.

 

The music was inspired by warm, sunny European days, and the lyrics came a bit later, reminiscent of late nights with new friends, particularly a group of Irish folk we mingled with during a pub crawl - hence the "Pot of Gold" title. It has evolved a lot structurally over the last year or so of recording, but I kind of classify it as a G-rated 'Feel Good Hit of the Summer'. 

 

How did you come up with the title The Seasons?

To start off, the majority of the songs were written individually over a number of years and somewhere around 2014-2015 I began to group some together as having the motif of certain seasons, which flowed into creating the album’s concept. For the title itself, I decided to keep it pretty straightforward to describe what the audience is diving into.

 

What is your Favorite track on the album and why?
Over the last 2 years of recording and building each song from their original incarnations, I’ve developed a love/hate dynamic with most of them. From a production view, the track I’m most pleased with is a toss up between Leaving Town and Pot of Gold - both have gone through serious changes in structure and arrangement compared to their original forms, both from my input and my “producer” friend Dave Yanofsky who has helped me take the album from ground zero to cloud nine.

 

Which comes first, lyrics or melodies?
It’s kind of 50/50. A lot of times melodies will just pop into my head, but can also be sparked by something by another artist that inspires a melody of my own (and hopefully doesn’t rip it off). On the flip side, some melodies will spark lyrics in my head that grow into something entirely different in terms of melody.

 

What sparked your aural addiction?
I’ve had an appreciation for many types of music from a young age, much of which I was always surrounded by growing up in Cape Breton. (I have distinct memories of my parents playing Achy Breaky Heart on cassette, as well as Blue Rodeo albums).

Getting older, I played alto sax in the school band for 5 years, and bought my first acoustic guitar at 14 - inspired by some friends who played and started their own band.

 

Who would you like to collaborate with?
Since I’ve been recording, I’ve had many conversations with friends in the music scene about getting together for a song or project to come (namely the boys of the Regal Beagle Band and an old friend from school, Jason Szeto). If I could have a dream come true, I’d love to spend a day with my local hero Matt Mays and soak up all of his musical knowledge. A real long shot would be to sit down for a drink and a tune with Tom Waits.

 

What genres of music would you like to try or avoid?

I’ve been getting more into electronic music in the last few years, mainly Sylvan Esso and Nicolas Jaar. I would be interested in exploring the types of gear that make their music happen. Another influence of mine is Sigur Rós, to the point that I recently bought a bow to use on my guitar that I’m really enjoying. What would I avoid? Opera.

 

When lacking inspiration, how do you spark creativity?
I don’t have a solid answer for this one. I’ve been through a number of dry spells in my writing career, some that just go on forever and others that just end with a new song idea that sprouts out of nothing. I think the best method I know of is to spend some time playing old songs or learning something by another artist to get the juices flowing and hope for the best.

 

What was the first album you ever bought?
I have to look through my CD collection for this one, because I really can’t remember clearly. As a side note, many of my first albums were gifts. When I was about 6, my dad gave me his old Walkman and Springsteen’s Born in the USA cassette. I played that album on repeat for an entire summer while I learned to ride my bike. Other influential albums came from my uncle, like the Tragically Hip’s Music @ Work and U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind (circa 2001).

 

What is currently on your playlist?
I keep a lot of different artists handy because my musical taste is all over the map. Right now my rotation includes Car Seat Headrest, The Decemberists, Sylvan Esso, Torres, Pup, Sturgill Simpson, The National, Dude York, Moses Sumney, The Town Heroes, My Morning Jacket, Matt Mays.

 

What is your favorite type of concert venue?
I do love a good arena rock show when I’m feeling amped. But I have just as much appreciation for a small room with an attentive crowd and a talented solo artist.

 

How have your surroundings influenced you?
Growing up in Cape Breton definitely left an impression on my music and writing style, which is rooted in folk a lot of the time. Seeing friends grow into talented rock and roll acts has also given me lots of inspiration to draw from. Living in Halifax for 10 years now and seeing a wide array of performances, I’ve moved across a number of genres that have influenced my playing as well - rock, blues, and electronic styles to name a few.

 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I’ve been playing 6-string for almost 15 years, and never once picked up a bass - until this month. Thanks to Long & McQuade’s half priced rental day I brought home a beautiful Thunderbird bass and amp for a month at just $20. From day 1 until now I have about 5 bass tracks laid down for new songs that I’m fairly pleased with. That is to say, more new material is well on the way.

 

 

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