Interview – Olga Goreas of The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes have deserved to win two of the last four Polaris prizes. This is a true fact.
Only a Canadian would not only work on their vacation, but do work that required them to talk to a member of a demographic who put them within arms reach of the Polaris Music Prize twice and arguably robbed them of it. Olga Goreas fought a weak cell phone signal after a short vacation to her namesake.
Not really to her namesake personally, but to the namesake of her band, The Besnard Lakes. “The people who run the joint, they know us. They’re well aware that we’re in a band of the same name,” said Goreas. “They’re very welcoming and nice to us. We just like to go camping and fishing. It’s good.” The break was likely needed. Touring almost non-stop since the release of their last LP, The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night, it stands to reason that a little relaxation might be nice.
The husband and wife vocalist/instrumentalist duo of Jace Lasek and Goreas so often play with themes of loss and solitude, it also stands to reason that being hounded by fans on vacation might be a bit of a drag as well. Goreas disagreed.
“It’s always kind of surprising to us that people could know who we are. It’s always such a thrill and a joy. Canada is a pretty small country when it comes to it. There’s only so many people. There’s way less than 6 degrees of separation. It’s been great so far.” The size of this country might only be matched by the sheer amount of countries the band toured in the last year. “The last year was completely amazing. We went to Australia, we played in China. That was definitely a first and I don’t know if we’ll be allowed to again.”
In the short spans not filled with touring, the band has set its sights on scoring film and television. With expansive, moody textures and compositions on their records, they seem like a sure fit for a certain kind of movie. The band caught the attention of actor and new director Mark Ruffalo and scored his directorial debut, Sympathy For Delicious, which picked up a Special Jury Price at the Sundance Film Festival upon its premiere. With one more upcoming feature and a National Film Board gig scoring the web documentary Welcome To Pine Point (which will spawn a companion EP), Goreas says it’s an experience she is keen to revisit.
“They were both amazing experiences. I like the process of scoring a movie. I like having something visual to follow,” said Goreas. “There is a little bit of a difference between the albums we put out and the CDs we release. I enjoy doing both of them a lot, I would definitely see (us) doing them again.”
Heading back out onto the road with songs already committed to albums and new ones not yet fully formed, a sense of unease with where the songs were left must (and does, in some bands) fester. Goreas disagrees with this as well.
“I’ve never really had that feeling,” she said.
“The song does sometimes become something a little bit of its own and it has its own power and purpose. I’ve had people come up to us after shows and say ‘Man I love your record, but seeing you guys live is just beyond what the record is.’ That’s cool with me. I like that you can keep adding to it to make it something powerful on it’s own.”