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THE MOLE INTERVIEW

[Artists]

 

Colin de la Plante, better known as the Mole, recently announced the birth of his own label, Maybe Tomorrow (co-run by Jon Berry of Kompakt), a new home to the quirky geniuses many productions. If his acclaimed 2008 album As High As The Sky, which contained the excellent tune, Baby, You’re The One, is any indication, Maybe Tomorrow will definitely have plenty of aural delights in store. The Mole took time out from entertaining a visiting friend, rehearsals and a game of dice to give Hennessy Artistry this entertaining, insightful interview that will have you in splits as well as give you plenty of music for thought.

 

Why do you love digging for vinyl so much? What are some of your best finds?

Digging is always changing for me, I suppose in a way it mirrors my life – how much time and money I’m willing or able to spend out in the wild, where I am. Digging in Berlin is hugely different from digging in Montreal. I can offer a great ‘one man’s garbage is another´s gold’ story I was part of.
A friend of mine bought an old club´s collection (In the generation before mine, the DJs I learned from, they wouldn´t buy the records, the clubs they worked for would). So my buddy buys this collection and I go out with him to help move it. We fill two cars with the stuff, about 700 records. We go back to his place and hang out listening. Up pops one that I recognise. I’m sure I’ve seen it before, and that it´s worth something. After offering it to a collector/dealer friend of mine, the record finally sells for 100 dollars more than the whole collection cost. Back when records were selling like crazy on eBay, he got US $800 for it. The song was Hypnotic on Street Level Records. Later, I found my own copy on a reissue. I still haven´t played it out though…

 

 

What was your seven-year residency at the Laika Bar in Montreal like and what are some of the things that you learned from it?

It was super mellow and very friendly. It´s a family vibe in there still, kind of, like Cheers ‘where everybody knows your name’. I think I un-learned how to play for dancefloors and learned a lot about music.

 

Is the Starchy Root Machine (a five turntable live performance) a true story or a myth? Have you done this in Europe?

It is true. It has never been done in Europe. In fact, it´s only been done in Montreal. I have recordings and photo proof though. I can prove it! Shit, I even have t-shirts from it. Merchandise!

 

 

You’ve had to do some tough jobs in the past in Canada before moving to Berlin. What are some of the less interesting jobs you’ve taken on?

That is actually something of a party trick I do sometimes: List my old jobs…
I’ve washed dishes, cut vegetables in a vegan restaurant, worn a sandwich board, dug ditches, done demolition, and changed light bulbs (Really In offices towers, neon bulbs), wandered around cubicles on drywall stilts, cleaned blinds and toilets, DJed rock for yuppies, bicycle couriered in Montreal (I’m talking -20 degrees in the winter on a bike), been an archivist, worked for gangsters (I won´t go into detail because they always get mad at me when I do), bartended (I still enjoy that one), bus boy-ed (I still hate that one), waited tables, looked for gold (seriously, I was a prospector flying around northern British Columbia in a helicopter, looking for gold). Frighteningly, this is only a partial list. My last job was a good one, I was a technician in the music department of Concordia University. That was very rewarding, seeing the students evolve. Later in life, I hope to be a hand model.

What are some of the things you miss about Canada? Are the winters equally satisfyingly harsh?

Winters here are easy compared to Montreal, which is okay with me. I didn´t grow up in that heavy winter wonderland, my skating skills are proof of that. I miss the fresh B.C. air, the Pacific fish, and breakfast in Montreal (Les Fillets du Roi) but most importantly I miss my friends and my family. That´s the hardest part of moving away, chasing dreams I still don´t really understand.

 

 

What’s your opinion on the tourists who flood Berlin and its clubs each weekend? Do you have any particular spots that you like to visit?

I love the techno tourism. I have one on my couch right now. The tourists are what make this city so special in some ways. I have friends, Berliners, who complain and say that the tourists are ruining the city but that is really a very short sighted complaint. The truth is that the tourists are making it happen, greasing the wheels with their energy and love. I love Berghain, Watergate, CDV, all the obvious ones. Last night I went to hear The Orb play at Horst, a great club with great sound.
Imagine, I have a weekend ‘off’, and what´s happening? The Orb! It’s crazy.

 

 

Do you feel your sampling sources have changed drastically after moving to Berlin? Does that reflect in your work as well?

Definitely, my sources have changed. One of my last edits for the 7 Inches of Love label was a Hungarian progressive rock band. I doubt I would have found that in Montreal. But I think the biggest change in my sound has been sharing a studio with Mathew Jonson. The amount and quality of synth in my music has skyrocketed since then because in the end, I still chop and cut the samples the same. The samples may be a Polish swing band instead of Jimmy Bo Horne now, but the chops are the same.

 

You’ve said in the past that a lot of your songs are born in your live set. Does it still work that way?

That’s a good question, one that I was just asking myself the other day. I have a few new things in my live set that haven´t been cultivated yet, my set sometimes being like a wild garden. But it has been a while, yeah, good question, mostly because I can´t really answer it.

 

At what point do you decide to stop piling on the samples and layers in your tunes?

When I notice that I’m drifting away in the groove and I don´t want to change anything, when I’m spaced out.

 

We saw this one in an episode of the American TV series 30 Rock and thought it might be interesting to switch it with music. Disco, Techno, House – Which one would you Marry / Have sex with / Kill…

Gosh…This is another tough one. To be honest, I have a hard time separating them. I wouldn´t kill any of them. I love ‘em all but it seems to me like disco would be the better lay. And I certainly wouldn´t marry any of them. They´re all sluts married to the dancefloor. What´s that saying…I love you, but I choose disco.

 

 

Can you tell us about The Littlest Hobo TV series where the name for your new label, Maybe Tomorrow, comes from?

It´s a great show from my childhood, about a dog that wanders around helping people; he´s the hobo. In every episode, he´s in a new town and somehow runs into a group of people who have some kind of problem or another. London, that´s the dog´s name, a big German Shepard named London. He always manages to find a way to help these people solve their problems, and just as they are all congratulating themselves on sorting out their business, they look around to find London, to thank him, maybe invite him into their families, and he´s gone… ‘Maybe tomorrow I’ll finally settle down, until tomorrow I’ll just keep moving on’. Sometimes, that´s how I feel, like, I’m wandering around, moving from town to town, helping people. Except, I’m not solving problems, just helping by offering a moment to forget them.


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