Inside Amplifest: THISQUIETARMY

Dark, dense and firmly rooted to the drone genre, Thisquietarmy’s music also manages to reference the shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine and the abstract sonic tapestries of Fennesz or Tim Hecker. Between a wide array of collaborative endeavours and an almost non-stopping touring schedule, the perpetually busy Canadian musician Eric Quach will stop by Amplifest for a show with his main solo project. Thisquietarmy’s live shows are largely improvisational and provide a massive sensorial impact that leaves a lasting impression on those who witness them.

We asked Eric a few questions about AMPLIFEST and he got back to us with some really interesting answers. Check out what he has to say:

What do you expect of the Amplifest audience?
I’ve been following the lineups of Amplifest since the first year and it has always caught my attention in terms of the quality of the bands and the unique exotic location of the festival, in Porto. Surely, it looks like one of the best events of every year over there, so I’m sure that there will be a concentration of highly enthusiastic music & arts fans of every genre there. It’s an honor to be invited to play for them, along all these great high-caliber bands of this year’s lineup. I’m happy to be included, it will be a blast.

We like surprises, but what can we expect from your show?
When I did the show at Gallery Hostel 1.5 years ago, it happened on a Sunday afternoon, in a sort of living room inside this very artsy hostel. It was very intimate setting almost to the point where it was a bit nerve-wrecking for me, but the show turned out great. Having toured quite a bit, I think I’ve become more comfortable in venues where I can really play as loud and as dense as I’d like to, especially when the place is packed and there’s nowhere to escape. It adds a whole dimension to the experience, to be trapped in a sea of loud heavy drone. Lately, a lot of people have used the term “face-melting” rather than “dreamy” to describe their experience to my recent sets. I hope the conditions at Amplifest will allow me to achieve that effect as well.

Which band do you really want to see at Amplifest?
Russian Circles, Chelsea Wolfe, Deafheaven & Year of No Light are all great bands that I’ve already crossed paths before and that I’m excited to see again. But the real surprise act that I’ve never seen yet, that I’m looking forward to the most is Pharmakon.

If you had to pick a band or a musician of this Amplifest edition to play with who would it be?
My new record “Hex Mountains” coming out on Oct. 18th through Denovali Records features a real drummer, but unfortunately I cannot afford to bring one on tour. So ideally, I would love for Dave from Russian Circles to fill in.

What records have you been listening lately?
Esmerine – Dalmak, having spent a couple of weeks in Istanbul earlier this year, I really like the addition of turkish musicians & instruments on this record.
Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest, pretty much the album that has been on rotation the most last summer as it was a long wait!
Destruction Unit – Deep Trip, just played with these guys here in Montreal and will cross paths with them in Italy next month.

Enough about music, Amplifest is also about other arts. What books have you been reading and what movies have you been watching lately that you want to recommend?
I just read Peter Hook’s Unknown Pleasure. Trying to read Simon Reynolds’ Retromania – we’ll see how that goes. Movies – last week I just saw L’Eden et Après by Alain Robbe-Grillet and I will go see A Spell to Ward Off The Darkness featuring Robert A.A. Lowe at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema here in Montreal, right before I take my flight to Europe! Will let you know how that was.