Demdike Stare Interview

First time in Montreal?

Demdike Stare (Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty): Yeah, for both of us. We’re performing with King Midas Sound, Actress and more… its a double bill, really well programmed.

Who are looking forward to check out from the Mutek lineup?

D.S: Well actually the one show I was really looking forward to was the Caretaker. He was on last night and we got in town too late. I think Moritz Von Oswald, Move D, Theo Parrish are all gonna be amazing too

Give me the short story of how Demdike Stare came about?

D.S: We’ve known each other for about 15-16 years and we’ve been collecting records in different genres all this time and we only got the idea for this project about 2 years ago. We realised that this sound was coming together. Our relationship was basically collecting records, speaking a few times a week and sharing discoveries

Since the project is still very new, are you surprised by the positive response you’ve been getting?

D.S: A little bit overwhelmed really. We’ve only put 3 12’s out so it’s surprising for sure its come this quick.

So have you been touring a lot since?

D.S: We’ve been offered a lot of shows but actually a big big factor for us is if the city is a good potential record collecting spot. Canada is actually one of the places that we really have very few records from. We’re both really interested in discovering Canadian music so since we’re here for a few days we are definitely going to go and dig!

I’ll show you some good spots for digging

D.S: Yes! We’re actually on a mission to find Jean-Pierre Ferland records…

Why do you think Demdike Stare is associated with so many different genres, from world, to dub, techno, ambient and so on?

D.S: Well the main angle of our material so far is sample based since we’re both big record collectors, so in a way the process is similar to a record like “Endtroducing” from Dj Shadow but obviously the output is quite different. Our process in a way is the same to a hip-hop record. But other than that, I don’t really know why we are associated with so many different genres. Maybe because underground music is finally in a place where its not as segmented…

Whats the difference and challenges between producing your music in an intimate setting and then trying to perform it live?

D.S: It’s exciting for us, but it is challenging for the crowd for sure because we don’t kind of tailor it. I mean regardless if its a club event or whatever we just do what we do, we can’t start thinking about tailoring it to the setting to much. Even tonight there’s probably gonna be a good 20 minutes of noise and ambiences just because we really like that sort of thing. And theres a visual element that people can kind of lock on to as well.

You guys create the visuals?

D.S: Well its the same process as the music really. There’s a friend of ours Johnny who is a big film collector and he helps us out in that part. It’s kind of sampling movies instead of records to create textures…

Can you tell me what is the meaning of the name Demdike Stare?

D.S: Well its inspired from a very famous part of England for witches. There were a lot of witch trials, and they were burned. The most famous one was called Elisabeth Demdike… so we thought about a witches stare and it sets the kind of mood and ambience of the record. The original idea was to make a horror soundtrack.

I was just thinking that when I heard the record the first time, i’m surprised you didn’t get offers for like Saw 8 or something.

(Laughs) I think we can aim for something better, maybe a Tim Burton movie



Montreal-based DJ and the founder (2007) and 24 Hours of Vinyl (2011).