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EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Toronto Art Rock Band, CRHYMES

Shalom Life chats with band founder, Sebastian Shinwell.

By: Sarah Bauder
Published: June 14th, 2013 in Culture » Music » Interviews
Album art for the EP 'Our Surprises'Pic: Rotten Folk Records

In their own words, Toronto-based art rock band, CRHYMES “balances its overflowing heart with an eager, unpretentiously big indie rock sound." Their much-lauded first EP, Our Surprises, was released on August 16, 2012. Take a listen to said EP at www.crhymes.bandcamp.com. Recently, Shalom Life was able to chat with CRHYMES founder, Sebastian Shinwell.

CRHYMES is currently a 5-piece outfit; can you give us an intro of your instrumentation?

There's Adam Silva on drums (Human Bodies, The Cautioneers), Craig Saltz on bass (formerly of Atlas Eyes), Michael Keshen on guitar (formerly of The Neighbourhood Watch), Dominique Morier on tenor sax (Soul Motivators), and me, Sebastian Shinwell, on vocals and guitar (The Holy Gasp, Clarinet Panic Deluxx).

How did CRHYMES come about?

Last August I formed CRHYMES as a part of my Masters in Music. Since then, CRHYMES has become its own living, breathing thing.

Your first EP, Our Surprises, was released last August with much acclaim, when can we expect a full-length album?

We're in the process of finishing a new album right now that should be out by the end of the summer. We're really stoked on it!

Who/what are your biggest influences?

There are two questions that are always good questions but always so difficult to answer, “What kind of music do you play?”, and “Who are your influences?” I go through phases of listening to copious amounts of music, and then phases with no music at all -- right now I'm in the latter. The last binge I went on was with Grizzly Bear, Deerhunter, Wavves, The Pop Winds, Arcade Fire, Cousins (oh so much Cousins), Ty Segall, Fela Kuti, Bulgarian Polyphony (no choir in particular), and many more. However, music is certainly not the only influence, but it's much harder to discuss non-musical influence.

Where do you get your inspiration?

From being hungry, tired, alone in an empty house, or in other unclear states of mind.

Toronto has a long history of supporting indie music. Does Canada as a whole nurture the scene?

I think so, but I can't speak for all of Canada. There's so much good music coming from out East, out West, Montreal -- I think that's evidence of a thriving indie scene.

Where is/was your favourite place to play a show?

In a small sweaty room with a hundred excited people.

CRHYMES was a part of NXNE, any plans for other festivals in the not-so-distant future?

We're hoping to play Pop Montreal and Hamilton Music and Film Festival, but most of our time now is spent on the upcoming album.

When you’re not playing music, what are your other interests?

Well, I teach guitar and piano privately to people of all ages (mostly kids), and I'm still studying ethnomusicology at York. I'm a freelance studio musician, I co-run a music collective called Rotten Folk, which has some great bands (www.rottenfolk.com), and I play in other bands. I don't spend much of my time outside of music, but I love camping, biking, and being outside in general - which makes escaping the city very important.

Related articles: CRHYMES, NXNE, art rock, indie, Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, Deerhunter, Wavves, The Pop Winds, Ty Segall, Fela Kuti, Toronto, Montreal, Sebastian Shinwell
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EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Toronto Art Rock Band, CRHYMES

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