Kingston, Ontario’s PS I Love You have made a name for themselves in the indie rock world over the past 2 years with solid releases of loud and energetic jams straight from the garage. We spoke with guitarist/vocalist Paul Saulnier about touring the globe, band dynamics, and their newest album, Death Dreams.
Scene Point Blank: What’s been the biggest difference in the reception (at shows, on the web, etc.) between the release of Meet Me At The Muster Station and Death Dreams?
Paul Saulnier: It's cool that people at our shows seem to know us and our music well and are excited to hear our songs performed live again and again. This time around we're getting to know our fanbase instead of trying to create one.
Scene Point Blank: Bands often describe touring across Canada as being more difficult than the United States. Do you agree, and if so, what are the biggest issues you’ve come across in doing so? Is there a place that you especially like playing in Canada?
Paul Saulnier: It is a bit harder to tour in Canada for practical reasons. The cities are further apart and gas, food, and hotels are more expensive than in the USA. All our shows in Canada are usually really great. I don't want to offend anyone by picking favourites, eh.
Scene Point Blank: The past two years must have been a bit of a whirlwind for the band. Are there any moments you’ve found particularly satisfying through it all?
Paul Saulnier: It's pretty satisfying to play concerts in places I never would have dreamed I would visit, like Barcelona, Berlin, London, and New York. And we're just about to embark on our first Asian tour. Like, wtf, is this really happening?
Scene Point Blank: As a two-piece do you find any substantial differences in the band dynamic and songwriting process than if there were more members to contribute?
Paul Saulnier: It's pretty straight forward. I make melodies and words happen, and Benjamin makes drums happen. If there were more people there would be more ideas and stuff and that scares me...or maybe that would be a good thing. I really don't know.
Scene Point Blank: Since the release of Muster Station have there been any significant issues that you’ve had to deal with, either on the road or in your own lives?
Paul Saulnier: Lots of issues. Trying to make enough money to survive while touring is a big one and we keep getting better at it. Being away from our loved ones so much is also a big challenge that we never really get used to. Touring is pretty rewarding at the same time though. It's better than any other job I've ever had.
Scene Point Blank: There seems to be an increased focus on the merit of a DIY approach to music these days. As a band do you find it to be an important aspect in how you conduct yourselves and the music you produce?
Paul Saulnier: It's important but it's also not a big deal with us. I would be making PS I Love You music regardless of who's helping us make and release it. Having a record label and management is kind of part of us doing it ourselves.
Scene Point Blank: Since Muster Station you’ve toured around the world, with the supporting tour of Death Dreams taking you from the Czech Republic to South Korea. What are some of the biggest differences between touring in North America and the rest of the world?
Paul Saulnier: Haha, people are nicer. We get more food and hospitality, in Europe especially, than anywhere else we've been. We get treated like we deserve respect because we're artists and performers. In the USA and most of Canada people are usually like, "Oh cool, you want to play a show here?.. uh, cool, whatever." I once had a concert promoter in Toulouse, France, seriously apologize to me for not having the Labatt 50 that's on our rider and I was like, "You actually read our rider? Hmmmm…We're not used to that. Please don't worry about it, Labatt 50 is Canadian slang for beer. Just give us beer and we'll play."
Scene Point Blank: What’s been your favourite place to go outside of North America? Is there anywhere you want to go and haven’t had the chance yet?
Paul Saulnier: We've had lots of great times in Spain. There's a bunch of places we haven't been to yet that I would love to visit and tour in. Mostly Japan. There's still a lot of Europe we haven't been to yet as well.
Scene Point Blank: Death Dreams seems to be a bit darker and more ambitious than its predecessor. Was that a conscious decision or just the natural progression between the two albums?
Paul Saulnier: I think it started as the natural progression of things and then became a conscious decision. We wanted to do something grander and we're happy that's the way it turned out.
Scene Point Blank: You’ve been pretty busy over the past two years, what’s next for the band?
Paul Saulnier: Oh, I don't know. More albums and tours, I guess.