Star Power

Canada has a wealth of emerging Stars these days.

Montreal's Stars have been living a couple of jackpot years. Crashing stateside with the wave of "collective" bands from the Great White North (including neighborhood chums Broken Social Scene), the five-piece has managed to make the heavy-rotation list on Adam Brody's iPod and collect a broad constellation of accolades and acolytes.

On their third and most recent album, Set Yourself on Fire, Stars marries My Bloody Valentine's dizzying loops with rock-orchestra grandeur and the sardonic Morrissey heavy breathing of its helixing vocalists, Amy Milan and Torquil Campbell. We caught up with Milan by phone in the wilds of Western Canada, on the first day of a new tour.

Westword: How was being featured onThe O.C. ?

These Canucks have Americans stargazing again.
These Canucks have Americans stargazing again.

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Amy Milan: What's important to me about that is that it reaches an audience of people who can't go to the bars and who aren't in the elite indie scene.

You're making me feel bad for watching it.

Oh, no -- I just can't watch it because I'm not anywhere at any time, other than everywhere. I don't understand German O.C. So I'm never in a place where I can keep up with the drama, but I've got lots and lots of my own drama to keep up with.

The story of how the record came about sounds like a crazy, beautiful ordeal (isolation, hard drugs, fisticuffs, library books), but it also sounds like the kind of thing you couldn't do again and still live.

Well, women give birth, and after they have the baby, they're like,'Omigod, I'm never going to do that again.' But then they end up having four children because there's a drug that goes through you that makes you forget. That's exactly what happens after you make a record. Hopefully, the next place will have thicker walls. In the place we recorded the record, you could hear much too much, too much, too much.

What do you think about the recent elections in Canada?

I think everyone should read The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. My favorite chapter of that book is the last chapter, where Greg Palast gives you options for what you can do. The problem with being depressed about it is that you get tired. I would encourage rage and revenge. Sue everyone. Sue them all. Take your local MP -- or whatever you call them over there -- to court and make sure that you get them to throw out the digitalized voting machines, and maybe democracy will once again return to your country.

Do you have a favorite joke?

Why can't Miss Piggy count to a hundred? Because whenever she gets to 69, there's a frog in her throat.

Have you started working on the next record?

We have not. Torquil has a record coming out with a band called Memphis that he's been working on, and I have a solo record coming out on May 27th. I can't see there being a new Stars record until next year.

 
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