Kevin Drew has been watching Modest Mouse warm up before their Edmonton gig.
"This is our third show. I think people are happy I'm here, playing with this band. It's a great bill, I'm happy to be touring Canada with Modest Mouse, as opposed to be touring on my own," says the singer, songwriter and co-founder of Toronto's Broken Social Scene.
He doesn't realize it, but he is part of a Pemberton-Music-Festival-meets-Squamish-Valley-Music-Festival moment. Modest Mouse played at Pemberton two weeks ago; Drew performs at Squamish (SVMF) on Saturday, Aug. 9.
Drew's new album, Darlings, was released earlier this year.
It's pretty sexy stuff, but not nuanced. With a release called "Good Sex" featuring a video with a writhing Drew and real-life couples in the throes of passion, it's hard to avoid the frisson.
Drew says he didn't think about it being something different.
"I just see it as part of my body of work. I would love to surprise everyone, for them to have some emotion about it. I think those who know me and listen will hear things they've heard before but in a different light. I've been at it longer," he says.
"Social Scene is such a huge entity. To have all these other records, I think we've always been embraced. Everyone (in the band) has their own career, their way of expressing themselves musically."
He laughs: "For me I was just an anthem sex junkie. That's what I've been doing since I was 18, masturbation and hope and all that stuff... You've got to be yourself, so that's how it's been."
Then he gets serious.
"It feels like a plea to me, now. I say I made an emotional protest record, in a way, but you go for impact, especially when you do these interviews. You find the message or the purpose behind it, just want a connection... As I get older I feel like I am going into the zone of not holding back anymore and it's a great thing. I look at how we communicate and express ourselves through sex and fucking. It was very simple for me to come up with these songs."
Known for a sense of directness, he says he's become even more honest as he's grown older.
"For me, right now, it's very natural for me to get on stage," Drew says. "I love people and I love crowds. I like to be a part of the night, not be the point of the night... having some fucking warmth is a rewarding feeling when you're in a big room with people."
In terms of intimacy, what's it like to rehash that and the different types of love on the album with journalist after journalist? It must be strange.
Drew doesn't disagree.
"Mmm-hmm. In March I released the record and there were interviews. I was tired by the end of it; so drained because you've got to be open with everyone. I can't repeat myself a thousand times trying to find things to speak about with people," he says. "And interviewers, a lot of the time, if I do a 15-minute interview, they kind of, 'Oh, OK.' I'm like, yeah I do hour-long interviews and everyone wants one... but you've got to give your all. It's part of the job.
"It just depends on what ammo you've got in your pocket, or what fucking sweater you're wearing that day. It gets raw! But it's also fun, if you're a ham, which I am. Give me a mic at a bar mitzvah, I will tell you a story for 20 minutes. I like the idea of going around and telling the people the highs and lows of life."