1) The majority of your music seems to have been released on records. Are there ever any plans for a cassette release?
There was actually a cassette called 'Phantom Limbs' that was released last year on Land of Decay (Locrian's label - limited edition of 100 now sold out) but the music was a few years older because it was an album that got shelved since I was working on better recordings at the time. It was appropriate to release it on cassette since it's kind of a low-profile format. I really do like the cassette format, but I am fortunate to have labels that want to release my music on a larger scale and that believe in it enough to invest in more expensive format such as vinyls and CDs, which are more appropriate for that. I would release more cassettes as limited tour items or such in the future, since it's a cheap & nice object to produce.
2) Follow up question: Will there ever be a thisquietarmy vinyl boxed set that includes all the albums, something bonus and then has a giant price tag? (Because I’m kind of holding off on buying the individual records to wait for the boxed set)
There is no plan for a vinyl boxed set because I feel that a boxset would only be appropriate to encompass a complete discography. Since thisquietarmy is my main project and my main creative vessel, I probably won't stop making music any time soon. Also, it would be incredibly expensive and i can guarantee that there is no label crazy enough to do it at this point. Perhaps after my death.
3) What does the term “ambient” mean to you, as it relates to music?
Quickly - to me, ambient music is about moods and atmospheres, the journey and the introspection, the substance and the richness as opposed to a fast beat, a catchy melody, a quick fix.
4) Who would you say are some prime examples of ambient music, musicians that people who didn’t know what ambient music was should look into first and foremost?
There are tons. But from my experience, here's a bit how I got into it. Brian Eno is considered as one of the founders of ambient music and I've started to get into it with Music for Airports. Also related to the ambient music movement is German Kosmische music, German synthesizer music such as Klaus Schulze and derived from Krautrock. I later bumped into the ambient term but related to the IDM electronic music such as Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Autechre and since I was also listening to a lot of guitar-based music such as post-rock, shoegaze and gothic ethereal, I was more interested in guitar-based ambient such as Stars of the Lid and lovesliescrushing, and then later darker metal-influenced drone such as Sunn O))) and Earth. That's more or less my path of influences. I also always liked movie soundtracks and the role of music for ambiance.
5) If ambient music is boring, then are they doing it wrong?
Maybe it's not a question of right or wrong, but simply of taste and attitude. Pure ambient music should, in theory, be completely passive and be made as so to be lost in the background. But personally, I think ambient music should be listened to as loud as possible or with headphones as the real pleasure of ambient music is the fine details that usually get lost if you aren't able to pay attention to because you are easily distracted. Depending on the listener, one must be a more active listener than the other to be able to enjoy it. But with the fusion and the evolution of various musical elements and styles within ambient music, some type of ambient music tend to be more active than others by itself, which in turn helps the more ADHD type of listener to be more focused. But in the end, it's a matter of taste and a matter of what you want to feel or how open-minded you are to a less immediate type of music.
6) What is the music scene like in your part of Canada these days?
I honestly don't really know anymore... I used, but the last two years I've been a bit out of touch because I am out of town touring a lot in Europe and recently in South America. Montreal is a very active city, the scene changes so fast, a lot great stuff come and go without further out from its scene and it's sometimes a shame. Aside from the usual focus of hyped indie pop bands looking to be the next Arcade Fire that don't really hold my interest, there are some neat stuff happening with heavy psychedelic bands and also in thiis resurgence of cold-wave post-punk analog synth-based bands.
7) Final thoughts, shout outs, references to Canadian Bacon, etc…??
Currently, the Labirinto/thisquietarmy split is out on ConSouling Sound on CD & Pirate Ship Records/Dissenso Records on LP. Next up, a new album called Hex Mountains (with surprise guests on vocals, bass and drums) will be released on Denovali Records in CD/LP along with a re-issue of Blackhaunter on vinyl - this will be in October. Collaboration albums with Noveller and Syndrome in the works as well. thisquietarmy will playing a one-off show in Austin, TX on Aug. 25th and will be touring in Europe this fall, hitting up the Amplifest in Porto, Portugal on Oct. 19-20 and Moving Noises Festival in Bochum, Germany on Nov. 16 - expect more dates in between in Spain, France, Italy & more... I've also re-arranged my Bandcamp for the newbies: http://thisquietarmy.bandcamp.com/ (albums / collabs / eps + misc).
And oh yes, Canadian bacon is definitely something I miss on the road, but the real shoutout goes to the Foie Gras poutine from the Pied de Cochon food truck currently running everywhere in Montreal this summer! Yummy.