Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy

BandPop

Final Fantasy is the solo violin project of Owen Pallett. The songs are about ghosts, romance, cooking, fantasy fiction and guilt.

Biography

This is the original Interview with Klaus Smit for the Jazzthetik feature:
Q: The over-all impression you record gives is pure beauty, nice little breaks, and thousands of melodies and hooklines. Very, very beautiful. And then comes a line like: "Don't let your cock do all the work". Whyis that?

A: My brother asked me the same thing. He is a former Republican living in Idaho. I think he used to own a gun. He e-mailed me and asked me, "Why did you ruin that song with such an explicit line?" Last night, I was in a club here in Barcelona called Apolo. Broken Social Scene was playing, and I went by to hang out and eat some free food from their rider. After the set, the crowd was rushed out, because there was a gay night starting and the faggots couldn't be kept waiting. It was insane. A crowd of excited, happy people was shoved out the doors by several security guards. We retreated to the dressing room to relax for a few minutes, but then a Fabio wannabe came inside and yelled at us. He had long curly hair and a ridiculous purple tanktop. Store-bought muscles, store bought tan. He said, "Get out! Get out of here! We have to change! Talk about your stupid websites somewhere else!" He was such an asshole. I had to shove my way through a crowd of gelled hair and white t-shirts to get out of the club. It was horrifying. Now, I love sex, I think about it all the time and all my songs are about either sex or death. But the public face of sexuality is one I don't comprehend. I don't understand strip clubs, gay nights, big muscles, tanning and shaving, hair removal. I don't understand "topless at the beach". So "Please Please Please" is essentially a song about that. I find sexiness to be something much more academic.

Q: Sometimes "Has A Good Home" sounds like a pretty private affair. How does it feel to sing those lyrics on stage? And how does it feel to be on your own on stage? Is it better or worse than playing with a band?/

A: Actually, with Has A Good Home I did my best to make the songs as "public" as possible. I have this idea that all forms of public exhibition--be it telling a joke, reading a speech or playing music--have to have be somewhat humiliating for the performer. Otherwise the results are never believable. It's like Antony and the Johnsons. If he wore a wonderful suit and stood up front and sang those songs, people would think he was an egotist. Much better that he cowers behind a piano in a bad wig. It's a perfect balance of virtuosity and self-immolation. So I appearing on stage by myself. I make mistakes and bad jokes. I scream a little sometimes. It's horrifying and humbling.

Q: Would you agree if I say that there is a special romanticsm in your lyrics, a wish for beeing somewhere or somebody else?

A: I am a very fortunate person to have been blessed with wildly vivid emotions. I feel ecstasy and despair daily, usually more than once. Yesterday I played violin all day and cried myself to sleep with the joy at my good fortune. So, yes, I think there's a romanticism in my lyrics. I get teary-eyed over a good cup of coffee.

Q: If I had to I would compare your music to a few artists and bands that are from the UK: first of all Robert Wyatt, The Pale Fountains, Aztec Camera, sometimes even Madness (but I have to admit I cannot exactly say why). Do you have any links to those musicians or that 80s era the last three are from?/

A: To be very blunt, I don't understand British music. I love Robert Wyatt, sure, but I feel much closer to North American musicians and composers. My inspiration comes from less informed sources than bands like The Pale Fountains. Most of the songs on Has A Good Home were inspired by stuff like Dido, Sade and video game music.

Q: /What's the basis of your songs, is it always the violine or do you work //with other instruments as much as with the violine?/

A: 90% of the time, I write songs on my violin. Sometimes guitar, sometimes piano. The violin is an instrument that not a lot of pop songs are typically written on. The resulting songs tend to be wildly melodic, it's very satisfying.

Q: Can you please explain what the blocks recording club is? Can it in any way be compared to the stuff around Godspeed You! Black Emperor?

A: Umm... I don't think Constellation Records and Blocks have much in common musically, but the aesthetics are certainly similar. Blocks is a group of people who pool together their resources and make music quickly and painlessly. It started as a label for Steven Kado to release his band The Barcelona Pavilion, and grew very quickly. Blocks is about making records quickly and having a good time playing shows and making music. It is not about making money, in fact, it is about losing money. Blocks has released 30 records in 2 years, 30 records all made for under $5000 (most made for less than $100!). Consequently, we have the best catalogue of any label anywhere in the world. At least, I think so. Constellation and Blocks share t