Paul Schedlich
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Paul Schedlich

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Post-rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"The Interview"

Purveyor of: Melancholic wanderlust
File next to: Galaxie 500, Hüsker Dü, Beliefs

I first crossed paths with Paul Schedlich in the mid/late ‘90s, when our young bands played a show together in the basement of (likely) some long-forgotten Kensington Laundromat. He was in Drop Forge, I was in Secret Agent. (You can probably find our tapes and CDs if you scour in the used bins. Haha.) A few years later, he was part of a great band called The Great Forgetting, who played Wavelength a few times in the early thousands. Then I lost of track of him, until a mutual friend reconnected us in the fall of 2012. Low-key when it comes to self-promotion, Paul Schedlich’s music is the perfect blend of noisy and pretty — a delicious mix I find you don’t find much nowadays. The sound of melancholic wanderlust always makes for the best soundtrack, and for that release I highly recommend you pick up his new release, Ghosts of Kowloon, on April 9 at CineCycle. – Jonny Dovercourt

Hey Paul! Hope yr doing well. So, I am really fond of the album you are releasing at this show, and I feel like I have some personal attachment to it, since you were working on writing this set of material when you subletted my apartment when Rachel and I went away in Oct. 2012, and you'd just returned from a few years away in Asia yourself. Do you want to expand a bit on how this album came into being?

Thanks! I’m really grateful to you and Rachel, because living in your apartment that fall really helped me get my ideas together for this record. It was like a base camp. I got up early every morning, ran in the park and got down to work. I ended up recording with a friend who lives in your neighborhood. The music just came together while the rest of my life fell apart! I found myself back in Toronto after a while abroad and I wasn’t working. My stuff was in a storage space. Sometimes, I feel like I didn’t utilize the time as well as I could have, but I guess that was as good a time as any to make a record about dogs, death, failed romantic relationships, and the optimistic hope of new love, even in middle-age.

I have played in a bunch of bands over the years. I love playing music with people, but I’m kind of a lone wolf and I’ve always wanted to make a proper solo record and fumble around on my own. I’ve been writing and recording ideas for the past 10 years and I have hard drives full of stuff, but life happened. I was too sad, unappreciative and restless to set down roots. I lived abroad and worked in a few different countries.

I moved to Hong Kong to work and although I was busy, I had a lot of time to think, ruminate and process my life experiences. I did dumb things. I listened to a lot of music. I bought an old Gibson LGO and had it shipped to me from the US. When I started playing this beautiful, worn guitar, it felt like I was reunited with a long-lost love. Stuff just started to come out. These thoughts and musical ideas turned into a cohesive set of songs. The start of the musical ideas may have started years ago, but thematically, it all started to come together when I was away.

I arrived and left in the summer time, when the weather is oppressively humid. In August, there is a holiday called Yu Lan, which is known as the Hungry Ghost festival. It’s thought that the spirits of the deceased come back to visit the living. I’m not a religious person, but I’m fascinated with the idea of an afterlife. Seeing this contradiction of a dense, hyper-modern cityscape colliding with ancient, ephemeral, superstition had a profound effect on me. I always think of the friends, colleagues, family and lovers who’ve come and gone in my life, especially the departed ones. I have my own issues with ancestral worship so the Ghosts of Kowloon left an indelible mark on me.

Middle age.... really?! We're not that old yet, are we? I guess I shouldn't be in such denial about the passing of time... But in the Ghosts of Kowloon material, musically I do hear strong ties to "90s rock," that style of dreamy guitar rock where noise and melody fuse into one. What was inspiring you sonically during this creation period? And what do you make of the current crop of '90s-inspired rock bands?

Well, I was in bed when you sent this email at 11:45 PM on a Friday night. That is probably a sign that I’m getting old! I try to be healthy, but if genetics dictate that I will go out how my father and grandfathers went, I am well past middle age. I’m always conscious of that. To my detriment, it causes dreadful anxiety, but it can also be sort of inspiring too, not in the sense that I’m like “YOLO" and aspire to be a goof that drives around a car that costs 3 million dollars, but that I want to do a lot more in life before I take a dirt nap. Music is like wallpaper and in the grand scheme of things, not terribly important — but I love to make it.

I learned to play guitar in the ‘90s, so some of the music from that era is going to be a starting point for me. I still enjoy a lot of the current stuff from later ‘90s bands like Blonde Redhead, Built to Spill and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I loved Unwound and Slint. That stuff is still haunting. Some of that stuff has really stood up to the test of time.

Bass was my first instrument. I was equally inspired by records by the Sex Pistols, Black Flag, The Beatles, Isaac Hayes, and Otis Redding. I kind of dreamed about playing guitar though, and a lot of mid/late ‘80s records by Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Hüsker Dü, The Lemonheads, Bitch Magnet, Fugazi, and Galaxie 500 just blew my tween mind. Those tapes and LPs were like springboards for me. When I was 15, I played in a band called Search Party. The other guys were older than me. My friend and mentor, Mike Simpson got me into a lot of British rock music of the time, like The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Wedding Present, Swervedriver, Slowdive, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, etc. It’s predictable and Piscean of me, but that noisy, dreamy, atmospheric underwater-sounding stuff just floats my boat.

When I was ready to start recording the album, I was listening to a lot of electronic music, but I would run a lot to Mono, Pelican, Sunn O))), Explosions in the Sky, that latest GY!BE record, and Thee Oh Sees, so it ended up being a guitar record. I wrote these songs on my acoustic guitar and initially thought it might sound more like Zuma or a Sun Kil Moon record. A lot of my stuff was in storage, and in various states of disrepair, so I used what gear I had available. Some of that gear helped influence me too. I recorded with a baritone guitar, which totally changed the mood of some songs. I just kind of went off. Lucas Rose, who recorded the record, would sometimes leave the room to watch a hockey game, take his dog out for a walk, or even go to sleep while I was noodling, to come back to hours of stuff to edit.

As far as these new ‘90s-influenced bands are concerned, I’m not familiar with too many. Locally, I recently saw Beliefs and I thought they were great. Greys look like they are having a great time. Without sounding patronizing, I think it is kind of cute when I see people born in the ‘90s dressing or sounding like the aesthetic from that era. In some respects, a lot of things are WAY better today. There is the Internet and we can make great-sounding recordings and edit beautiful-looking films at home. Artists can become pretty popular by posting a single track online. The reach is pretty mind-blowing and there is this rich, distracting world online.

Yet things are even more impermanent today. I don’t need to go into details but sensitive, smart, young people are hype- aware of the precarious and hopeless position the world is in now. I can see how the seeming innocence and anti-idealism from that era is appealing. The good things from that era can be cherry-picked, isolated and appreciated.

Well, on the topic of "getting shit done before you take that dirt nap," it seems like you've got a lot musically on the go. From what you've told me, you're on to the next thing post-Ghosts of Kowloon already. What's next for Paul Schedlich?

I want to look keep looking forward. I have a lot of new/older songs that I’m excited about and have begun to work on. The arrangements will be a lot more sparse. I wish I could sing like a cross between Charles Bradley, Taylor Kirk and Hannah Reid, but I’ve settled on the limitations of my voice.

I also have a lot of unfinished things that I want to revisit. There is a recording that I worked on with Kevin and Al from Drop Forge/Eight Pound Test last year, but most of it was lost due to a hard drive failure. There are a handful of songs that The Great Forgetting recorded in 2004, before we stopped playing together that I want to finish by the summer. I also have a bunch of synth-pad songs I worked on for a friend’s film a few years ago. Some of it is pretty bad but has promise; it's like I am trying to channel Klaus Schülze or Vangelis, except that I’m a low-rent guy on a MacBook. If any of it turns out well, I’ll definitely share it when I’m ready.

Great, can't wait to hear it all! What do you have planned for your Wavelength performance on Wednesday?

A live band interpretation of the songs. There may be some loops. Brad Pallister, Craig Pattison and Lucas Rose will be playing the show with me. It should be fun. They are great players. I'm the conductor, so if it turns into a train wreck, I take full responsibility.

Let's hope there's none of that!! So, does Toronto feel like home now, 18 months later? Or do you still feel seduced by wanderlust...?

I never missed winter when I was away. It is pretty tough to make a living here. It is getting very expensive to rent or own. I'm not going to lie, I feel pretty excited when I'm at the airport. However, family, friends and a vibrant, committed arts culture/community make it a great place to be. That is one of the many things I really appreciated about Toronto when I was away. And as short as it is, summer is great here too. - Wavelength


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy