An Interview With Irvine Welsh

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Bestselling author Irvine Welsh explains why rock & roll and a good book go hand in hand.

Steamrolling over the boundaries of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Irvine Welsh writes stories that would make your mother blush. Best known for penning Trainspotting, Welsh revisits the silver screen with Ecstasy, a twisted tale that explores the euphoric highs and devastating lows of chemical dependency.

After a recent screening of Ecstasy in Toronto, Irvine Welsh sat down with Tour Death to discuss the music that inspires him to write.

Tour Death: What are some of your favorite bands and what have you been listening to lately?

Irvine Welsh: I’m always looking to music, because it helps me to construct [my] characters. I make up playlists for every character that I write about. I’ve been listening to a lot of British 80s music, because one of the characters I write [about] is very into that, but I’ve also been listening to a lot of country. I’ve got The Cure on one side and Brad Paisley on the other, trying to get into the heads of the characters through the music that they listen to.

Live Shots: The Flaming Lips – NXNE

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It’s been quite a summer for The Flaming Lips – the band packed over 18,000 of their closest fans into Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square for this year’s NXNE festival before embarking on a Guinness World Record breaking tour. The Oklahoma City natives recently seized the throne from Jay-Z after playing eight shows across the Mississippi Delta, earning the award for “Most Concerts Played in 24 Hours.” 

Live Shots: Portugal. The Man – NXNE

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With six albums on the table and a turbulent year behind them (remember that whole stolen van fiasco?), the Alaskans of Portugal. The Man are leaning into 2012 with the sun on their faces. The quartet brought their T-Rex inspired glam fuzz and #1 fan Wayne Coyne to the Yonge-Dundas Stage for this year’s NXNE festival. 

Portugal. The Man Press Shot: Portugal. The Man

Live Shots: Of Montreal – NXNE

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Patriotic luchadores? Check. Pigmen? Check. Ghost lobsters? Check. Creatures that belong in Pan’s Labyrinth? Check. Androgynous lead singer backed by psychedelic noisemakers? Check. Kevin Barnes and his fellow Of Montreal cohorts sure know how to start a party. They had hips shaking all over Yonge-Dundas Square during their head-tripping NXNE set.

 Of Montreal Press Shot: Of Montreal

Live Shots: Bleached – NXNE

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Hailing from the Best Coast, er…West Coast, surf punk sisters Jennifer and Jessica Calvin delivered their lo-fi sound to NXNE fans during Toronto’s most notable indie music festival. Although the sisters of Bleached draw serious comparisons to Bethany Consentino, we can’t get our hands on enough California fuzz pop bands these days, so the more the merrier!

Bleached Press Shot: Bleached

Live Shots: Plants and Animals – NXNE

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Plants and Animals have come a long way since the release of their self-titled debut in 2002. Although the Montreal-based trio initially began as a fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants instrumental project, the band has called upon new sounds (and voices) over the past decade to create what they refer to as “post-classic rock.” Plucking inspiration from Mick Jagger, Arcade Fire, and Hunter S. Thompson, Plants and Animals wowed NXNE fans at the Yonge-Dundas Square stage.

Plants and Animals Press Shot: Plants and Animals

Live Shots: Eight and a Half – NXNE

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In April of 2011, Montreal indie rockers The Stills announced their dissolution. In the wake of that breakup, The Stills’ principal songwriter Dave Hamelin joined forces with keyboardist Liam O’Neil, picking up Broken Social Scene’s drummer Justin Peroff along the way. The trio formed a new band, Eight and a Half, who brought their synth-driven rock to Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE

Eight and a Half Press Shot: Canvas Media