(CMW 2016 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #111: Aled Rees of Cut Ribbons

By on Monday, 2nd May 2016 at 1:00 pm

We are now at the actual week of Canadian Music Week (CMW) 2016. I know, exciting! And we’re rounding things off in our preview of the festivities with the last few CMW 2016-flavoured Quickfire Questions answered by actual artists scheduled to showcase at the festival. Cut Ribbons released one of my favourite albums of 2015, ‘We Want to Watch Something We Loved Burn’, last summer. We are lucky today to have Aled Rees, guitarist and singer/songwriter of the Welsh band, answering our TGTF questions for us. Which beloved author who favoured a drink (or three) in his time does Aled name as his favourite writer? You’ll have to read on to find out…

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Pop with teeth.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word ‘Canada’?
Arcade Fire.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Toronto? Have you been before?
It’s our first time, we are really excited. We’re looking forward to checking out the sites, going up the CN Tower, all the touristy things really. We are going to have to take a trip outside the city to Niagara Falls too.

Of the bands who have already been announced (https://cmw.net/music/artists/), do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
We’ll catch the bigger names like Eagles of Death Metal and Tegan and Sara for sure. There’s a cool new British band called The Orielles playing, we’ll probably go catch those guys, and we’ll definitely go catch our homeboys and girl HMS Morris! Other than that, just really excited to wander around Toronto discovering new bands and eating lots of poutine!

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase for your time at CMW that we might find weird or unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
Lluan. We are saving the price of a plane ticket by packing our singer in our hand luggage.

You are receiving funding from Arts Council Wales to make the trip over to the pond to showcase at CMW. Tell us about how you got involved with Arts Council Wales and what their funding means to your trip / your career.
They have been incredibly supportive over the last couple of years. It’s organisations like the Arts Council that makes things like this possible.

After CMW, what’s up next for you? Writing and recording? TGE / summer festivals / etc.? Do tell!
Lots of writing. We are hoping to get the new album finished and get a few of the tracks recorded before the summer festivals begin. There is a lot more acoustic guitar on this new one but that doesn’t mean that they are stripped back and bare, quite the opposite actually.

We’re switching over to our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
It’s probably just aimlessly strumming the open strings of my dad’s old Shaftesbury guitar when I was about 3. I must have driven my parents mad. I still have that guitar too.

What was your favourite song as a child?
I can’t really remember but it was probably something folky like Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Paxton or Ralph Mctell.

What song makes you laugh?
‘Word Up’ by Cameo. Whenever I hear that song the thought of that red codpiece always makes me laugh. It reminds me of a back to front baboon.

What song makes you cry?
Sigur Rós – ‘Ára Bátur’ at Abbey Road. When this kids start singing I have to use the old, ‘I have something in my eye’ excuse. Anything by Elliott Smith. His songs are beyond beautiful.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Taylor Swift used to make me feel angry every time I listened to her but through listening to Ryan Adams covering ‘1989’, not so much now.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
There are just so many. I say out loud almost on a daily basis that I wish I had written some song or other. ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen was the most recent to date. That line, “It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift,” is just genius.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
It’s Hemingway. Not so keen on the decimation of the Serengeti or the bull fighting bit but I can fully support his “Write drunk; edit sober” maxim.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I’ve always wanted to have a crack at writing a children’s book, so hopefully I would be doing that, but who knows? I could just as easily have become the ringmaster of a cat circus.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
If God said anything at all to me I would have to rethink a lot of things. Also, if I was going to heaven, you would have thought they would already have it.

Thanks Aled for your kind answering of our questions. See you all in Toronto!

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