5 questions for 5 POP Montreal 2016 artists: Beyries
Amélie Beyries knows a thing or two about bouncing back in style from extreme adversity: after surviving breast cancer, she’s signed with big-name Montreal label Bonsound, and is set to release her debut album in early 2017. With that in mind, she’ll be playing two unconventional but very anticipated shows at POP Montreal: first with Socalled at the Musée Pointe-à-Callière, and again at the rooftop of the Ubisoft building in the Mile End. Here’s our conversation with her in this instalment of our 5 POP questions series.
Why do you think POP Montreal is called “POP Montreal” when it’s not really about pop music?
Oh my God, I have no clue. I really have no clue, I’m so sorry… I got booked there and it was like “Okay great, awesome.” But I don’t know the genesis of the festival, I don’t know anything about [that].
What’s your pop music guilty pleasure?
I would say something between Elton John, ABBA and Sarah McLachlan – which is not really pop, but it kind of is. But mainly, I would say ABBA and Elton John for sure.
What are your favourite songs by both of them?
I kind of like “Fernando” by ABBA; I like the South American sound they gave to the song, I think it’s nice. “Chiquitita” is also a really cool song. I used to listen a lot to this kind of music when I was young. [For] Elton John, I would say “Crocodile Rock”, I love that song. “Your Song”, also. “Saturday Night”. It’s just like this very happy, great rhythm on the piano that only Elton John can [do]. Maybe Billy Joel has this [same] soul kind of vibe on the piano that I really like.
What’s your favourite venue in Montreal?
I like Le National. It’s on Ste. Catherine. It’s nice; it’s a small, small venue that’s like a small theatre, and there’s this angle on the floor where if you’re in the back, you have a great view of the show. It’s just the right size for a show. I saw Emily Haines there solo, and it was just amazing – the sound is great, too… Sala Rossa is always a great place to see shows at also, but it’s another vibe completely – it’s more intimate, maybe.
What form of transportation should people take during POP Montreal?
Bike, for sure. Biking is the best in Montreal… It’s the best way to get around the city… I like taking the metro and the bus, but sometimes it’s just more convenient to take the bike. I like to be outside, I just like the feeling. We went to Rialto on Monday night, and it was so nice to take our bikes and park it wherever we want. I think it’s just a pain in the ass when you have a car in Montreal. I just had a car again because I have a lot of stuff to carry around, so we had to buy one, but it’s such a pain. I live in Little Italy, and it’s so intense to get one [parking] spot.
What is it about Montreal that you like the most?
The diversity. I was born in Montreal, I’m the fifth-generation; my great-great-grandparents [immigrated] here. I think it’s amazing to see how many people are gathering around this island, and they come from everywhere around the world. I’d say the diversity in Montreal is very, very interesting, and that’s why it’s just a great city – the fact that there’s half of the people that speak English, and half of the other part is mostly French. I think that gives us this amazing mix, and opens our minds on another culture. All these festivals, too. It’s a very welcoming city, actually… There’s a free feeling in Montreal, and it became very clear to me because we’ve been crossing Canada – I’ve been crossing Canada with my manager this summer – back and forth, and it came into my mind. I was just like, “It’s nice to be back in Montreal because it’s so open and free.”
Beyries will be playing her first POP Montreal show this year opening for Socalled at the Musée Pointe-à-Callière on Thursday September 22 at 8 p.m., and another on Saturday September 24th on the rooftop of Ubisoft opening for Kandle and the Krooks. The Socalled show costs $25 apiece; the latter show is sold out.