Entries in the dears (1)


61 The Dears' Natalia Yanchak


We recently had the pleasure of exchanging some words with Natalia Yanchak from Montreal orchestral pop wizards, The Dears. A talented and multifaceted creative mind from a band of several, we were elated to find out what she thinks about a few different topics, and how excatly you stay afloat and stay inspired as an artist in 2015. The Dears also just released their new album 'Times Infinity Volume One' and you can pick up a copy at the links after the jump.

First of all thanks so much for chatting with us! 


The Dears are known as an iconic Montreal band, and we have to say, it is easily one of the best cities in the world. What sets it apart? What do you love about it?

Montreal is definitely a special place. It fosters a "creative" life because it's almost what the city demands of its residents. I was reading a report and it said the quality of life in Montreal is one of the highest in the world, while the same report stated that Montreal was a terrible place for business (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-study-institut-du-quebec-1.3322892). That basically sums it up: if you want to be free to make Art, come to Montreal. If you want to make money, move to Toronto. It's the classic, dichotic conversation.


You've always had an iconic sound that sets you apart from other bands. How have The Dears always managed to stand out?

I wouldn't call it "standing out" as much as I would call it an assertion of our identity. Without prejudice. Beyond an improvement in the quality of our recordings on the production side, it's important for us to remain true to what "The Dears" is. We are not trendy. There are no iPads on stage. We are a rock band -- musicianship is important to us, and it's a characteristic that runs deep in our blood. Songwriting is just as vital. Many bands have all the "right" textures and sounds the "right" album art and haircuts, but they can't write a song. Essentially, marketing can't write music. And that's why we're so popular (hahaha!). Since The Dears formed in 1995, we've been the same band with the same end game: to make great orchestral pop music.
While recording this new album, Times Infinity Volume One, what was a typical day like for The Dears?

We recorded much of the bed tracks at Revolution Recordings in Toronto, and the overdubs at Hotel2Tango in Montreal. But the city never matters because a studio day is always the same: Wake up, drink coffee, get into the (invariably windowless) studio in the morning. Sit on the couch in the control room and listen, listen, share an idea, listen some more, and maybe that day you'll get to lay down a few tracks! Suddenly it's midnight and you're starving. Poutine time! Repeat. 


What are your favourite cities to visit and play in while touring? Is there anywhere you haven't been that you would like to visit?

Even though it's a beast, I love London, UK. What a massive and confusing place -- but I have to admire the down-to-earth conceit of Londoners. The celebrity culture there is also like none other, where you can be at any old bar and be sitting next to a famous musician, or a crazy successful person, or just some random human being -- and you're guaranteed great conversation. We haven't been back to London in a few years so I'm feeling nostalgic, I think! 


Recently, shows in Turkey and Mexico have been highlights, and we'd love to get back there. As far as places I'd like to visit: it's pretty much anywhere we haven't been, really. Russia & all of Eastern Europe, Morocco, Egypt, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea, Vietnam, Columbia, Argentina, Peru, Brazil... you know, all those places bands usually get to...


If you were out DJ-ing, which record would you take with you every time?


"There's a Riot Goin' On" by Sly and the Family Stone.


What's the best part about being a creator for a living? If you weren't in The Dears, what might you be doing right now?


Having a creative "job" is not easy, but it is an amazing philosophical lesson to share with our kids (Murray and I have two, aged 10 and 3). Happiness is often seen as some unattainable goal -- the pressures of everyday life quickly erode at one's notion of what being "happy" might be. To me, happy means fulfillment, satisfaction, compassion and love. These things are everywhere, they are free, and they exist within each of us. I think if I had a 9-to-5 job I would be less "stressed" about money, but all the other facets of happiness would suffer in the face of that. Does this answer the question? Because I've kind of given you the best parts and the worst parts about a creative life… 

If I wasn't in The Dears I would be writing more. In fact, the sci-fi book I'm currently writing would be published already!


How do you stay inspired? Where do your ideas come from?

Life inspires us, and knowing there is even a single person who is listening, compels us. 

Thanks so much for chatting with us! Is there anything else we need to know about?

Thanks for the interview! Here's a shameless plug/link to some of my sci-fi writing: https://www.scribd.com/nyanchak

'Times Infinity Volume 1'