Myles and the Blanks is a one man acoustic folk rock band from Saskatoon. Front man, best man, and only man, Myles Ladouceur creates songs that are catchy and intense with lyrics that are as sharp as they are witty. And his recent album, entitled The Great Big Hole in my Heart, is full of earnest acoustic moments that aren’t afraid to be caught with their pants down.
Talking to Myles over a sweaty phone on the hottest day of summer thus far, Myles and I discussed the genesis of his creation, maple syrup and sharks.
Amber Andrest: What provoked you to create Myles and the Blanks?
Myles Ladouceur: I just started out playing cover songs for friends in basements getting very intoxicated and I was listening to a lot of folk punk, as they say, like Andrew Jackson Jihad and Mischief Brew and the Mountain Goats and I was like “I think I can do this.” So I started writing songs for people. And I just eventually started writing really terrible songs.
A: Come on, Myles, that can’t be true!
M: Did you hear the first songs I wrote?
A: Myles, of course I did! Are you calling me a bad friend?
M: What do you mean we’re all out of syrup?
A: Exactly. Your performances always gather an enthusiastic crowd of people. Why do you think people are so receptive to your performances?
M: Because they feed off my energy and I feed off theirs.
A: And sometimes they feed you while you are playing! Like that time someone put a carrot in your mouth while you sang.
*Myles does not remember this event. I direct him to the YouTube video of him playing his song and being fed a carrot.*
M: I guess that event wasn’t too memorable. Every day I just walk around and sing songs and people throw food into my mouth.
A: So you are like a seal then…
*laughter* *Myles impersonates a seal*
A: What are your feelings on pancake syrup?
M: Pancake syrup is, I’m pretty sure, a gift from the gods above – emphasis on gods!
A: The topics in your songs vary greatly from each other. What is your favourite topic to cover?
M: A lot of my early-ish songs were a lot more dark like a dark comedy. For instance, “Asskatoon” is about our river being filled with garbage which is not great, but it’s true. I just started writing more about life and feelings. Songs got more personal I guess is a better way to put it.
A: And what is your favourite topic to cover?
M: Harry Potter probably.
A: Do you have a song about Harry Potter?
M: Of course I do- one is a parody of the Mountain Goat’s song “Going to Georgia” called “Going to Hogwarts” and I also have a song “Meet me at the Three Broomsticks”.
A: And what are those songs about?
M: “Going to Hogwarts” is a ravishing tale about being fed up about the Muggle way of life and…umm… making my way to Hogwarts.
A: Sounds truly magical. In your song about your friends leaving for B.C. you complain that you hate the place because it takes your friends away. What do you think keeps you in this city?
M: Other than like, lack of money, probably just the fact that its home and people always usually come back anyways. Take Joey Cliff [ex-Night Danger] for example. I don’t even know how many places he’s gone and come back from. I think he went to Vancouver, came back and then went to Vancouver again and came back and now I think he is in Alberta, but he’ll be back…people can’t stay away.
A: Yeah that Joey can’t get enough of this fine feathered city. He just loves the sweet taste.
M: He loves the sweet nectar of Saskatoon.
A: What are your goals for your band – would you like to add more people or just continue as a solo project?
M: That is a tough question. Lots of people have offered over the years to join and I’ve always been like “eeeh” because I’m kind of a control freak. So I think I’d either have to find the perfect people or grow more arms or just have a full band sound for future CDs. That is something that interests me.
A: Do you think you’ll ever go electric?
M: I think that’s selling out, man. *in a terrible English accent*
A: Oh very much so young chap! *in worse English accent*
A: Do you have any shows coming up in the near future?
M: I actually do! I have a show this Saturday the 23rd. It is at Walkers and it’s with my good friends Fire Next Time and Audio Rocketry from Edmonton and a band that I don’t really know which is We Were Sharks.
A: That last name sounds pretty disappointing. I would prefer to stay a shark. Wouldn’t you, Myles?
M: I would prefer to be a street shark. They’re Jaw-some!
A: Oh like the show Street Sharks. I never saw that show, I don’t think.
M: Times of regret and sorrow.
A: Do you have anything else to add?
M: Maybe you should put something in there about my ravishing good looks?
A: Myles, you are ravishly good looking. Why is that you think?