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Bedouin Soundclash frontman Malinowski delves into his distant past

By Joe Leary

Jay Malinowski and The Deadcoast appear at The Media Club March 22 in support of their new concept album, Martel. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Jay Malinowski and The Deadcoast appear at The Media Club March 22 in support of their new concept album, Martel. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Jay Malinowski returns with his side project, The Deadcoast, in promotion of their latest release, Martel, an 18-song double LP. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with the Bedouin Soundclash frontman.

24: Where did the concept of The Deadcoast originate?

JM: Over breakfast one day with my friend Serge Sargento. He asked me where I was from. I couldn't answer him. I said the Left Coast once. Then once I was from the Right Coast. Then we both looked at each other and simultaneously said ‘The Deadcoast.’ When I moved back to Vancouver, I started working with The End Tree, an experimental string section. Also, I was fascinated with my grandfather's notes describing our family history leading back to Charles Martel who came to Canada from France in 1757. This was the basis for The Deadcoast and the Martel record.

24: How long has this project been percolating within?

JM: I think that Martel has been in me my whole life, whether or not I was aware of it or not. I always found it fascinating when my grandfather described the legendary Charles Martel who fought his way across the Atlantic. I named my label ‘Pirates Blend’ without thinking about that history on the east coast. I think we are drawn to things before we understand why, and in hindsight we can write them through. We can make sense of them.

24: What are your expectations on how it will be received?

JM: I understand that Martel is very dark. He is dark in nature and the questions posed by his life are lonely and isolating. Why are we who we are? Do I define my story or am I predestined by a vast set of historical circumstances before me? I hope in the end people see the hope in Martel, even though the vehicle is dark. His journey is testament in itself of hope and humanity, not the deeds of his life.

24: Who were your musical inspirations growing up?

JM: The Clash, Bad Brains, Massive Attack. I loved anything that sounded like somewhere I had never been. I like music that travels and transcends borders.

24: With Bedouin Soundclash you had a massive hit with When the Night Feels My Song. Are hit singles important to you as an artist or is it more about the work?

JM: I can't plan hits. I can only write what matters to me at the time. It seems sometimes that means resonating on a larger level or it means resonating with one or two people in their headphones late at night. Both are communicating and in the end that's all I ever wanted to do; communicate my experience to another human being and get that communion of being in the same place right now in the world.

24: Are there nerves involved anytime you release new material?

JM: I used to be concerned with critical opinion, but I realized like most things we worry about it's immaterial to your life. You have to create for your own sake and that has to be good enough in itself.

24: When and where are you taking this project on the road?

JM: We start a cross-Canada tour on March 20 in Victoria. We end in Montreal on April 5.

24: Will there ever be a return to Bedouin Soundclash?

JM: Bedouin is lifeblood, it’s home. I will always want to go back and make another record with Eon.


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