In Between the Acts, The Globe and Mail takes a look at how artists manage their time before and after a creative endeavour.
If Carole Pope is anything, she’s persistent. The High School Confidential singer, along with the Barenaked Ladies, was set to headline a Toronto concert for the city’s LGBTQ community this month. But the event was scuttled, due to criticism over its celebratory tone. Originally planned for March 29, the concert was organized in the wake of the arrest of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur as a vigil for those killed and to celebrate the community. Before that, Pope’s show at Hugh’s Room Live in Toronto was also postponed. Not one to be deterred, the three-time Juno-winning leader of the provocative rock band Rough Trade has had her club dates rescheduled, and tickets are moving quickly. She spoke to The Globe and Mail by phone from Los Angeles.
I think the postponement of the Love Wins concert was unfortunate. People had issues with the concert, and I understand that. The investigation is ongoing, but it could take years to resolve and before we find out how many people were killed.
It’s just weird to me, because if the concert was in Los Angeles, we’d be there to support each other.
I’ve lived in different places, including New York. I just can’t afford to live there. You can’t beat Los Angeles for the climate. I’m certainly inspired by nature. You can be hiking in a canyon or you can be at the beach. It spurs me creatively.
Los Angeles can be isolating, though. It’s hard to have a social life. I mean, I have one, but people will cancel at the very last minute, which they don’t do in other places.
I’m working on an EP. And there’s a video for my single from last year, This Is Not a Test. It’s animated, which is why it’s taking a while. But it’s coming.
This Is Not a Test is my feel-good song for the apocalypse. I lived in the East Village during Hurricane Sandy. The streets were sectioned off because of the danger of flooding. The song was inspired by dreams I’ve had about New York being underwater. It’s going to happen at some point.
So, the song is about nature, and it’s certainly political. I wrote it before Trump, but we’re going through such upheaval right now. The song is a wake-up call. We’re engaging more than we were, but people are basically apathetic. And you really can’t be right now.
California is beautiful. Ontario is beautiful too, and Canada is gorgeous. We want to keep it like that. We want to have it for our children. Not that I have children, but if I did, I’d be really freaked out in my mind.
Carole Pope plays Hugh’s Room Live, in Toronto, May 9 and 10. (hughsroomlive.com)