Shot and written by: Gemma Mastroianni
When I found out I was attending Osheaga this year, I truly couldn't be more stoked. When I found out just days before that I'd be interviewing one of my favourite artists Kurt Vile, I was even more excited.
As much as I wanted to attend his show in Toronto at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre the night before, I was on a road trip to Montreal so I was unable. With that being said, Vile had just woken up from the evening on his tour-bus right before we began chatting.
Vile said he was excited and ready to play Osheaga, as he knew they would be better than last-time. I was confused hearing this, thinking back to when I saw him four years ago in Oro-Medonte at another festival- in fact it was one of my favourite sets, and one that I still rave to my friends about to this day. Sure, there wasn't much banter or smoke and mirrors but, the vibe was exactly what it needed it to be. A mid afternoon in the summer with some chilled out Indie Rock. I remember being amazed at the consistency of the band as they played "Wakin on a Pretty Day."
Vile explained that the last performance was good but they were lacking experience and were still trying to figure it out. He went on to say, "I don't drink anymore and that helps me perform better. Back then, I was definitely drinking plenty," he continued, "It was fun and it was worth it. No apologies."
Vile has been touring plenty over the past couple of years. Following his release with Courtney Barnett, 'Lotta Sea Lice,"and 'Bottle It In' that were released in October 2018, he's certainly had his hands full. I was curious how he copes with such a busy touring schedule.
"It took a lot to figure it out. I used to be more unhealthy. It's a constant battle really, getting like sleep or, not partying too much. I do Ayurveda which is like natural herbs and things that help. I try to get as much sleep as possible."
Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu system of medicine that is based on idea of balance in bodily systems and utilizes diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.
When we chatted about the new album, Vile said he was most pleased with the title track, 'Bottle It In." He drove from the desert in LA after playing at Stagecoach to record the track. It was spontaneous and candid, which is how he describes the album as a whole. As his earlier tracks are a bit more psychedelic, he also considers this a nice merger of AM/FM Rock while implementing the psychedelic style back into it.
These days, he can be found listening to lots of new music such as Chris Cohen, Big Thief, Alice Hardy, and even Miley Cyrus, who he describes as his favourite Popstar.
"I met her at Primavera recently and Liz Fair (who was like a God to me in my teens) and I hadn't met her yet and were label-mates. Me and Liz fair were equally just waiting to meet Miley Cyrus like fangirls and then it happened, and it was amazing."
He likes her new releases such as 'Mothers Daughter' and "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart." "I respect Miley a lot. She's pretty outrageous, but she's with the time. She's in her element."
He also respects Billie Eilish, and mentioned how her mom is a fan of his. Nardwuar even gifted Eilish a Kurt Vile record in a recent interview:
In terms of what you can expect for new music from Vile, things are always evolving in his perspective. Although he couldn't fully define what was next, just know it'll be great.