Not all of the musicians at the Pitchfork Music Festival are there to play music. Bounce around the festival grounds for long enough, and if you’ve been keeping tabs on what your favorite musicians look like—and why wouldn’t you?—you’re bound to see a few of them floating around, here to enjoy the weekend like the rest of us. (I think I spotted a Vivian Girl!) Majical Cloudz, a Canada-based partnership between singer-songwriter Devon Walsh and live collaborator Matthew Otto, wasn’t officially asked to play the festival; they did a few Pitchfork-approved aftershows, trading humidity for air conditioning in bringing their haunting Impersonator record to life. I caught up with the both of them to see how that whole festival-less festival experience was going.
One of my Canadian friends brought us a bunch of candy they don’t have in America and informed me to ask about your favorite brand of Canadian-specific candy.
Devon Walsh: Um, Canadian specific brand of candies…Smarties? Smarties are an M&M equivalent that have a distinct flavor to them. Their candy shell is a bit more present in the sort of total content of the piece of candy so it’s worth investigating. I think M&Ms overall are probably better because they have a lot more choices and different varieties, but Smarties are a thoroughly Canadian candy.
Matthew Otto: Smarties taste cheaper.
What do you mean by cheaper?
MO: It’s more like candy and less like chocolate-y, you know? You taste the shell more and you taste the color more.
You’re not on the official bill this weekend. Do you have any plans to bum rush a stage and take over? Have you ever considered it?
DW: Uh yeah, I’d love to do that. I think that the possible fall-out of that would probably not be worth stealing the stage but I don’t know, I’d like to do something. If you have any suggestions or ways that we could get on stage.
You should tackle Bjork, that would give you a lot of publicity.
MO: Yeah, I wanted to get her to talk to us.
DW: Yeah, I’d much rather talk to her than tackle her.
You could tackle her and then just start whispering things in her ear and see if she just plays along…I guess that’s kind of weird.
DW: Yeah, I probably wouldn’t be down.
Fair enough. Is she floating around, do you know?
MO: I don’t know, she probably has her own special trailer that’s away from everybody.
DW: Just because as we’ve been discussing, in the VIP area the real stars that are here, the artists in the VIP area are fans of those artists. So it’s still uncomfortable for them because everyone would be mobbing them. Like if Bjork was in the VIP area everyone would just be mobbing her.
I read an article in which you did karaoke a couple of months ago. Were there any songs that you didn’t get to do that are your like go-to jams?
DW: That was the second time I’d ever done karaoke. The only other time I’d done it was when I did one song so that was basically the first time. I just went through and found as many kind of nu-metal songs. I did a lot of Limp Bizkit stuff and I think I got everything that I wanted to get. It got to a point where I was really losing my voice and the night afterwards was our record release show at Glasslands so I started to realize that I was really fucking up…and then I stopped.
When you say you haven’t done much karaoke before, have you never been asked or were you too shy?
DW: No, it’s never come up. I’ve never hung out with people who did karaoke, and then the girl who wrote the article, Devon Maloney, suggested it and we did it. And I thought that it was a really awesome article, it was fun and kind of accurately described what went down.
If Billy Corgan was recruiting, and he was tired of his new reiteration of the Smashing Pumpkins and he asked you to join, which instrument would you want to play?
DW: I would probably want to sing, so me and Billy would probably… There would be an argument between us there that would really quickly escalate and I hope that he would choke me or something so that I could leave in style, like probably the rest of the Smashing Pumpkins’ original members.
Have you seen the Smashing Pumpkins play, in any of their iterations?
DW: No, I had the opportunity to do so a couple of years ago when it was just him and some whole other new band and I was like ugh, I’d rather stick with the records from like, the glory days when everything was right with them.
I also saw that either you or somebody else started your Wikipedia page.
DW: Someone else did. Super surprised by that. I checked it out and some people have added to it. Matt and I haven’t yet gotten the chance to fill in the details on it, but it’s there and that’s really cool. The bare bones are there. I created a Wikipedia account so that I could start editing but I haven’t had the time to sit down and really give it a once over, add our own photo, revise a lot of what is written there and stuff.
Is there anything that either of you would like to add to it for the record?
DW: I want to fill in the blanks on a lot of the earlier Majical Cloudz releases that were a different iteration of this project, and yeah, the photo. I’m probably just going to go through a bunch of other bands’ Wikipedias and see what they have, and then make ours seem as legit as possible. I love Wikipedia so I’m really excited about that.
Final question: what is your favorite video game adaptation to a movie?
DW: Favorite video game adaptation of a film? Oh, definitely True Lies for Super NES. The video game version is how you would always hope the video game version of a movie always is, where you get to play out all of the action scenes as the character. It’s not side scrolling, it’s kind of overhead RPG sort of style, like Zelda, except it’s a lot more tightly controlled in terms of you just go through each episode, each scene in the movie, but it’s level by level, and that was a really fun game. I haven’t played that in a while though.
MO: Yeah, Goldeneye 64. Goldeneye is a really bad movie and the video game is really awesome.