Summertime, and the living is … not so easy. In contrast to the generally sunny disposition of the Apes, we find the summer to be the most trying of seasons, owing mostly to our proximity to the equator, the gigantic nuclear furnace that we call the Sun and our utter inability to find employment as an ice cream taster. Who loves the sun? Not everyone.
Our love of SunShineJane brings with it a particular brand of confusion, though we choose to think of this as more mystique than mystery. You see, SunShineJane often goes by the name MyDogJane – and the possibility exists that the creative train behind either Jane, a man named Scott Dupuy, is happy with neither name.
What Mr. Dupuy is happy with, one can infer, is his ability to manifest the music he hears in his head into something that can be shared with others, for the vibrations to carry. And what good, good, good vibrations they are – Dupuy’s sounds carry an instant jolt of recognition and blinding bolts of inspiration, via guitars fuzzy-and-phased, and the beat that helps you move your feet. Yet the initial pleasure soon gives way to an eerie, almost airless vibe – the spirit of the music has been trapped and it’s yearning to be free.
And free it is – to this point, the chief channel of distribution for the sounds of SunShineJane/MyDogJane is through a YouTube channel. We anticipate that in the future, he’ll get by with a little help from his friends. Until then, we urge all to crane their collective necks toward this sun and take in the words of SunShineScott Dupuy, who was kind enough to answer our ridiculous questions below. Enjoy.
What are your earliest musical memories? Can you recall the very first song that captured your attention as a child? What was it about that song that has such an impact on you? How has your relationship with that song evolved over the years, and what emotions does that song bring out in you today?
Pink Floyd and my dad singing a few lines of the song, “School” by Supertramp. Pink Floyd, “Echoes.” It was really long, beautiful and had some crazy sounds. Then in my early teens I discovered LSD and that song, along with many others, became different … in a very good way.
Was there a defining event in your life in which it became clear to you that music would be a central obsession in your life? What music soundtracked this event? How do you think your relationship with music has evolved since your adolescence? How do you think your relationship with music has evolved in, say, the past five years?
There was never a defining moment that I recall. I remember someone telling me to sing something other than Black Sabbath (Ozzy) and Pink Floyd. My dad had his records shipped from England when he came to Canada but only one milk crate arrived. Thankfully it had all of Floyd and one Sabbath record. The older I got the more appreciative I became of music makers. To me, it was the greatest and most underrated art form. Writing, recording, mixing, etc., take a lot of time … if you do it yourself. It’s a different process than just playing and creating … for an average of three-to-six minutes of art that most people expect for free … or for a dollar from fucking iTunes or some shit site like that … mind you, I put it all on YouTube which is basically giving it away. I like less production and lots of heart.
What effect do you believe hailing from The Great White North had upon your musical development? Are there any Canadian bands or artists who have made a great impression on you over the years? Are the Canadian Content laws a well-intentioned way to make sure the arts are well-supported under the banner of the Maple Leaf, or just another example of the “typical, passive-aggressive Canadian bullshit”?
I just made shit up without a thought of anyone noticing because I certainly didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t sound like Brian Adams or Neil Young to which most Canadians measure up to. There are certainly many unknown Canadian psych/garage bands but when I started making music, I was ignorant to their existence. The Ugly Ducklings are a great band … Hahaha – passive-aggressive.
What can you tell us about the origin of SunShineJane/MyDogJane? What compelled you to begin this project and what lead to you releasing this music out into the world? What is the story behind the rather unique name, and what is the relationship between the MyDogJane moniker and the SunShineJane moniker?
Well … I have to name drop to tell it … sorry. I have played for a long time by myself. I have a ton of bits and pieces recorded. I finally got on to that Facebook and added A.Newcombe. He got kicked from Facebook thrity minutes later and then I immediately got two friend requests: D. Cavanagh and A. McGee. I had no idea who these guys were until a month later. I put some tracks together with a lame picture up on YouTube and sent it to D. Cavanagh. He posted it, McGee loved it and thought it was from someone else, whom I admire dearly, which gave me some much needed inspiration. It happened so fast. I didn’t put much thought into a name. I am a huge animal person. I looked down and saw my dog, thought, well, fuck it. I have put a few songs out with the name SunShineJane. I think all of my stuff sounds different but the ones with that title, I put more effort into. I change my mind a lot so I’m never sure which one too chose. Fucking labels. Ha!
If you were standing on the street in Austin, TX, at 2:30 a.m., trying to hail a cab, and a dude approached you wearing shimmery, rose-colored Elton John sunglasses and a monkey-mask on the back of his head, would you invite him to share a cab with you? Please show your work.
Haha … I knew he would share an apple … thanks for that.
We don’t say this lightly, but SunShineJane/MyDogJane is some of the most evocative and communicative music that we’ve had the pleasure of hearing in recent years, thought it also seems to carry a real and perhaps intentional veil of mystery along with it. What do you feel like you are trying to communicate with your music, or is it something that you are unable to words to, quite literally? Is the sense of mystery that we sense when listening to SunShineJane/MyDogJane real, in your mind, or are we projecting our own emotions on music that you believe is built for a larger audience?
Thank you. No intent … I don’t think. I just really enjoy making noise. I hope I hit some right notes/frequencies so it’s enjoyable to who ever wants to listen. Emotional projection and music are great friends. That’s how music is enjoyed. Every song means something different to someone else.
What music have you been listening to lately? If push comes to shove, what is your favorite Neil Young song of all time and why? Please show your work.
Nightbeats, Growlers, White Fence, (always) BJM, Dead Skeletons, Strangers Family Band, UFO Club, some great Turkish music, Bombino, Strange Boys, Spindrift, G.D.D.L.F. from Spain, The Black Ryder, The Black Angels, a New Zealand band called Doctors, The Allah-Las … just to name a few. I can never choose a favorite song from anyone. They all have their own moment for the right mood.
What is the most positive or enlightening aspects of writing and recording music in your eyes? How do the emotions you experience during the writing and recording process differ from those you experience when watching a live music performance? What band or artist has delivered the most surprisingly transcendent performance that you ever saw – meaning that you had low expectations going in and had your mind irrevocably altered going out?
I just really like to create things. When I put my music “out there,” my idea was to make music for films. I can perform but it’s all nervous anxiety. Haha … I started drawing, writing and painting first. I played for so long without writing things down, which I still do, so recording makes it much easier to remember things. So many lost and wasted ideas because I didn’t want to stop playing to write things down. Now I just hit a button and we’re good. It differs when I see a live band because I realize that I need to practice more because they are usually/always much better than myself. There was a band called Vietnam that Evan Dando brought for the first time to Toronto. They were OK. Then we saw them again with the Black Angels and they blew me away. Great bunch of guy’s but I don’t think they are around anymore.
Laura Ingalls Wilder – author of “Little House on the Prairie” and a massive fan of Voivod – once wrote the following:
“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
Agreed. I did like her sister better, though.
What’s next for SunShineJane?
Good question … Joe Foster has me on his publishing label at Sterling Songs. Joe and his wife, Tuesday Foster, are very kind people. I’m truly grateful to have them at my side. I’m hoping something will come out of that. I’ll just plod along either way like I have always done – I enjoy it very much. Take care.