7" Survey: Pavilion

Photo: Colin Medley

Photo: Colin Medley

Every edition of this season’s Long Winter, we’re releasing a free split seven-inch, each side featuring a song from one of the night’s featured artists. To compliment the releases, we’ve issued a seven-part questionnaire to each of the artists involved, giving the subjects an inch (about 85 words) of space to answer each of our questions.

Shortly after releasing a demo tape as Mercury Girls this past April, Grace Scott, Julie MacKinnon, Jonah Falco and Mike Grdosic rebranded under the name Pavilion. Specializing in gloomy, dramatic post-punk, they’ve kept busy since, and in March they’ll release another cassette, Vexation of Spirit. In the meantime, you can catch them at Long Winter tomorrow night, where Scott says the band may incorporate “performance elements” eluding to a project the group’s been working on since November, and in an appropriate departure from our regular seven-inch series we’ll also have a cassette featuring their track “Pale Shades of Green” and another from Pet Sun available free at the door (despite the format change, we had Scott fill out our monthly seven-inch survey anyway).

Long Winter: Who are you and how did Pavilion come together?

Grace Scott: I'm Grace Scott and I sing and play guitar in Pavilion, and Pavilion came about because Julie MacKinnon and I spend an inordinate amount of time together and at the height of my seasonal misery last winter, we decided to start a band. We worked on it quietly for a few months and Jonah Falco somehow became aware of what we were up to and offered to play drums. Then we added Mike Grdosic on guitar a few months after that and shit got serious. 

How about “Pale Shades of Green” – what inspired that?

"Pale Shades of Green" is about being emotionally attached to a totally hopeless, long-distance infatuation. Even though you rationally accept that it probably won't work out, you enjoy getting wrapped up in the day dream of the thing. Every day something in your boring, shitty life reminds you of this person and it makes you feel good, so it endures, despite the consequences. “Pale Shades” is like a love song to futility. 

For lots of listeners, this will be their first point of access to your music. Where does this song fit into the rest of your catalog?

Definitely this is one of our softest songs, it's dreamier and slower than a lot of our music. It's also one of our only actual “love songs” – usually I write more about alienation or feelings of frustration. Pavilion is pretty wide-ranging in terms of our influences and tastes, so every song feels like a bit of an aesthetic grab-bag. All I know for sure is the songs are all long and generally very dramatic.

Once they’re turned on to this, what releases (songs, EPs, albums, or otherwise) should people pursue as logical next steps to getting to know your music?

We've released a demo on cassette which "Pale Shades of Green" is included on, called the Mercury Girls Demo (a reference to our previous band name). We will also have another cassette release, Vexation of Spirit, available in March. you can order tapes off of our Bandcamp, or find them at June Records and Faith / Void.

When you think of winter, what’s a memory that stands out for you?

Zero memories, just the feeling of killing time. Winter feels like pressing pause on my life, and replacing it with anxiety, poverty and restlessness. I'm sure lots of beautiful things have happened to me during the winter but it's hard to think about anything other than the fact that I'm generally forced to stay indoors and all social activities happen within the confines of the bar. 

How do you survive winters in Toronto? 

Don't drink as much. Listen to a lot of Lucinda Williams. Sleep twelve hours a day. I went to Texas for a couple weeks and went camping in the dessert. I would recommend that as a great way to survive winter in Toronto.

What are you most looking forward to for the Jan. 16 edition of Long Winter?

We might try and incorporate some performance elements into our set that elude to a project we've been working on as a band since November, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that will come together on stage in a spontaneous context. Super vague, but mystery is exciting, right?