The Musician Spotlight Series shines a light on up-and-coming bands and solo acts creating heartfelt and original work across genres, giving them an opportunity to talk about their music, their collaborators, and why they do what they do.
“Owen Marchildon is a Toronto based songwriter and guitarist. He has been part of the Toronto music scene since 2002 when he played bass for the critically lauded, now defunct Math Rock Quartet, From Fiction. Since the breakup of From Fiction, Owen’s creative output has been prolific, producing volumes of his own music independently since 2005, ten full length albums and one E.P. under three different monikers, Purple Hill, Rough Skeletons and Marchildon!. Teaming up with long time collaborator Paul Shepherd, 2019 will see the release of a new Marchildon! album entitled Fantasy Mirror. Unlike the jangley velvet twang of 2016’s Night Screamer and the stripped down, poetically potent dynamics of 2018’s Please Pass The Potatoes, Fantasy Mirror is a drone driven guitar affair, with whirling keyboards and comically skewed lyrics, highlighting the many moods that encompass Owen Marchildon’s songwriting”.
When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
It was the first time after I got caught air guitaring in my bedroom. My Mom walked in unannounced. I was down on my knees in front of a body length mirror with my tongue lapping around my lips. I looked up at her and I could tell she was embarrassed. She put my laundry on top of my dresser and left, finding it hard to look at me as she shut the door. I liked that she was embarrassed. It made me feel tough. I decided that it was time to put this air guitar business to bed and get a real guitar.
How did you develop your skills?
I’m not trained. I developed some of my skills from playing with other people. Going to live shows is like having a free music lesson. Picked up some sick moves from going to shows over the years. Listening to music at home is really important as well. Maybe the most important. It takes you away from yourself and enhances your musical vocabulary. Also, air guitaring. It made me feel tough enough to take the next step.
What are some of your biggest musical influences?
Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Micheal Hurley, Loretta Lynn, Spacemen 3, Ornette Coleman, Roxy Music, The Clean, Arthur Russell, Big Star, The Feelies, Lee Hazlewood, US Maple, CAN, Oranssi Pazuzu, The Raincoats, King Missile, The Lines, Scott Walker, Karen Marks, Grauzone, Carla dal Forno, Mark Mitchell, Suicide, Marie Davidson, Rowland S. Howard and of course The Rolling Stones. It would be a shame if I left them out.
How would you describe your sound?
The sound of not giving a fuck but caring so much.
What’s your favourite tune in your repertoire and Why?
“Tyler, You Should Really Stop Using”. It’s the first track on my new release, Fantasy Mirror. I really love what Paul Shepherd did with the production on that track. Especially the middle part where all the keyboards and layered guitars start swirling. It compliments the lyrics. The characters paranoia of being called out on the ideas he’s claimed as his own.
What can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
Raw energy mixed with a mild sense of earnestness.
Where can we find your music?