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Claire Milbrath is a visual artist and founder and editor of The Editorial Magazine, a fashion and arts focused magazine out of Montreal, Quebec. Her art, photography, and magazine have been featured on Huff Post, Vice Magazine, Jezebel, Dazed Digital, SnapMe, RookieMag, and more. Given her penchant for exposing and curating some of the best emerging artists, designers, and musicians in Canada, we thought it fitting to ask Claire about the ins and outs of the Montreal Music scene.
SB: You’re originally from B.C. How did you end up in Montreal? Why have you stayed?
CM: I’m originally from Victoria, BC. I moved here to go to school, like most people. After I graduated I liked the arts community so much I stayed on.
SB: Is your visual art influenced by the music scene and culture within Montreal?
CM: I was inspired by all the creative and hard-working people here, for sure. I lived in an apartment full of musicians and filmmakers like Mac Demarco, TOPS, Evan Prosofsky; everyone was always busy with fun projects and it was inspiring.
SB: Is it important for a visual artist to live somewhere where they may feel inspired by the live music?
CM: I don’t think so.
SB: Can you generally define the music scene in Montreal?
CM: It’s always changing. Now I would say it’s a lot more electronic/house-music based, whereas a few years ago it was more DIY-rock or experimental.
SB: How is it different than music scenes in comparable locations like Toronto or NYC?
CM: I’m not sure. Maybe because it’s so cheap to live here, people have more time to pick up an instrument and learn it.
SB: What is your favourite music venue in Montreal?
CM: I have consistently been going to Drones Club, a DIY space that always has shows and parties. It’s nice and dark.
SB: If someone is visiting Montreal for a weekend and wants to see a great show, which venue is their best bet?
SB: Which venue presents the best opportunity see an act that is different or new?
CM: Casa Del Popolo has lots of new stuff coming in.
SB: Who is your favourite musician or musical group based out of Montreal right now?
CM: I love She-Devils. Very Lynchian, electronic cowgirl music with female front Audrey.
SB: Do Montreal musicians need to leave to be successful?
CM: Depends I guess. Depends on what success means to them. Maybe fame/riches can be more easily attained in a big city like NYC.
SB: Why should Montreal be considered a ‘must-visit’ location if you’re a Canadian music fan?
CM: There’s lots of shows. Every weekend people are going to shows, it’s fun and you end up seeing a lot of new musicians. Feels like the community is very strong too, with Arbutus Records and the new radio N10.AS running down the street from me.
SB: If you’re a musician who has just moved to Montreal, what venues do you want to begin to play to establish yourself?
CM: I feel like Brasserie Beaubien is a good bet.
SB: Outside of Montreal, which city in Canada has the most exciting music scene right now?
CM: Hmm… Seems to be a lot of good techno and house music coming from Vancouver. I like the DIY labels there 1080p Collection and ISLA.
SB: Montreal has a lot of music festivals and events. Which one is your favourite and why?
CM: I like Slut Island because my friend Frankie co-runs it. You won’t be watching any boring all-boy bands there.