Rich Aucoin is one of Canada’s most exciting live musical acts. His sound has been compared to a remixing of Daft Punk meets the Flaming Lips and we think the making of his debut full-length album, We're All Dying to Live (2011), plays out like an extended metaphor for One Percent Collective. What started as a modest, solo, seven-track follow up to his 2007 EP turned into a mighty, collaborative, 22-track full-length album featuring over 500 musical contributors and three choirs. Aucoin wove the album together from thousands of recorded scraps that together made a beautiful whole. The collective effort paid off as the album was named as a long-listed nominee for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize.
Describe the most generous person you know and how they influenced you.
Probably my Mom. Not in the traditional sense of donating or volunteering to a bunch of charities (which she does as well) but in terms of her time spent taking care of various family over the years - especially during sickness or someone's dying cycle, such as with my grandmother or father. I feel like giving your time to anyone is the most generous thing you can do since we all have such a short amount of time to live off of. I've tried to give time and energy to various charities and to my friends and I want to make a list of every worthy cause and just go down the list until I've done something, albeit small, for all of them.
What’s happening in the world of Rich Aucoin for 2013?
I'm busy writing and recording my next record which is going to be a fast-paced, high-energy record about the shortness of life, aptly entitled, ‘Ephemeral’. It will sync to the clay-animation version of ‘Le Petit Prince’ too - just as my first EP synced to ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ (1966) in that Pink Floyd/’Wizard of Oz ‘way. I'm on tour in France right now, about to tour across Canada before coming back to France, followed by festivals all summer. In between this, I'm scheduling time with producers to help me complete the record before the end of the summer. I assume the fall will be straight touring until the holidays too.
Can you tell us three things that inspire you and why?
I love inspirational books like Paulo Coelho's ‘The Alchemist’. You feel pretty good after reading stuff like that in the same way you do when you look at the stars or something (which is really anything) in nature. It is extraordinary when you think about how short and fragile your life is and how lucky you are to get to experience anything at all.
I'm very inspired by anyone who is 100% inspired by what they are doing. These people are really interesting to talk to as you feel that energy pouring out of them while they speak. I feel like most, if not all, people have a passion and that the trick is to unlock it in someone and get them talking about it as fast as you can so that you can learn from this opportunity of meeting this person with this unique passion of their own. This subject may seem entirely boring to you at first but I'd implore you to keep asking them questions about it and what that person loves about their passion and pretty soon you'll find yourself surprisingly interested in it if you ask the right questions.
And, lastly, this kid. "Thumbs up for Rock & Roll!"
Name an underrated everyday action that makes the world a better place.
I think the philosophy of doing one nice thing for someone every day is a pretty easy and helpful reminder to help us stay on track of our relationship with the world around us and not allow us to get too narrow-minded in achieving our own ambitions. This sounds so simple that I think it's easy to forget but I try to live by it at least. Maybe people will start getting tattoos on their hands to remind them, or maybe start with just a reminder as your desktop background image.