Krief Pops! Patrick Krief on Poutine, Performing and Pop Montreal

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Patrick Krief is a fully-loaded, triple-thread musician and somehow has also become a compass for poutine in Montreal. Apparently Patrick is often asked by interviewers what his favorite Montreal poutine is. WATS was not original in posing this question, but we must have sensed his knowledge of the topic. He has considered starting a website dedicated to poutine in this city. So what is the best poutine in Montreal according to Patrick? Pierre et Patates in Verdun was surprisingly his answer.

Patrick Krief began a solo music career back in 2006 with a semi-self-titled project that was and still is known as Krief, although it has changed shape a few times since then. His first release was an EP in 2007 cleverly titled Take It or Leave. A few years later the project morphed into and toured as Black Diamond Bay but now is just Krief once more. Krief has also been partially overlapping Patrick’s long time career as the fierce lead guitarist in Montreal’s adorned band The Dears. Having performed at the renowned international music festival Pop Montreal with The Dears as well as Black Diamond Bay, its only natural that Patrick is at this year’s festival as Krief, except this year he will be collaborating with a very special guest.

Krief was on stage for a portion of Jay Malinowski’s show at Divan Orange on Wednesday night as part of Pop Montreal. Patrick played guitar while Jay played piano and the two were accompanied by a string section. Each sang, alternated instruments and together created gripping vocal harmonies that were rewarded by an enthusiastic crowd. The two will be performing together again for Krief’s show this Friday at O’Patro Vys. Krief said he’s looking forward to playing O’Patro Vys because “it has such a great sound, the sound is so well contained in there.” Krief told WATS he’ll be performing fresh material and then will then invite Jay to join him onstage. The two will be performing songs from both of their new solo EPs together – its brilliant!

Pop Montreal will feature this unexpected and delightful collaboration as well as other talent such as Murray A. Lightburn’s show, Patrick Krief’s co-member of The Dears who has formed a solo career as well.

There are pros and cons to life as a solo artist versus life as part of a band according to Patrick. He said that when he’s in The Dears there is less pressure on stage not being the frontman, but at the same time that may lead him to overthink on stage which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

He explained that when he is singing for Krief he gets completely consumed in the performance so he doesn’t overthink it. Rather he is focused on making a connection with the audience. “When I am the front man I get completely consumed …You feel like you’re communicating directly with people because you’re singing to them, you’re telling them a story.”

Patrick tells us his latest story in Hundred Thousand Pieces, a record that is almost 100% Krief written, played, recorded, mixed and produced. He truly holds his own having recorded “the meat and potatoes of the album” entirely by himself including vocals, guitar, bass, piano and drums. He does have a few guests on the album though including Ladies of the Canyon performing some of the backup vocals.

We asked Krief if he has a greater sense of accomplishment after creating an album from the ground up. He said yes and explained that he was more able to forgive himself for any flaws he heard because of how much of himself he put into this album. Hundred Thousand Pieces includes layered arrangements that often include addictive minors and deep synths that pull from both the best of the 80s and modern indie rock. His lyrics are easy to relate to and the melodies get stuck in your head. Don’t take our word for it, check out the new album, the upcoming collaborations and the artist himself this week at some of Montreal’s best venues for Pop Montreal.

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