“thisquietarmy is the experimental guitar-based project of Eric Quach from Montreal, Quebec, Canada – active since 2005. Revolving around improvised guitar-based drone music, he takes his sonic experimentations further by adding textural and structural elements of post-punk, shoegaze, krautrock, post-rock, black metal and doom metal to them. The results can be described as dark, melodic, expansive and engaging dreamscapes. His live performances are mostly presented as a real-time score to hypnotic ethereal visuals, which he creates himself for each performance.”
How would you summarize this past year on artistic and personal level?
After a heavy year of touring in 2012, playing 72 shows mostly all over Europe solo & with Caspian, Year of No Light & AUN – I wasn’t sure if it was possible to top that one this early. While I didn’t play as many shows this time (well, just about 60), I did tour in more exotic locations such as Turkey, Greece & Brazil and also a lot of southern European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, south of France. Oh and also Texas. I also wanted the tours to be more relaxed and spread out, as to have more time to visit and see other things than venues/hotel rooms/gas stations. For that, I mostly toured on my own and thus had more freedom.
I also managed to finished my new full-length album “Hex Mountains” which was partly inspired by all this travelling. The split with Labirinto was also released this year as well, and I just self-released a DVD – Live in Sao Paulo, Brazil through my own micro-label TQA Records – elaborate handmade & limited edition of 200: http://thisquietarmy.storenvy.com/collections/36024-all-products/products/4393711-tqa028-thisquietarmy-live-in-sao-paulo-brazil-dvd
I also recorded collaborative albums with Noveller & Syndrome to be released in 2014 and I’m currently putting together a TQA band for a one-off show in Montreal next week.
What album you listened to most often this year (not necessarily released in 2013)?
I think it’s probably a tie between “The Soft Moon – Zeros” & “Lana del Rey – Born to Die”. I often need to clear my head from all that experimental rock/black metal/abstract electronic noise music going around on my iPod.
What was the best cultural experience not related to music?
It’s been a really rich cultural year for me due to my touring schedule so impossible to pick one because there were so many little things, such as: late-night Kokoreç in the streets of Istanbul, Caçacha & pastels in Brazil, Mediterranean seafood dishes & pizza in Italy. Austin hot sauce festival & tacos in scorching Texas heat. Just to name a few, but so many more.
And best trip? Most beautiful or magic place you visited this year?
Again too many because I have toured so many different places this year. Istanbul wins for the most impressive and overwhelming city but Barcelona climbed up very high as one of my favorite city I could see myself living in. Brazil’s landscapes and beaches were quite breath-taking. I also have to mention this landscape drive along the coast from Gijon-San Sebastian in Northern Spain.
What was your greatest disappointment of 2013?
The usual & continuing decline of our society, the rise of the conservatives & right-wing politics everywhere, the reasons for every protest around the world.
Did you learn anything particular this year?
Europeans might laugh at this but I learned how to drive a standard manual car on my last tour. In the past and as a typical North American, I’ve always rented automatic cars available in big cities such as Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris but this time I started my tour in Spain and I was stuck stick-shifting. Which I grew to enjoy very much – it made driving fun & enjoyable again.
Plans, hopes, expectations for 2014?
To have those aforementioned collaborations out, to find the time/inspiration to work on a new record and figuring out the next step/direction/evolution of thisquietarmy. Expectations – go back to Europe to play some more festivals & the rest of the countries I’ve missed on the last tour such as Germany, Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Scandinavia. Hopes – to play Russia, Ukraine, Japan and do an Asian tour.