Around about the turn of the millennium, back in Nanaimo, BC, the guys at a record store I hung out at told me they’d been to a great all-ages punk show at the youth centre and I should check the next one out. I was in my mid-to-late-twenties at the time and I remember recoiling slightly as if they’d just said, “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”
But they were right. It was a great scene. This unpleasantly snarky punk teenager who’d come into the store and spew communist rhetoric had an amazing, violent, blood and vomit spewing band called The Crusties. Eventually I somehow became friends with Richard Holiday Cartwright and we started a dance-punk band called The Clap. That didn’t work out as well as we planned (probably my bad) so I started The Urbane Decay and he started Down With Everything.
To best of my recollection and understanding, Everything Is Geometry evolved out DWE. That was circa 2007 and roughly coincided with when I skipped town. Since then he and (other core member) Kristjanne Vosper have built up an impressive body of work and he’s relocated to the far right hand coast of the country, New Brunswick. This is where I caught up with him via the magic of Facebook.
Arachnidiscs Recordings: So, I need to do an interview with you. About the tape.
Richard Holiday Cartwright: Sure. Fireaway. I’ll delay my burrito.
ADR: I don’t actually have any questions yet. Burrito it up.
RHC: Aight. I’m going to see dinosaurs in two hours.
ADR: You grew up in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. Now you live in Fredericton, New Brunswick on the complete opposite coast of Canada. How’s that workin’?
RHC: Its a different planet with different languages and different customs, all of which still confuse me. Three months a year its a pretty nice place. Fall and Spring.
ADR: Ontario, or Toronto at least, is only nice three months of the year too. We were spoiled back home. What about the indie music scene? I’m not sure I know what’s going on in F-town. Is anything happening?
RHC: There is a scene, one that veers in a very prog and gloomy direction… maybe not gloomy, but more gloomy than the west.
ADR: Like doom metal?
RHC: That is pure gloom. no… maybe not gloomy… but less sunshiney.
ADR: Do you think that’s influenced by the geography? Weather? Economy?
RHC: I would assume its weather related. It probably has some reactionary basis too, there’s a lot of jangly adult-oriented music on the east coast.
ADR: That makes sense. I think the reaction against Great Big Sea fuels many a band across the country.
RHC: Also, I don’t necessarily mean gloomy in a negative way… I live in a bubble where I expect everything to sound like an all ages show in BC sounds. Obviously things don’t and that’s not a bad thing and its not something I should expect. That being said, there’s a band from Sackville called the Mouthbreathers who are pretty amazing and NVN from Saint John are pretty rad too and they do sound like a BC all ages show.
ADR: I know exactly what you mean by that. But for readers who haven’t experienced a BC all-ages show, describe what one’s like.
RHC: I wouldn’t know where to start. Ideally, Repoman-esque… I always expect every band to be a punk rock band. Or at least rooted in that
ADR: Repoman-esque describes the entire Vancouver Island scene perfectly. Though I haven’t lived there for over seven years now. Did it change much between 2007 and, say, 2014?
RHC: Nope. Maybe slightly more stoner skewing
ADR: More stoner? Vancouver Island got more stoner? How is that possible?
RHC: More dispensaries? It’s noticeably moreso.
ADR: Amazing. Are there more Bob Marley shirts?
RHC: I think that markets been over saturated for years.
ADR: That’s an understatement. But I know what you’re saying about the bands not sounding like BC all-ages shows. In Toronto the only ones that I notice really do, actually have BC roots. It seems to be something that doesn’t traverse the prairies.
RHC: Yah. It’s possibly because a lot of those bands don’t tour outside of the west coast and into the U.S.
ADR: It’s a weird thing I never really thought about before. Also the basic attitude though. Audiences and bands in Montreal seem to be more akin to BC audiences and bands. More genuinely enthusiastic and supportive.
RHC: I can see that. Halifax is similar as well.
ADR: Maybe it’s nothing to do with anything. Just small pockets of awesome. Speaking of the West Coast, KV is still there. What’s the status of EIG? Will there be a live version again?
RHC: We are in discussions of possibly doing something this summer or fall. I think the consensus is that we would like to but… you know… stuff. Time and space
ADR: It’s a lot of miles. We just drove to Montreal for a gig. That was a lot of time and space.
RHC: I saw. Did you actually play with that hood on?
ADR: It’s my new thing. The hood hides the audience from my gaze. Or vice versa.
ADR: I’m all about fucking with people’s expectations. What about new EIG material. All recorded by sending files back and forth through email?
RHC: I prefer in person, but we’ve done a few things by mail. I’m in BC twice a year. And I’ve still got half my recording gear there at my parents’. We’ll finish off a new thing in August.
ADR: Well, that’s actually more recording than Moonwood has accomplished this year. And we all live in the same city. Or same mega-sprawl at least.
RHC: I’ve asked a bunch of other people to help with the new stuff, so we’ll see if that puts a cramp in my timeline.
ADR: If I’m one of those people. And I think I am. I will do my best to mess things up.
RHC: Dinosaurs was kind of boring.
ADR: Yeah, I haven’t been very motivated to go.
RHC: If you’re not going to see it in a theater, it’s probably not worth seeing. It’s loud and crashy and full of computers fighting other computers
ADR: Like the computers get up and walk around and bash each other?
RHC: Something like that. Were your parents excited about that picture in the paper. Or were they are the ones that sent it in?
ADR: Very. People keep walking up to them in the grocery store, or where ever, and asking them about it. No, it was arranged by the NXNE publicity people. I have no idea why they thought it was something that needed doing. Just spreading the brand to retirement communities across the country I guess. I sent in that picture myself, actually. It’s from my wedding. It was the only one I had that met the insanely huge resolution requirements. They wanted an 8×10. If you play NXNE, there’ll be stories in the Nanaimo Bulletin about you.
RHC: “Richard holiday Cartwright makes good” with a crayon picture.
ADR: It’ll be glorious.
RHC: I’d accept that.
ADR: Film and cinema influences pop up a lot in your songs. Conscious?
RHC: Like what? Specifically. If it’s something obvious its probably conscious.
ADR: I felt like all your songs were about, like, Un Chien Andalou for a while. Or something. And horror film imagery. But not in a horror way. Like references.
RHC: That’s probably unconscious. I can’t remember doing that on purpose. There was a period with a lot of McLuhan references. That’s probably as referency as I’ve gotten in EIG.
ADR: I could be projecting, as well. So no dino songs in the works then?
RHC: No planned dino songs.
ADR: But think of the cover painting. [RHC painted the cover for 2015].
RHC: Ah, I’ve never seen the movie that the picture’s based on. It was a still I found in a book called A Pictorial History of the Motion Picture Serial.
ADR: You mean the man on the wheel under a saw blade?
RHC: That’s the one.
ADR: I’d watch that movie.
RHC: Those movies are hard to find and tedious to the point of nearly not being worth the set pieces. But, yeah, man on a wheel is a great image. Bodies in gears, etc. It’s like a socialist creed.
Everything Is Geometry’s latest EP, 2015, releases on our NO LOVE imprint on June 29th. You can order it here.
Interred Views is a series of interviews with Arachnidiscs Recordings artists. This interview was conducted by Jakob Rehlinger.