An Interview with Evan Cranley of Stars
by John Noyd
November 2018

Montreal’s Stars craft thoughtfully provocative indie-rock with glossy pop veneers to make music that philosophizes over secret dreams then dresses them in pomp before descending into tenderness. A glorious sound on record, their live shows bring these monumental mementos even more to life. Embarking on a fourteen-date tour around Canada and the Northeast, Stars’ bassist, guitarist and songwriter Evan Cranley was kind enough to take some time out before hitting the road to answer a few questions.

MAXIMUM INK: Over the course of eighteen years, what would you say have been the major changes in the band’s outlook, style, goals?

EVAN CRANLEY: The outlook is hopeful darkness. Always has been. Love and loss, light and dark. And the goals are the same. Sound-tracking people’s lives, and believing in the power of song.
It’s an over saturated world. And hopefully we can levitate some lives.

MI: On your webpage ( the band invites fan from each of their stops to choose their top three songs for the encore. How does the band go about determining a set list after eight albums into their career?

EC: It takes time to write a set-list. Every song chosen has a huge impact on the listener’s memory. Where they were, what relationship they were in….I’d say a balance of past and present is best for the show. And by giving the listener a choice it gives the audience a chance to feel like a performer. 

MI: Have you ever been approached about Stars: The Musical? Your songs in many cases have a theatrical center and strong narrative. 

EC: We have! And the band will be working on something next year. It will feel intimate and really show the history of the band through song. 

MI: Where does the action happen? Are things worked out in rehearsals, office meetings, dance floor, email, recording studios?

EC: We have a tree-house we call Zoomer located in the Montreal neighbourhood of Mile End. We have a studio there, and it’s our cauldron. Its an apartment overlooking the snow and traffic in the city that has been the inspiration of so many of our records. We are a winter band. We are cold.  And it’s when our best work comes out.

MI: I was very happy to see My Brightest Diamond opening for your Madison stop. It seems a natural pairing, did you get to choose your support and is there history between the bands?

EC: So are we! We’ve admired MBD from afar. And are thrilled to have them.  Time to bring the drama!

Stars with My Brightest Diamond play Madison’s Majestic Theater Monday Dec 3rd.

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