PS I Love You


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Vanessa Hein
22 Sunday 22nd April 2012

PS I Love You are Paul Saulnier and Benjamin Nelson, a duo from a little (often snowy) town in Canada known as Kingston. They hit our shores for the first time almost exactly a year ago, and since then have released two albums on Paper Bag Records: one, Meet Me At The Muster Station, that blew critics' minds, and the other, Figure it Out, which was pretty much an archive of older unreleased material.

The prolific band have their new record coming out at the end of next month after they hit the road in North America so we figured we'd talk to them now before the tour bus takes over their lives. Singer and sole guitarist Paul chats to us about the local Kingston scene, being part-megalomaniac and why love sucks.

First off, we want to hear more about making music in Kingston. Everyone in Europe generally expects Canadian bands that do well across the water to be from Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver: what was (and is) the gig scene in Kingston like?

The gig scene is pretty nice I guess. There's a small core of cool bands that I like a lot and there's always good bands on tour across Canada who stop and play here. It is pretty small however, with only about three decent venues: The Grad Club, The Mansion and The Artel. We like that it's small - a small scene makes it easier to be yourself and it's easier to stand out I guess.

We know that you and Ben used to play together in Magic Jordan. What caused the shift to PS I Love You, in terms of sound and band members?

PS I Love You was always a separate project and for a long time both PS and Magic Jordan were happening at the same time. PS I Love You was a solo act until I asked Ben to back me up for one show. It worked so well that the duo became permanent. Magic Jordan did not dissolve as a result of PS I Love You. PS I Love You does not play Magic Jordan songs.   

Cool. Well congrats on the Polaris Prize longlisting from last year. How much emphasis do you place on those sorts of accolades, as buzz around the band picks up?

Thanks. I am not into competition of any kind really. I was honoured to be nominated for the Polaris Prize though. It kind of made us feel justified in our work to be lumped into a category with so many other great artists. And it certainly upped our exposure in Canada especially.

What made you decide to release some of your previous solo tracks and hidden gems on Figure It Out?

I just wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to hear 'em. When I'm into a band I like to hear how they change and progress over the years and I want our fans to check out everything I've done. So I guess the reason is part archival, part megalomania??

Meet Me At The Muster Station's had a ridiculously good critical and fan response in Europe and you gave quite the European tour last year. Which cities are you most looking forward to playing in again?

We had a great time in Europe last year - it's hard to narrow down our favourite spots. Our best shows (best meaning well-attended and super fun) were in Barcelona, Madrid, Toulouse and Paris. Manchester was very exciting. No-one came to our show but all our favourite bands are from there so we were really stoked to be there.

We've heard the new record grew out of some pretty dark dreams you had, Paul. What do you hope listeners take away from Death Dreams?

I don't know really. That's a good question. Like, I make this thing, an album and it's kind of this big statement but I have no idea what people will take away from it. The basic message is that life sucks, love sucks, and pretty much most of the time everything in my life is a total failure. But then some of the time, the stars align and everything is amazing... and then it's all worth it? I don't know.  

What inspires you two to keep working together? With blog buzz & fickle music fans on the rise, who do you feel you're making the music for?

We make music for ourselves and our friends. If blogs like it that helps too.

Hear more PS I Love You at

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