#tbt An Interview with Constantines

Found in the Margins is a defunct web magazine that Chris DePaul founded in 2006. Chris and his co-writers would interview musicians, writers and activists on one question: What books inspire the work you do? The Brothers DePaul will be reposting these archived interviews every Thursday. #tbt

This week's interview: Constantines


The Constantines were conceived in and around Guelph, Ontario where University of Guelph students Steven Lambke (guitars and vocals) and Bryan Webb (guitars and vocals) teamed up with University of Waterloo student Doug McGregor (drums) in 1999. The boys released their self-titled debut album in 2001 on Canada’s Three Gut Records and it was soon a critically-acclaimed success, earning the band a Juno award nomination for Best Alternative Album.

Their most recent release, 2005’s “Tournament of Hearts”, had the Constantines live up to their accolades in audience size alone. The band’s tours grew exponentially and they unleashed their arena-rock style in its most comfortable setting while opening for the Foo Fighters.

In an interview with Pitchfork Media in the fall of 2005, the Constantines’ singer/guitarist Bryan Webb said that while writing “Tournament of Hearts” he discovered “eco-spiritualist” author, as he words it, Starhawk. Webb continues: “She's written some fiction, but she's also written books on, like, Wicca spirituality. She's an eco-activist as well, and [the book] is all about the feminine side of one's personality and how that can relate to the state of the world.” He recently discussed with foundinthemargins several other books that have inspired him throughout his life: from those he read when he was thirteen to poetry anthologies he continually keeps stored atop his desk.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
“This is still my favourite novel of all time. I first read it when I was 13 and I go back to it every two years or so to quiet big anxiety attacks and identity crises. The book brings me real peace. A river is an easy thing for the imagination to run with, whether young or old. Southern writers (Faulkner, McCullers, Williams) seem to have this comforting matter-of-factness when describing the comedy and tragedy of everything. Twain shows the grace of youth without being overly nostalgic or sentimental.”

The Rattle Bag – Ted Hughes
“A collection of poems, edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes, and presented alphabetically by title. The way this anthology is laid out does away with all the presumptuous thematic categorization of most big poetry collections and allows for wild and maybe inaccurate connections to be made from work to work by the reader, as it should be. Heaney and Hughes are bad ass poet laureates who put their favourite poems together in a big book and didn't fuck it up by writing some alienating introduction or getting any subjective drool on the pages. Fun to read!”

Great American Prose Poems - David Lehman
“I found this anthology at the Toronto Reference Library while looking for books by the killer prose-poet/anti-poet James Tate. He's in there, and so is Edgar Allen Poe, Fanny Howe, Hart Crane, Hemmingway, and a thousand other writers who didn't want to play by the rules. It's all experimental freewheeling nonsense, and it's all good. It always just sits there on my desk, and kicks ass.”

Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
“Anybody who wants to be a performer should read this, partly because it describes the pitfalls and rewards of living inside one's own imagination and partly because he is the most beautiful character ever imagined. Viva alibris.com”

Written by Chris DePaul