Stars indulge in sex, death and The North

Stars play a pair of shows this week, each conceived around subjects that have inspired the band since their inception. Amy Millan spoke to Cult MTL about why they’ve always written about the best and the worst that life has to offer.

Stars, bringing you songs about sex and death since 1999
“That’s really what our songs are about,” says Amy Millan, the lady who shares centre stage with Torquil Campbell in Stars, as co-lead singer and co-lyricist. “They’re either about sex or death, or maybe both. As Torquil always used to say right before we played ‘One More Night,’ ‘This is a song about fucking somebody to death.'”

Hot? Well, whether you’re into vanilla love or carnal punishment, you’ll find something to savour at the first of two shows by Stars this weekend, where the set-list will consist of songs about sex. If you’re feeling morbid, or looking for a reason to rock your black lace, the second night might be a better bet, as they’ll be playing their songs about death.

The indie pop band will premiering this two-night-stand concept here, their longtime homebase, before taking it on the road. And although the two nights promise completely different sets, both will lean heavily on their latest LP, The North, which is more of a sex record — it was made around the same time that Millan and Stars bassist Evan Cranley made a daughter (Delphine), in contrast to the band’s 2010 LP, The Five Ghosts, written following the death of Campbell’s father.

“The first night we’re going to pull up to Corona in a limo, the second night we’re going to pull up in a hearse,” Millan jokes. And while you shouldn’t expect any kink or Alice Cooper antics on stage, who knows what will play out in the crowd?

“I know that a lot of people have lost their virginity while playing our records at home, but I’m not completely positive,” Millan says, when asked whether she’s ever spotted sex during their shows. “I would totally not doubt it. There’ve been people who look like they’re having sex in front of me, people who are making out so hard that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were actually fucking.”

And death? “Let’s knock on wood — not to be totally superstitious — but no. So far, so good.” ■

Stars play Sex songs on Friday, March 15, and Death songs on Saturday, March 16, with opener Cold Specks, at the Corona Theatre (2490 Notre Dame W.), 8 p.m., $27

For more about The North and Stars on the road, see our interview with drummer Patty McGee here.

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