Photo by Joseph Yarmush
Apart from sounding amazing, Handsome Furs also manage to be natural born style icons. What else would you expect when a wild and charming poet like Alexei sets Dan’s (the singer of Wolf Parade) heart on fire and they decide to make music together? The result is monotonous, dark and mechanical. I’m getting a Handsome Furs t-shirt as soon as they start producing merch.
You’re such wolves in sheep’s clothing, you act all innocent but then we see these pictures of you in front of Dimmu Borgir in Iceland. What were you doing there? It looks like you’re having some kind of ceremony…
Dan: Yes. We decided that the heaviest thing we could do while in Iceland was to travel north, to the Gates of Hell, and drop acid.
Alexei: The rock arch we stripped naked in front of was part of Kirkja, a natural chapel. We found skulls on the ceilings inside and, following suit, poorly executed a human sacrifice—now forever living on film. I was coaxed into unleashing the “voice of hell”—which was simultaneously hilarious and too much for Dan’s psychotropically bloated mind to take. My throat still ices from the memory.
Talking about ceremonies, what will you wear when you get married?
Alexei: The colour of blood.
How do you feel about fur, do you own any?
Dan: I have a mink that Wolf Parades’ roadie and spiritual advisor “liberated” from a Vice party when we were in Iceland. I believe it’s supposed to be a stole or something. It’s been made to look real, like a real animal, but assembled so halfassedly that it has taken on sinister, almost demonic characteristics. The dead little glass eyes, the off-centre plastic nose, its horrible mouth. Unfortunately “Matt,” we named it, became my spirit guide on the subsequent psychedelic death trip. He was an almost godlike looming presence going, “What’s that behind the snow dusted lava tube?” Fucking Matt, with his dead eyes beaming a thousand Norse horrors into my shattered subconscious.
Alexei: Whenever I am asked my moral standing on anything, I answer with little conviction, roll my eyes, kick my toes into my other toes, then ask, “Did I just sound like an asshole?” But what I’m really thinking is, “How’s my hair?”
What are you wearing right now and what’s your favourite garment?
Dan: Pants for the emaciated gentleman, from Cheap Monday, answers both.
Alexei: I’m wearing leftover accessories from having been out in the world, and sweat pants—these putrid green pants covered in paint that I bought for the equivalent of 47 cents in Mexico when I was 17. My sister would murder me knowing that I haven’t destroyed them yet. My favourite garment is my leather jacket. It busts at the seams but I keep fixing it.
What would you never wear?
Dan: Mordakainen’s Cloak Of Devouring, which according to the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Manual (1st Edt.) is in fact an extra-dimensional portal, in the shape of a standard issue wizard’s cloak, that contains the slavering jaws of a terrible monster who is imprisoned in one of the Astral Planes. Save vs. Death Ray or take 2d8 damage.
Alexei: There are some “African” hats that I regret but, well, I was nine. And actually maybe they were really cool. Maybe I’ll bring those fuckers back. Yup, I’m doing it. Just wait.