And it's funny to be out here singing [Broken Social Scene's] ' Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl,' which is the song I wrote with my pals around the same time we're talking [about]," she says. It's about the idea that you knew yourself and the question of do all your experiences and all your achievements, is it taking you closer to refining that or is it just a sort of constant erosion of whatever purity we had as kids?"That reflection on present-day preoccupations filtered through the lens of memory included discovering a deeper sense of self, in part by stripping away superfluous trappings.Generally these things are still on the record, but it’s still very much the song.” He happens to be explaining this while the infamous High Roller is in sight—the biggest ferris wheel he’s ever seen, at that—which he uses to further illustrate his point.“It’s like the records are the little pods on the ferris wheel that go all the way around; they’re like the extremities of ideas, whereas the live show is the hub in the middle,” Shaw says.Now 11 years later, performing with them ("It's like being on holiday with my best friends and just getting to remember the spirit of just playing," she says) and Haines' Soft Skeleton timing converges once again.
Rather than “bending the material” and having it all coalesce into one record, Shaw and Haines decided to make two albums."You know that feeling that your life is going in cycles?" Emily Haines asks during a call from Barcelona with Rolling Stone, where she and her fellow bandmates in Broken Social Scene are performing at Primavera Sound."As an independent women, you make the money; you live the life.As you go, is the goal to be surrounded by strangers? For me, I've always aspired, as we all do, to this visualization of your life that it's just a constant ascent," Haines says.“At this point everything from parts of Live It Out—which is the most raw, sort of punk just straight-up rock band—to parts of Pagans where there’s no rock at all, and probably something like ‘Help I’m Alive’ is the thing that resides right in the middle.I think we can now encompass all of those things and bring it all together, including the acoustic stuff and including Emily’s solo record and everything else that we’ve ever done.“Even stuff that was based around a live band playing on record, it still goes through a moment of adaptation to getting it into what we’re going to do onstage, and this stuff was the same thing.When we play ‘Cascades’ now, there’s a lot of synthesizers going on, but Joules [Scott-Key] is still playing the drums, Josh [Winstead] is still playing bass for half the song, I’m still playing guitar for half the song.Among the album themes Haines explores is the past ("Wounded," "Minefield of Memory"), and progressing often means processing situations from the teenage years to go forward."I did feel by going back and reckoning with some stuff from my past I did, that is where I landed, you know [at ages] 15 to 17.