A Wayward Word's Worth

June 22, 2011

Handsome Furs’ mission of Burma

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 1:39 am

Montreal synth-rock duo the Handsome Furs’ forthcoming album was inspired by a nerve-wracking 2010 tour through Burma, where the simple act of performing music in public can land you in jail. By Kyle Mullin for Toronto’s THE GRID, Thursday June 16 2011

In their current press photo, Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry—a.k.a. Montreal synth-rock duo Handsome Furs—play the role of balaclava-clad criminals, posing in a house they presumably just ransacked. But during a tour of Burma last summer, the married pair felt like genuine smugglers, risking deportation or the incarceration of their local accomplices.

Their contraband wasn’t any mere narcotic—it was their music, the raw electro-punk tunes that Boeckner had written in between stints serving as the front man of (now defunct) indie-rock troupe Wolf Parade. The Furs encountered several culture-shocking hurdles while performing those songs on their Asian odyssey last August, but nothing was more intimidating than their gig in Burma, where the ruling military junta has banned rock bands from playing in public.

“In order to put on the show, [our friends] had kids running around the street with walkie talkies, making sure that the cops weren’t coming to shut it down,” Perry says of the gruelling moments leading up to their performance in the cultural capital of Yangon. “I think [the local Burmese musicians] opened up to us and allowed themselves to be in a very threatening position.”






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