Pop Quiz: Stars

Aidin Vaziri | Despite putting out a steady stream of brilliant indie pop albums, Stars hasn’t crossed the border in the same dramatic fashion as fellow Canadians Arcade Fire and Feist. Its latest, “The North,” might change that. Produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, M83) and released via Dave Matthews’ ATO Records, the group is spending the next three months on the road, with a pair of Bay Area shows this week. We spoke with drummer Pat McGee.

Stars drummer Pat McGee
Q: Didn’t you have to tour for two years before anyone noticed “Set Yourself on Fire”?
A: When we put it out nobody gave a s- about it. It wasn’t a magnificent shot to the top. Pitchfork re-reviewed it and gave it a better mark the second time, which was telling. We were quasi-cool for five minutes.
Q: Did you feel like you should have been up there sweeping the Junos and Grammys?
A: I don’t know. I don’t think so. We’ve been nominated for everything and not gotten anything. At the Junos, we were beat out by Feist and Arcade Fire. We made a great record. But those guys made great records, too.
Q: What kind of attitude is that?
A: It’s very Canadian of us. I feel bad when I win sometimes because I know other people want it more. It keeps my career path at a dull roar. Recently, I have made a concerted effort to be more competitive. I realized that when you play tennis it’s more fun to win.
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