An interview with Rosie Blais, lead singer of Enjoy Your Pumas, whose soulful voice has Emily Haines comparisons flying left, right and centre

In addition to having a name that probably meant she couldn’t do anything with her life but become a rockstar, Enjoy Your Pumas lead singer Rosie Blais has the swagger of Alexis Krauss, the emotional clout of Tegan and Sara, and sounds at times like Metric’s Emily Haines—fitting, since the first comparison inspired by Commonality, Enjoy Your Pumas’s new record, is to the Canadian indie sensations. But Winnipeg’s Enjoy Your Pumas undeniably have their own thing going on.

Blais has a rich, soulful voice that transitions to a rock star growl effortlessly, and the album mixes a pop vibe with a heavier rock sound, lending a 90s influence to the songs. They’re playing at El Mocambo on Wednesday, June 19th for NXNE at 9 pm, and you can also catch them at Live in Bellwoods: Great Heart Festival at 2:15 pm on Thursday, June 20th. We talked to Blais about the upcoming shows, keeping entertained on the road, and the music she thinks you should be listening to.

SDTC: Okay, for those who are getting their first introduction to Enjoy Your Pumas at NXNE, compare the band to something, animal, mineral, vegetable or inanimate. 
RB: A meteor wrapped in a rubber casing – We are simultaneously super cool and super hot; we like to rock hard, and bounce!

SDTC: What was a really important moment for you in the band, where you felt very satisfied creatively? 
RB: I feel most satisfied creatively during or after song writing. It is an exciting process for me to write vocals and lyrics especially in moments, like on one of our newest songs, Le Buzz, where I decided to stray from what felt initially natural and instead experiment with vocal delivery, which then inspired me to write French lyrics for the song.

SDTC: What are the last three songs you listened to on your ipod? 
RB: I was listening to Metronomy’s album The English Riviera so the last three songs I listened to were: Trouble, She Wants, and The Look.

SDTC: What do you take with you to keep you entertained on tour?
RB: Between drives, we typically like playing frisbee so we always bring one along on tour. Apart from that, I usually have my laptop and my phone but I use them more to stay connected or get some work done (like answering questions for bloggers) than for entertainment. I am very content with napping, staring out the window, day-dreaming, or singing along to whatever music is playing in the car to keep myself entertained while on the road!

SDTC: What was the last great meal you had?
RB: We’ve been quite lucky on this tour as we’ve been able to stay with friends and family in most cities we’ve played in. We had an amazing breakfast at my cousin’s place yesterday morning. Breakfast also happens to be everyone’s favourite meal.

SDTC: Best live show you’ve ever seen?
RB: Tough one! This one time I travelled to Minneapolis with six friends to see Foals. They played at 7th Ave, which is a pretty intimate venue, and we were all glued to the stage singing along and dancing like fools. That was one crazy high-energy show!

SDTC: What’s one record you wish more people listened to?
RB: Skyline by Yann Tiersen … or anything by Yann Tiersen actually.

SDTC: What can people expect from your NXNE shows?
RB: El Mocambo – Tap your toes and shake your hips to some dancy and edgy pop-rock tunes.
Bellwoods Park –  Chill out on the grass and enjoy some acoustic interpretations of high-energy pop-rock songs.

~ Haley Cullingham

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