Producer and songwriter Sam Arion founded Mute Choir following an identity crisis. He is joined by fellow musical polymaths Milan Sarkadi and Iris Waters; a team brought together by their thirst for experimentation and a long-established songwriting bond between Arion and Waters. The three are involved in almost every aspect of their work, from production and mixing to artwork, delivering a vision that is distinctly their own.
Loosely defining their style as organized chaos, Mute Choir has the ability to encapsulate both the essence of a cluttered downtown as well as the lonesome ambiance of insomnia. The group seeks to make sense of the noise around them, searching for a middle ground between conflicting forces.
Name: Mute Choir
Latest Release: Debut album Silent Conversations
Latest Single: “Shadowboxing” and “Familiar Ways”
Latest Video: “Shadowboxing”
Milan: Odd Seoul – for their Bulgogi Cheesesteak sandwich- sponsor me. Has a band ever been sponsored by a sandwich before?
Sam: Milan’s house – he’s a great cook.
Iris: Cool Runnings at Main and Gerrard. I have not had better roti anywhere else. I would put the Bulgogi Cheesesteak on our rider though.
Favourite band as a teenager:
Milan: Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Favourite band now:
Sam: The Eric Andre show’s house band.
Iris: James Blake’s live trio.
Guilty Pleasure Song:
Milan: Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam.
Iris: I don’t believe in “guilty” pleasures but if you search HOME DEPOT TYPE BEAT on Youtube, uh… yeah. I can’t explain that kind of pleasure.
Sam: The Tarzan soundtrack.
Live Show Ritual:
Milan: Pace around the venue anxiously until it’s time to play.
Iris: An aggressive amount of lip rolls (shoutout to my singing friends) and an even more aggressive amount of lunges.
Sam: Browse cute puppy pictures on Instagram!
Favourite local artist:
Sam: Aunty Social and Deanna Petcoff.
Iris: …I agree with Sam but also love Weaves!!!!
Milan: …also Jaunt!
Sneaky Dees nachos, pasta from Terroni or a superfood salad from Fresh?
Iris: Gimme that salad and throw some pasta on top. I don’t care about breaking rules. Jam those two restaurants together. Gimme that super pasta salad from Fresheroni.
Sam: Sneaky Dees Nachos!
Milan: Nachos babyyyy although I can make way better nachos at home.
Queen or College St?
Sam: I lived on Queen for a few years and it kinda feels like home turf now so I’m gonna have to go with Queen.
Milan: College St – gimme some fried chicken after a movie at the Royal yeeee.
Iris: Queen Street, specifically Queen West. Thrift at Black Market, buy a pint of blueberries from Garden View and then showcase my sub-par pool skills upstairs at the Rivoli. That’s a good day.
Trinity Bellwoods or High Park, Riverdale or Kew Gardens?
Sam: Trinity! Slack lines are fun.
Iris: Riverdale for the hilltop view, Bellwoods for the chilled-out anarchy.
EP or LP?
Sam: LP all the way.
Iris: Depends on the album! Sometimes an EP is not enough but there are some LPs I hardly ever have the time/energy to listen through entirely.
Milan: LOOOOONG PRESSING.
Early bird or night owl?
Milan: Early bird for me. There is not enough time in the day!
Iris: Night human. I’m not graceful enough to steal that glorious animal’s title. Ask me to stay up late, sure, but by no means can I do an Exorcist-level headspin and then catch a mouse under the cover of darkness. With my beak? Forget about it.
Sam: Insomniac. Also can confirm that Iris is not an owl.
Road or studio?
Sam: Chicken or the egg?
Milan: BOTH but mostly get us out of the studio (laughs)
Iris: They both have their charm but there is no feeling like travelling with a lovely troupe and bringing your music to different places, although we are studio bugs at heart and when we’re on the road we kind of bring the studio with us – the iPhone Voice Memos app is our friend and we spend a lot of time sampling ourselves shouting into rooms that have cool reverb. So, uh, yeah. Both. Final answer.
Swiss Chalet or Roti?
Milan: Swiss Chalet??? Obviously roti.
Iris: Can’t even believe this is a question. Roti for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Roti 4 life.
Sam: 400% roti.
Any shows or albums coming up?
Debut album Silent Conversations is out now.