Ricq Rolled

HUMANS’ Peter Ricq on his health, cinematic aspirations and new album, Noontide

Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq (R) of HUMANS

Lauren D Zbarsky

It’s undeniable: Peter Ricq and Robbie Slade are rising to fame as HUMANS, the acclaimed two-man indie-electronic act. On their last trip to England, they were even stopped on the street and begged to pose for pictures, a first for the Vancouver-based band.

Despite the glamorous accoutrements of touring, the majority of their road-time is relegated to bars and hotels. Ricq admits the joys can be fleeting, as their health can steeply decline out on the road.

“I actually started smoking on tour,” Ricq says. “I used to smoke a little, but now I smoke every time I have a beer, and I have a beer almost every day. There’s not much else to do, but we’re trying to change it up.”

“I don’t want to be in one of those bands where they get out of shape and die,” Ricq says jokingly.

After a year of recording for their newly released album, Noontide, Ricq and HUMANS’s co-founder, Robbie Slade decided to move recording to Edmonton. There they gained an opportunity to work with producer/Shout Out Out Out Out member Nik Kozub. Armed with better software and more tools ever before, Kozub’s contributions allowed HUMANS the chance to perfect songs that the duo had been crafting for as long as five years. 

While recording, the guys would break up the downtime in studio by playing a retro Street Fighter 2 arcade which they picked up from a friend of Kozub who was just giving it away.

In addition to his music, Ricq is also an accomplished filmmaker and the co-creator of the YTV animated series, League of Super Evil. The music video “The End”, which Ricq directed in the style of a horror film, was an opportunity for him to learn to make something that looked like a feature-length movie.

Ricq admits that becoming a film director would be his true dream, as he’s shopping around his first screenplay, described as The Goonies meets The Evil Dead 2. Ricq prefers a tongue-in-cheek approach to horror, citing such genre classic as Stuart Gordon’s ReAnimator and David Cronenberg’s The Fly.

“I don’t like it when the violence is too realistic or glorified,” Ricq says. “It’s almost like glorifying the serial killer persona, which I think is totally wrong.”

The Noontide album release tour hits Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Center on March 4, and brings with it a new stage experience unlike anything fans have seen before. Their newly designed light show features a giant cloud pulsating with light, which could be worth the price of admission alone. 

Their setlist includes tracks off of Noontide in addition to many never-before-heard songs. Ricq enjoys the collaboration with Slade, though he reveals their relationship has its share of creative disagreements.

“We used to have fights, but we haven’t had one in a long time,” Ricq says. “It’s hard when you bring something to the table and the other guy’s like: ‘I don’t like it.’ You’ve put time and effort into it. You just don’t want it to get lost in the void.”

Published in Volume 69, Number 22 of The Uniter (February 25, 2015)

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