interview - imaginary cities

“We had a different name. It was Sparrow and then it was Oh Sparrow but then we […] just couldn’t use it and I was in my dad’s basement looking at book titles and I saw one that was called “Imaginary Beings” and one that said “Invisible Cities” and we liked the way it sounded so we just put them together…”

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with Marti Sarbit, lead singer and co-songwriter from Winnipeg’s suddenly famous Imaginary Cities. Rounding out Imaginary Cities is Sarbit’s bandmate Rusty Matyas, multi-instrumentalist, co-songwriter and occasional member of The Weakerthans. From my plague-ridden couch in Edmonton and a quiet moment in the legendary Horsehoe Tavern in Toronto, Marti and I talked Pixies, rock ‘n’ roll and who should have won the Polaris Prize. Spoiler Alert: Sarbit doesn’t believe it should have been Imaginary Cities. She’s happy to just have been nominated. “Yeah! That was awesome! That definitely felt good. And to be in the same category with some of my favourite artists was so cool. That was my first time really experiencing anything like that, even being nominated for something. In fact, Marti couldn’t be happier that the Arcade Fire took the prize. “Oh yeah! I’m a huge fan! I’m glad they chose Arcade Fire. They totally deserve it. That album was amazing and it makes the award more genuine, you know. They’re one of those bands that have such a unique sound you either love them or you hate them.”