Petra Glynt is the name Alexandra Mackenzie goes by in the public eye, a musician and illustrator currently living in Montreal by way of Toronto. We caught up with her to find out more about the different ways she will be making appearances at POP this year.
Where did the name Petra Glynt come from and when did you start the project?
The name is a riff on the word petroglyph, like the practice of carving images into rock to illustrate activity or things that are happening culturally or socially and I kind of made this connection between being a visual artist and being a musician. I'm an illustrator and my music also tries to process my feelings about the world and cultural, political and social issues.
So, you do all the production work on Petra Glynt tracks and also play drums in Doldrums. Is there more of one or the other (electronic vs. real drums) in your own music? When were you first interested in focusing on drums?
It's both. I like having a combination of the electronic sound and the tactile, real drum tambourine sounds. [I started] in high school in a way. I studied opera and classical voice when I was growing up and I think at a certain point I became interested in punk music and whatever that is when you're in high school... It's like pop punk and NOFX or whatever. I used to go to the music room on spare to try and navigate drums and learn how to get coordinated. When I moved to Toronto after high school I started a band with a group of girls and we were called The Machetes. I basically learned to play drums with them and played in a series of projects after that until this one.
How did you get involved in the movie "A"? Did you have previous acting experience?
Not at all. The only acting I ever did was musical theatre when I was a kid and a little bit of stage theatre, but never anything on camera. I got involved because Mitchell Stafiej, the director ¬¬– his whole concept was to have non-actors but specifically musicians acting in his film. He was a fan of my music, and he also told me that he had a crush on me... And we're also partners now! He's since told me that he had a crush on me. I mean I don't know to what extent, I think he just liked my music. I arrived near the end of the shoot. I think it was only [shot] over 2 weeks in early December of that year. It took place in one location in St-Henri at Mitch's friend's apartment. I think I was only in there for 2 days actually filming. It was fun. Everybody on set was really awesome and it was a good vibe being there. I also met Mitch and it felt like this super magical time.
For POP Montreal's #Sweet16, do you have a favorite memory from when you were 16 or an embarrassing story you would be willing to share?
What was I doing when I was 16?... I was probably just crushing on boys and studying classical music... I was studying to audition for music programs at universities. I was pretty disciplined and I did a lot of sports. I was a runner. I still love running and bring my phone with me to catch Pokémon.
What are you most excited to see at the festival?
I have some friends that are coming in to town that I don't get to see very much so that's so nice, like DOOMSQUAD and Katie from Austra, and New Fries, they're an awesome band.
See Petra Glynt in the movie "A" premiering tonight at 7:30pm as part of Film POP at Cinéma du Parc, as well as her live performance tonight at 10:40pm at Piccolo Little Burgundy (Late Night) with Love Theme, Bernardino Femminielli and Guizo LaNuit. She also plays tomorrow, backing up Doldrums at Théâtre Rialto :: Salle St-Ambroise at 9pm, and at 10pm (as Petra Glynt) at Brasserie Beaubien.