Lorraine Segato hopes Parachute Club fans will rise up all over the world


By Steve Newton

Today Lorraine Segato is lead singer for Toronto’s fast-rising Parachute Club, but before joining the Club she worked in Toronto as a film editor and programming assistant.

So it’s hardly surprising that she’s been taking an active part in the writing, designing–and now directing–of her band’s own videos.

“It lends a different focus on the music,” says Lorraine, in town for their recent Orpheum show. “The initial concept of the music video was a promotional concept,” she concedes, “but for us, right now, it’s more an expression of this other part of ourselves that is interested in film, and acting, and…dressing up!”

Segato and her bandmates got dressed up a little for the video of  “At the Feet of the Moon”, the title track from their breakthrough second album, which has gone platinum in Canada (over 100,000 units sold). And in the last three months they’ve made two other videos, one a remake of their first hit, ‘Rise Up”, and the other a clip of their new single “Sexual Intelligence”.

Just recently the At the Feet of the Moon album–with “Rise Up” as a bonus cut– was released in the U.S., and the group hopes that the new and re-shot videos will give the LP some of the saleability it’s enjoyed in Canada. However, Segato is less than thrilled with the amount of interest shown in her band–and other Canadian groups–by the music industry Stateside.

“There’s some great music coming out of Canada, and I just wish the United States had the foresight to bring their attention here. But they’re just so arrogant in their approach to music.”

On the other hand, Parachute Club haven’t gone much of their way to take their music to the States either. In fact, apart from a recent youth festival in Jamaica, the Club hasn’t played anywhere outside of Canada, so it’s no wonder their real success has been limited to the Great White North.

Lorraine does want to see the band play other parts of the world though, and she’s pretty certain about where she’d like to go.

“Europe definitely. And places like Japan. The U.S. is somewhere that you sort of have to play, but Europe really intrigues us because the people might understand our music–and its sensibility–in a different way. It’s not so odd over there to be talking about what we’re talking about. Groups like U2 and Tears for Fears sing about the same things that we do, but they don’t get the kind of criticism that comes with the conservative mentality of Canada n the United States.”

From its very beginning the Parachute Club has written songs that push for change, whether it be political (“Rise Up”), psychological (“Sexual Intelligence”), or sociological (“Walls and Laws”). But to some of the group’s first real fans –those who’ve seen it evolve from lesser-known Toronto groups like Mama Quilla II and V–commercial success itself may have proven too much of a change, and left them feeling snubbed–like a mother when the baby leaves home.

Lorraine defends the band’s motives and development.

“If the audience is going to change how they feel about us, that is something that’s with them, but I honestly believe that no one can say we’ve sold out on any level. Obviously the idea is to reach as many people as possible, but I would never step on anybody to do that. It’s just that your music is so much larger than you–and in the process of getting it out, some people become interested in other things.

“But it seems to me that most people still like us. At least I hope they do, ’cause I still like them!”


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