An Origin Story; An interview with Duncan Lee of Impuritees

Drawing inspiration from such bands as Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Tame Impala, Canadian Duncan Lee worked through his one-man origins and found himself in possessionof 30 songs that seemed to exit within an insular inspiration. And it would be these songs that formed the basis of his understanding of his solo project, Impuritees. He then met with local producer/engineer Felix Fung (who was also working with The Cut Losses) and began to work through the tracks that would form the basis of his debut EP under the Impuritees moniker.
Opening with “Nothing Matters,” Lee works through a glittering pop-rock theatricality that feels distinctly ‘80s indebted. “Acceptance” finds him experimenting with a stripped down indie rock classicism that wouldn’t have felt out of place on an early record from Dinosaur Jr. Fuzzed-out bass grooves take the reins of “Speak to Me,” giving him a chance to stretch his legs and really push the limits of the sounds that he come to associate with this project. Closing track, “Easy Way,” channels the jangle and shimmer of bands like Echo & the Bunnymen and The Jesus and Mary Chain without sacrificing the natural cadence of his own creativity.
Buoyed by a history of musical adaptation, Lee has built an atmosphere of striking guitar lines, bass rhythms that pump blood to the heart of his influences and a percussive rattle that sinks into the deepest parts of his listener’s skeletons. Channeling both his extensive musical upbringing and the experiences that drove him to refocus on the trajectory of his own music, his work as Impuritees looks to expand on a pop and rock sound that doesn’t bend to accommodate any particular genre but evinces a series of unique personalities, revealing the inherent spirit and force behind his sprawling influences.
Ghettoblaster recently spoke with Lee about the self-released Nothing Matters EP, which hit the streets on June 16. This is what he said.
When did you first begin writing the material for this EP?
I began writing material for the EP a couple years ago. The opening track “Nothing Matters” was one of the first ones.
Were all of the songs written at the same time? Or was it more like a collection of songs you’ve written over the years?
3/4 of the EP was written about a year ago along with 20 others. I just picked the ones that would work better with each other.

The imagery to along with the release looks spiritual. Is it meant to be?
Funny you mention that. Originally, I saw that design in the stairwell of a furniture store when I was installing security alarms for a living. The company apparently had a problem with homeless people breaking in the stairwell and squatting. Anyway, the drawing in there caught my eye and I thought it would be cool imagery for the record.
Do you play all of the instruments on Nothing Matters?
Yup! It was a lot of fun. I have always wanted to do something like this so it’s perfect for a debut release.
What new artists are you listening to these days?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Matthew Logan Vasquez because he just released an album recently and it’s loaded with crazy good material. I listen to a wide variety of music like Cloud Nothings, Wavves, Joywave, Hot Hot Heat, The Growlers, Bully, Joyce Manor, etc.  
What’s next for Impuritees?
Well, I have to form a band since I recorded everything myself on that record so maybe I should start with that.
(Visit Impuritees here: