Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Proust Questionnaire, with Sean Kelly

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Sean Kelly

In Metal on Ice (Dundurn), Sean Kelly delves into the lives of the movers and shakers of the Canadian metal scene by drawing on interviews with artists such as Helix, Anvil, Coney Hatch, Killer Dwarfs, Harem Scarem and Honeymoon Suite, as well as prominent journalists, VJs and industry insiders. Metal on Ice is a new perspective on the dreams of musicians shooting for an American ideal of success and discovering a uniquely Canadian voice in the process with a few moose and deer thrown in for good measure.

In his answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Sean Kelly tells Open Book about his love of Toronto, his love of music and his love for Eddie Van Halen.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.


What is your dream of happiness?

A happy family, good friends in my life , and a life filled with making music, helping others make music, and writing about the music makers who inspire me.

What is your idea of misery?

Feeling like I have let other people (and myself) down.

Where would you like to live?

I am living here. Toronto is the city that made my dreams come true.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?

Honesty tempered with kindness and compassion.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?

Honesty tempered with kindness and compassion.

What is your chief characteristic?

I’m a dreamer who feels a deep compulsion to live his dreams.

What is your principal fault?

Living inside my own head to the point of sometimes excluding others.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Expensive European music magazines, recorded music.

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?

Genuine ignorance.

What do you value most about your friends?

They are creative and they are kind.

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?

Self entitlement and self importance.

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?

Inability to defend myself without getting heated.

What is your favourite virtue?


What is your favourite occupation?


What would you like to be?


What is your favourite colour?


What historical figure do you admire the most?

Jesus Christ.

What character in history do you most dislike?

Adolf Hitler.

Who are your favourite prose authors?

Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Boyden, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley.

Who are your favourite poets?

Walt Whitman.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My father and mother.

Who is your favourite musician?

Eddie Van Halen.

What is your favourite food?


What is your favourite drink?

Red wine.

How do you want to die?


What is your current state of mind?


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

Making a living as a musician.

What is your motto?

Practice the attitude of gratitude!

Sean Kelly is the billboard-charting guitarist of his own band, Crash Kelly. He has released several classical guitar albums, and tours as lead guitarist for Grammy Award-winning superstar Nelly Furtado. Kelly has also performed with Helix, Carl Dixon, Gilby Clarke, and Carole Pope, among many others. He lives in Toronto.

For more information about Metal on Ice please visit Dundurn's website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check out all the Proust Questionnaire interviews in our archives.

Related item from our archives

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


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