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Long Time, No See!

Hi all! 

It’s been a while since you’ve seen us doing…well anything music related. We’ve spent the past few months writing songs, making a music video, general hangin out, traveling by ourselves etc. It’s been great to take a break from playing all the time, but we are all a little stir crazy and are anxious to get back to the gigs!

We have a few shows coming up, one at the end of August and one at the end of September. Hardly 'hitting the road' by any means, but we are still working our record. The goal is simply to put out something that we will be proud of and happy to be playing in the years to come. We really appreciate everyone who has been encouraging us (over socials or in person) to get back at it, but we just need a little more time before we start “pounding stages like clowns” (Pete Townshend said that).

I always tell a story or something on these things about how the shows are or the other nonsense we do, so I’ll let you know a bit about a trip I took this summer:

Growing up, I went to Scotland with my dad a few summers in a row and spent time in the Hebrides. It had been about 12 years since I had been, so I wanted to go back and experience the country as an adult. It was a really cool to be walking through a small town and all of the sudden remembering an exact moment from 12 years before. It was a place that was always important to my dad and seeing it through the lens of having some life experience, I understood a bit more.

After nearly a week in the Hebrides, I took the train down south to Dalbeattie - a small town of 4000 that was the home of two notable people: 1) William Murdoch, the man who was in charge when the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank. 2) James Hunter, my grandfather. The town was incredibly welcoming, with locals swapping stories about life living in Daleattie and even bringing out school records to try and find exactly where my grandfather lived. Sadly we could not, as I was pretty underprepared with info as I didn’t expect such a strong interest in some kid from Canada.

I spent the last few days in Edinburgh - mostly in the old town where I was really focused on finding a cool local band. After a bit of research, I narrowed down the ‘coolest’ 100 cap live venue I could find, hoping to stumble upon the next great Scottish rock band. The club was called Sneaky Pete's (could it be one of our fav Toronto dive bars Sneaky Dee's Scotish cousin??) and the show was comprised of 3 really talented singer/songwriters playing mostly piano and using loops. It was a cool show, but when I asked the performers why they didn’t have any backing bands they explained that there is an enormous shortage of drummers, gear and general interest in playing the drums, so locking one down was too difficult. I was a bit bummed about my quest to find a killer live band that night, but I was very happy thinking about our Canadian music scene and how fortunate we are to have such a vibrant industry.

Looking forward to whats next for the band and really working hard on the next few months.
Will

Fun things this summer:

- Spent a lot of time at Cam's apartment in Kingston writing and working on demos. 
- We filmed a music video for a song that is coming out in a bit. It happened to be filmed in Toronto...the weekend in April that there was a hail storm in Toronto.  
- Got to attend Lights comic book release - so cool to see how much hard work the big names in the Canadian scene actually put into their projects. 
- Saw some bucket list concerts (Foo Fighters at Rogers Centre and Arcade Fire at Budweiser Stage).
- Played a solo set at the Rivoli in Toronto to try out some new material. Had the bar singing 'Come Get Yer Money' which was a real treat. 

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Ducks Feet

Just before the tour, a friend of mine taught me a new metaphor:
Ducks glide gracefully across ponds. There is such ease to their movement that it barely creates a wake. But rarely do people think about the ducks feet. Just below the calm water, they are moving frantically, propelling the duck so it can get where it needs to go. 

Speaking frankly, I’ve never identified with a duck, and neither have my friends, but something about this idea really resonated with me. It feels like more often than not, people perceive bands through their onstage presence under the spotlight or through an Instagram filter the next day. While that’s not a bad thing, (please keep going to shows and following everyone’s progress through social media), most of the time we are just duck feet, peddling tirelessly and thanklessly under the surface. Well, duck feet with great hair.

Waterfowl analogies aside, this last run of shows took us from:

- Burnstown Ontario to New York City.

- An 80 person capacity bar to the K-Rock Centre with The Glorious Sons

- T-shirt weather in Canada to a show that was canceled because of ‘dangerous weather’ in Philadelphia.

It was one of the wildest tours to date because every day presented fresh adversity. But as ducks feet do, we kept pushing on against the current. This is not a ‘woe is me’ post by any means - the shows were so much fun and we had the opportunity to connect with so many people. This was just the first tour in a long time where the unexpected happened more often than not. So as always, I’ll leave a brief note about a few shows.

K-Rock Centre (Kingston) – Surreal experience. Being on that stage meant a lot to all of us and it was truly wonderful to share it with such a hardworking, creative and supportive group.  We learned to be the band we are today by playing every spot with beer and electricity in downtown Kingston – much like The Glorious Sons. We really appreciate that they felt it appropriate to have us on that bill and we owe them and their team many rounds of drinks when they get back home.

The Mercury Lounge (NYC) - The day started in middle Manhattan where we were lucky enough to do an interview at Madison Square Gardens with ‘The Gunz Show’. Being 5 guys with no sleep, we felt a bit out of our depths, but it was a fun interview and we got to play some acoustic songs. During this time our tour manager/sound engineer Brent had been sitting in the van out front of the interview, and being the environmentally conscious young man he is, he turned off the car. If you sit in a car with the engine off and all of the lights on for a little while… it dies. So, while we were discussing the Canadian Curling Team on the radio, Brent was acting like a true duck’s foot by finding us a new battery in a nearby beaver dam. We made it to the venue just in time.

I had especially been looking forward to this show because I love The Strokes and this is where they cut their teeth. The venue’s main booker actually quit his job to be their first manager in 2000. The show was great and the party after went late into the night with our pals in Vista Kicks.

Kung Fu Necktie/The Fire (Philadelphia) – As I briefly mentioned earlier, there was a crazy storm during this time in the northeast states and we had been in the heart of it for most of the tour.  We had been in Philly for a few hours (had the cheesesteak, etc) and were at the venue when we found out the show had been canceled because of the weather. Being Canadians, we weren’t intimidated. So in our van, full of stinking ducks feet at the end of a tour, we called up the only other venue we knew in Philly and booked a show - 5 hours before we played! As a band we have never canceled a show (even when some members get on trains going to Montreal instead of Toronto….) so I am glad to say that we kept our streak going.

It feels good to unpack some of the roses and thorns of the tour. We are going to continue to glide through the pond with the illusion of effortlessness because of our strong team of feet – including the band and the unsung hero’s of Mike, Aviva, Jack, Brent, Luke, Geoff, Phil, Albert, Kate, Ally, Brett and Taylor Simon.

So next time you see someone succeeding, think about what’s peddling beneath the surface.

Will

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2018.....lets go!

Happy 2018!

We took a bit of a break after an incredible (but hectic) few weeks ending 2017 to re-group and hang with our families, but now we’re back at it!

2017 ended with the ‘Come Get Yer Money’ tour, which took us to some familiar territory and was great to visit with what now seems old friends. All those shows (good, bad, ugly) had their own charm/tales that came out of those long days and longer nights. A personal favourite night didn't even involve one of our shows! We had a night off in Syracuse and got to see Kingston's own The Glorious Sons and Hamilton's Arkells play The Palace Theatre. Rare and awesome to see some of your favourite bands in such an intimate setting.  

Halfway through that tour we received offers to play a great Buffalo venue (The Town Ballroom) with two legendary Canadian groups – The Headstones (December 9th) & Sam Roberts Band (December 30th). To say we were excited is quite the understatement. Buffalo has always been good to us and these were amazing opportunities. An enormous ‘thank you’ to both groups! 

Tour with Vista Kicks starts on February 25th in Toronto and it can't come fast enough!

You can find all the details HERE

Talk soon, 
Will

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NEW SONG

Hey everyone! 

Very proud to have just released our new song 'Come Get Yer Money' and wanted to share some thoughts about where the song came from:

"After a year of touring both in Canada and south of the border, we’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk to people, and politics inevitably come up with everything thing that has happened this past year. ‘Come Get Yer Money’ was one of the first songs to come out of writing sessions in Kingston when we were prepping to go into the studio. The music, lyrics, and melody fell into place very naturally, and I think it is because the premise of the song and the frustration that it comes from have been present since the summer of 2016."

Also, we are happy to officially announce that we have a mailing list! In the future, we will be sending out info about upcoming shows, new music, merch etc and our subscribers will have the inside scoop! If you're interested in what we are up to, sign up with your email HERE

Talk soon, 
Will

 

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Summer Livin

Since we last spoke we’ve played with some of our favourite bands, written a bunch of new songs, and are getting ready to record them.

It’s been a summer of outdoor shows/festivals, which as one can imagine is a totally different beast than playing in bars and clubs. The first few outdoor shows can be strange and intimidating. We (and I’m sure most other bands) spent our formative years in basements and bars building a live show and learned how to be comfortable, loud and entertaining in the familiar confines of four walls and a roof. I’ve always found that once you take the lid off of that box, you can feel the energy on stage change and the band has to adapt. I remember sound check at my first outdoor show, the kick drum echoing off the back of Springer Market Square and realizing just how huge the sound was. We’ve grown a lot since then and now it feels like an old hat – I sometimes feel that we perform and sound better out in the elements rather than in a shoebox club. That being said, nothing beats the energy found in a hot room…maybe I just like playing shows and am nitpicking…I digress!

~ Some recent highlights ~

 View from the stage at Springer Market Square 

View from the stage at Springer Market Square 

We played a show with the Sam Roberts Band back in May. It was one of my favourite shows not just because I’m a big SRB fan, but because it felt like something really clicked for us as a band. Since that show we have felt tighter and more capable on stage.

 ***Not Pictured: Julz...somehow he missed this well thought out photo shoot

***Not Pictured: Julz...somehow he missed this well thought out photo shoot

 

Watch out roads, the fellas are up and running - we bought a van! Up until now we have been borrowing tour vans. It has been trying at times, booking shows and then figuring out how we are going to travel hundreds of kilometers…we always made it happen, but it’s nice to finally welcome one of our own into the family.

PS: HUUUUUGE shout outs to Phil for lending us ‘Humphrey’ and to Geoff for the use of his van/trailer from Jan-May and Paul for occasional use of the ‘Intruder’.
 

 

We have a few more shows with SRB at the end of the summer at The Kee To Bala in Muskoka, something we have been looking forward to for months. We also have more festival shows coming up before the summer winds down (August 19th at the Westport Music Festival near Kingsotn and August 21st at The CNE in Toronto). After a short sabbatical, Kingston’s own Wolfe Island Music Festival is back in action and we can’t wait to see what Virginia Clark and her team has cooked up this year!
 

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