A lot has changed since our last blog post. We’ve played dozens of shows, finally released our first EP, changed drummers, played in New York City and started getting radio play, just to name a few! There have been a lot of stories that have come out of these changes (some good, some bad), and under the advice of legal council I can’t tell all of the stories, but I can share a few! So lets start in order of importance:
The Changing of The Drummer
Don and I started this band (read last post for the story of Mr. Pineapple and the band), but being in a band requires a lot of personal and professional sacrifice. I had pulled Don into the world of being in a band while he was at school working on other ambitions, and the time had come where he couldn’t physically or mentally do both properly. It was a sad conversation but we pulled out one last tour with him in March to support our single ‘Never Alone’, ending with a packed set at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. Don has been nothing but supportive of us since the beginning of this band and nothing has changed. You’ll find him dancing front row at as many shows as he can get to!
Our newest addition is Angus Fay, who has been around the band for many years in a few different capacities: friend, jam-drummer, and ‘photographer’. Back when Angus was too young to get into venues to see our show, he would put a camera around his neck and tell the promoter he was the 'bands photographer' (which isn’t a total lie, the kid has an eye), but is still not the total truth. Angus’s natural inclination to lie to promoters was a quality I personally found quite endearing, reminded me of something a young Keith Moon would do. Angus had spent most of his 2015 working on getting into the Humber School Of Music to study drumming, making him a very versatile drummer with strong music theory chops. Our only concern with him when we started was he hadn’t had much show experience, but our fears were quickly shut down. He’s a very talented drummer who is only going to get better, and we are happy to have on the team!
Taking A Bite Of The Big Apple
I’ll start at the beginning: One day we were in a rehearsal and I received a booking notification from our website. It was an offer to open for Whitehorse and Wintersleep in Brooklyn New York on Canada day, which as people in other indie bands know, sounds like spam and I was half expecting him to ask for my banking information so the promoter could ‘pay me’… but after a few emails, phone calls and some Google/Facebook research, we decided to accept the offer.
I could explain the details and differences of the B1 Showcase Visa verses the P2 Work Visa, but that’s a really boring blog post. So I’ll skip that part and just say that we crossed the boarder legally…to the best of our limited knowledge. When we were crossing, all 5 of us were laughing uncontrollably from nerves. Did we actually get the correct visas? Were they going to rip apart the car and all of our gear? Was Boris allowed to keep chomping on an apple?? From the outside, our van must have sounded like a pack of hyenas watching ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’, just lots of laughing and crying. In reality the hardest question the boarder guard asked us was ‘what type of music do you play?’. Cameron, who was driving, took a little too long answering this: “ummmm rock? ..Pop? …Indie?”. Granted, Cam never likes to pinhole what style of music he plays, but this was not the time for semantics. I thought our goose was cooked, but after a long silence and almost no more interrogation, we made it through with ease. We all had a big sigh of relief and continued on our way blasting “Not Meant To Be” by Theory Of A Deadman (check our Instagram videos).
The show was a lot of fun and we had a great time with Wintersleep and Whitehorse. New York on the other hand wasn’t having a great time with a tornado warning underway. Our outdoor Canada Day party was looking like it might be washed out. But as these things tend to go, the rain stopped at around 6, letting us play our set with sunshine cutting through the clouds. Unfortunately for the our new friends, the rain started up twice as hard the minute we had loaded our gear out and didn’t stop all night. They played to a soaking wet crowd who were pickled on Canadian beer (a bit stronger then what they are use to).
After the show, the band and I had to part ways. I was moving houses back home and needed to get to Toronto ASAP, so I took the first flight out of LaGuardia (4am) to Toronto and moved boxes all day. The band had a different goal: Get to the Kee To Bala before 9pm to see July Talk play. This is not an easy task and would require no traffic in the states, an easy boarder crossing and no trouble on the 400. It was the perfect storm. They left NYC at around 9am, giving them a 2 hour buffer on this 10hour cruise. We try and have a simple rule in the van: whoever is in the passenger seat must stay awake and hang out with the driver. It’s a simple task most days with Cameron at the wheel (he talks pretty continuously while driving), but after a night of celebrating our first time playing New York City, the fellas were wiped. By Cameron’s telling of the day, everyone was asleep before New Jersey. Against all odds the band made it to the Kee in time and really enjoyed the show…well kind of…After supposedly 'moshing' at the front, Boris was removed from the venue 4 songs in. The guys all saw that it was a case of mistaken identity, but security felt otherwise. Good use of a 10hour drive!
Overall, we had a great first experience in the states and can’t wait to be back in early 2017.
1. Getting the record out
2. Hearing ‘Talk About It’ and ‘Neighbourhood’ on the radio
3. Doing a Stombo session (will air before the end of the year).
4. Having people in the industry reach out to us. Having started many years ago with people not even replying to my emails, it’s very cool to have the same people contact us. Patience is crucial in this business.