Sun K Official is a band to be reckoned with. At once rock with alt country tendencies they defy what it means to be a typical Canadian rock band - because they are anything but typical onstage and off. I sit down with Scott Tiller and Stuart Retallack of Sun K for stories on boots lost and found, confessions of a candy-aholic and basically everything in between.
Describing their sound is easy - its damned good. Explaining why is harder. They are tight performers but come off as breezy in person; they are talented on next-level scales but each time I see them they speak to the audience like its their first humble show (its incredibly endearing and disarming in a way that almost shocks the audience when they have their sh*t together so well on stage). Sitting down with them for the first time they are polite, too polite to take a beer (thanks again Elora Brewing Company!) but manage to grab one a few jokes in. They settle into the interview and quickly begin to show their humour, friendship and honestly - who they really are. They are in it for the long haul and they intend to have a good time along the way. They take their music very seriously and so they should - they are sitting on a goldmine as evidenced by there, at the time of writing this, 107% overage of the PledgeMusic campaign they embarked on this year. People know this band is going places and want to be able to say to their music loving friends they helped get them there.
They are travelling across Canada right now, sleeping in a van, eating from gas stations, writing as they go. It sounds a hard road to travel but that's what it is to be an Indie band in Canada right now - only with the addition of PledgeMusic and the ability for bands with real personality and creativity to FUND themselves into their dream jobs - we ebb ever closer to a day where every small town can host shows with bands as good as this, with sets this tights, with kids this talented. They are almost always from small towns themselves and getting to make money in this career, in this country used to be out of reach save a few major bands but its coming closer now. We are getting much closer now to something we can be proud of in a country with the least arts funding on the planet. In bands like Sun K I see a promise of this.
In the meantime I'll be dancing my ever loving ass off at their shows big and small, knowing in some small way my being there is getting them closer to that goal, that world, that place where talent can be showcased without having to go stateside, where kids from small towns who sleep with their guitars under their beds can make a life of it - where we are all better off for getting to hear it.
Thank you Sun K for a wonderful interview, for settling in and letting your hair down without taking your hats off. You guys were dolls.
Sun K can be found at www.sunkofficial.com and you can download their album direct or find them on BandCamp, SoundCloud, ITunes and now on my show over at CFRU 93.3 FM because I can!
Sun K: Kristian Montano, Stuart Retallack, Kevin Micheal Butler, Scott Tiller and Gil Paul
A few years ago Nils Edenloff's brother emailed him about visiting the homestead, the land they grew up on, in the wilds of rural Alberta, Canada. He worded it in such a way as a means to show he was hoping to recapture something there, a call-back, a memory place, a feeling of home, in some way to create an advantage to his life and sense of purpose in the world. He called it The Rural Alberta Advantage and in doing so, sparked a name for a project Nils was putting together with his musician folk at the time, Amy Cole and Paul Banwatt. They formed officially as the Rural Alberta Advantage or, RAA for those on the cusp of coolness, in 2006 and have released albums that have garnered them Juno awards and the honour of being long listed for the Polaris Prize. Amy took a step back in September of this year but when I sat down with the band, this was already the new normal as Robin Hatch has stepped into the role of backing vocals, keyboard and bass pedal.
Here's the thing about RAA: they will not stop until you're dancing. By this I mean they will get a crowd going or literally play new songs on stage (how they wrote one of their top acclaimed albums in fact) until those tapping toes become dancing fools and all that's left is a sweaty group of smiling festival goers who don't want them to leave the stage, ever. They are incredibly soft spoken in real life, so different from their on stage act had I not known the band members already I would have asked for ID when they quietly stepped into my studio and took their seats across from me, each checking in politely with one another on who might like which craft beer for the interview.
Robin, in particular, is incredibly quiet and the kind of gentle soul you would never had pegged for a raucous live act. But that's the great thing about talking to a band after a performance, the juxtaposition is often writ large this way - you truly see and feel the 'performer' leave the musician and in that transition you see the two worlds of writer/artist and performer collide in such a brilliant and almost poetic fashion, it’s intoxicating. The craft beers helped of course :) but Robin's singing voice is loud - brass even, stunningly perfect like she never aged beyond 12 (and looks about that age now by the way, 'a slip of a girl' is what came to mind when I shook her tiny talented hand) and her speaking voice is lower, so very much quieter and her laugh, silent. That beautiful type of laugh that's horrid for podcasting but incredibly endearing where her whole body shakes and she looks down into her lap, shoulders forward while the band each decides who is going to tell what story. It helps she’s also been part of Sheezer, that’s an all female Weezer cover band, as the name might suggest and damnit I love that concept.
We talk books. At once one of my favourite subjects and luckily, theirs too. We trade backstage stories from the festival, we laugh, we talk about Alberta and how little time the band members have actually spent there considering their namesake. They tell lovely, warm, funny stories - each of them taking turns like well behaved kids who swear a lot. They thank me and pose for a photo politely, they exit the studio and quietly head backstage, past the crowd still sweating from the unstoppable dancing fever beset upon them by this very band not a half hour before. The crowd looks up, almost in unison, and the roar their very presence illicits sends shivers down my recently very calmed spine. They are loved. Their stage show is absolutely one of their biggest selling features and the beauty of how quiet, reserved and kind they are backstage leaves me with a thrill so deep inside I don't have a name for it yet.
Thank you Rural Alberta Advantage, thank you Nils' brother for writing an email 11 years ago and playing whatever small a part in making this band happen - it has truly become something incredible. This music has created in me a way to form a memory place, has provided a feeling of home though I’ve never been home in Alberta and has broken in a lot of heels from dancing so hard.
Look for their upcoming album in 2017, hints were played recently at their Brooklyn NY shows including one I play for you at the top of the show, called White Lights. If this is any indication of what their new album is going to sound like I am already interested and waiting, hydrating, for their next show where I plan fully to dance until I drop.
Band Members: Nils Edenloff, Paul Banwatt, Robin Hatch
Did everyone notice the hiatusI just took? Yeah, me too! With my show getting syndicated I've had little time to actually - like - DO THE SHOW, hahaha... With that said, I am back babies! This episode features Tim Baker of Hey Rosetta telling me stories that range from he and I taking the same university courses (small sociological world people) to his view on writing in music today. He's very east coast, his music is too. Don't know what I mean by that? You will. I include two of my current favourite songs by Hey Rosetta on this episode and if you aren't a fan by the end of it then hit up Youtube because you can hear more and settle on the beauty of it all by yourself. You'll get there, Paula is here to help :)
I kid. Everyone becomes a really quick lover of this band. Bands like this pick up fans fast because they put a lot into their tunes and make them both fun and meaningful. That's kinda what I mean by East Coast too. Listen and know.
Thanks for sticking it out during the mild step back I took to prep my show for radio - its HARD YA'LL when you be working on a old-ass laptop with a missing 'm' and enough dents and cracks to be a relic.
Until next week lovelies,
Drew and Danielle McTaggart are Dear Rouge. They are incredibly talented in their own rights but the two added together is literaly flipping magic - like, call Hogwarts already, this shit is incredible. Danielle's stage presence is nothing short of miraculous in its energy and talent, but when you see these kids lock eyes during a few songs and the silly grins they have with each other - says it all.
Drew tells me about marrying Danielle, and then losing his senses. Both stories are pretty much perfection. He was such an interesting character offstage and not at all what I expected. He was quietly funny and super open about his life, which as a story collector of the highest order (are you reading this CBC? yay!) made me super happy.
In this episode you will hear their award winning "I heard I had" song and my favourite by them "Black to Gold". They won the 2016 Juno for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and deserve every accolade that comes with it.
Find them on Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, ITunes and my earholes almost er'day.
Just stop gentlemen, you are too adorable. Theses guys have that sunshiney West Coast feel, which is weird in Canada because... like... the west coast is notoriously rainy and gets the least amount of sun of almost anyplace else in this country. But BC must be doing something right because they keep turning out consistently talented musicians and this band appears to have nabbed MOST of them at once.
Daniel McBurnie, Graham Gomez, Alexa Unwin, Robert Hardie, Alex Hauka, Greg McLeod, Will Watson are Good For Grapes and their sound just plain good for you.
Their current album The Ropes is available on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Spotify and ITunes, so go check it out - and tweet at me #GoodforGrapesLOVE when you do.
All the best, see you next week.
Julia was a left turn and one in the right direction. I loved this band for dance good times before they made a change-up and brought Kirty on board but what's happened since - no one could have predicted. Deep, meaningful, lasting impressions is the best way to describe their sound now. Did you ever listen to Pulp and feel like the rest of the songwriting world might be kidding themselves? Then you will love Fast Romantics and not just this resident music geek said so - because your ears won't lie.
Matt and Kirty joined me after their outstanding set at Riverfest and talked about what this band's renaissance in its infancy felt like - and then told a brilliant story about accidentally impersonating Queens of the Stone Age and having Skrillex call them on it. Skrillex. Yeah, these kids run with the big dogs.
Listen in, listen up and enjoy. Their new single, Animal, is on Spotify now.
Reuben Bullock is Reuben and The Dark. and its a dark and brooding feel to his music that so succinctly envelopes what I feel is "Canadian" about music its perfection. His 2014 album Funeral Sky already sounds Canadian, ever so melancholy and deeply thought through before a move is ever made - exactly what I love about this genre. Bow & Arrow is the current single from this release that's hitting the airwaves hard for something gentle and gorgeous.
Speaking of which, this other-wordly human sat down w/ me at Rivefest backstage in my mobile studio to smell the wood (not a euphemism), tell some stories and get to that place I love most - getting someone super classy and elegant to talk about telling someone to fuck off.
Also a quick shout out to dickatyourdoor.com who, funny enough, came up in this interview, take a listen at the end.
Podtoberfest 2016 takes place October 7 and 8th this year, head over to podtoberfest.com for details and sign up for Mixlr now to enjoy this one of a kind leve podcasting event! I'm a featured podcaster and contributing writer to the show this year and while I feel I am the smallest fish invited, I'm gonna swim these waters well babies!! See you there (but like, not really there because its an undisclosed location because its not a public in person event but its SUPER DUPER public invited online thing... so, there's that.)
Fresh in the midst of their 2016 Album release Light The Sky, these two are making their way through Canada with an english album and holy hot damn, they are one of the best live performers I've ever witnessed. I liked their french work and was really excited they were releasing in english but I hadn't seen them live before and now that I have, the whole album sounds different to me - its even more alive and lit up and that's the beauty of a live show. It brings you newness, it gives you the chance to see them at what shoudl be their best - in front of a crowd of new and known fans. And they made some new fans that night for sure. They blew the crowd away and every single foot in that tent stage was dancing - they made absolute sure of it. Every inch of stage was used, every audience member became a part of the show and even in 5 inch heels - I was dancing too.
Thank you Radio Radio, I can't wait to see you on Montreal!
The Zolas: Zachary Gray, Cody Hiles, Dwight Abell big fat sat down with me at Riverfest Elora and we talked about how Prince had a really weird rider that included lucky charms cereal and then about how Cody's shirt was straight-up stolen from his Mother In Law but was 100% worth it for the adorable factor alone. These guys are one of my absolute favourites and Molotov Girl (song featured in the pod) is not only the start song on my run playlist (an honour only the Arkells and flipping SIA have managed to be a part of previously) but hot-damn, I dare you not to love them after hearing it. Seeing them live is simply perfection in live music.
I can't say enough good things here. I heart this band too hard. They knew it, I know it and no one was sad about these facts. Please go see them with a little known band called The Strumbellas (whom i also interviewed this summer, only to lose it and ask Sam Roberts to act it out w/ me, and he did because he's a trooper and he freaking gets me) this year on their tour: http://thezolasmusic.com/tour/
Tag that under "ThingsYouWontRegret
Feel free to support this little pod: https://www.patreon.com/posts/support-me-at-10-5388919
PS these shirts were a surprising hit this summer and we are closing in on selling out babies!! GET ONE NOW!!
Sarah Blackwood and Ryan Marshall from Walk Off The Earth joined me backstage at Riverfest after their main stage performance to tell me stories! They loved the mobile studio, not only because you can close the dang door and concentrate, but also it had candy. That's right, I lure musicians into the back of a trailer with candy and beer to get them to tell me stories. And I am not apologizing for it! They just finished recording the video for Closer which you can now find on their YoutTube account as it likely goes viral :)
Paul Murphy's dad likes Buddy Holly and Wintersleep. The latter works out well since Paul is the lead singer for this band, now topping the charts with their hit Amerika. You can hear this little ditty playing on my phone roughly every hour :)
I sat down backstage with Paul, cracked open a few Elora Brewing Company cold ones (look how smooth I sound here, like I wasn't so flipping nervous to meet Paul I had to audibly calm myself before walking up to him backstage) and talked music, growing up in a big family and how sibling rivalry is something most of us don't grow out of, no matter how far from home we get.
Weighty Ghost is one of the longest standing songs on my personal playlist and has popped up in my life at incredibly poignant times. I was beyond thrilled to get to talk to this band, I hope you enjoy it.
Support the Show! (or like, don't but please do and if you do thanks and if you don't then no worries and thanks for listening and if you don't listen then why are you reading this, its not a blog)
The Sheepdogs are one of Canada's most loved bands - formed in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2006. Lead singer and guitarist Ewan Currie, bass guitarist Ryan Gullen, drummer Sam Corbett, guitarist Jimmy Bowskill, and Shamus Currie, brother of lead singer Ewan Currie, playing trombone, keyboards, and tambourine - AND occasionaly but sadl not on this round of seeing them live: Rusty Matyas, Rusty, you were missed man and I can't wait to have you on the show! Some of you may recall The Sheepdogs became the first unsigned band to make the cover of ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE back in 2011 and have since blown the hells up all over North America. Cause, hot damn - they good.
I sat down after their set w/ Ryan Gullen to talk backstage parties, working for a living and dressing for the part. Ryan - I loved every minute man and thanks for being the host with the most style at an after-after party :)
Tell Me Stories available on Itunes, GooglePlay, PlayerFM and anywhere else good pods are found.
Proud member of Shumway Industries and prepping for #PodtoberFest16 now! @ @stories_podcast on Twitter
Proud member of #PodernFamily
In 2014 Hannah Georgas was touring with City & Colour in Europe, kind of a big deal. That same winter one of her songs was used on HBO's incredibly loved series Girls, and Hannah hit the map beyond the Polaris long list. One of Canada's most incredible song writers and singers, Hannah brings it hard on stage, killing it across venues big and eclectic. I sat down with her backstage before her Koi Festival performance where she knocked the audience straight down with her electro-indy vibes and stunning vocals.
Hannah shared a story with me about getting lost on Baffin island with her then crush and how finding her way back cured that puppy love dead!
Doug Haynes walked backstage after HIGHS performed at Koi Festival this summer and sat down with me for stories. The voice on this kid is something else, the tone is one of my favourites in music right now. He looks like Justin Timberlake and Brad Pitt has a secret love child in an alternate universe - but sings much better. Then he proceeded to tell me a story about having his face destroyed before one of the biggest gigs of the bands life.
An unstoppable optimist and a true storyteller of the best degree, Doug was a doll. Listen to us delve into Dazzle Camouflage's making and the writing behind the first single "I do, do you?" from its 2016 release.
You can hear them live August 19, 2016 at Riverfest in Elora if you have a weekend pass. If you don't, get one here: Riverfestelora.com
On Soundcloud and Bandcamp as HighsMusic
Ivory Hours is a sassy alt-pop trio from London, Ontario. The band was formed by Luke Roes (Vocals/Guitar) in 2012 and features Chris Levesque (Bass) and Thomas Perquin (Drums).
It’s been a big year for Ivory Hours. Amidst constant touring, the London, Ontario natives hit the studio to record their debut full-length album ‘Morning Light’ - a collection of infectious pop tunes co-produced by Dan Brodbeck (The Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan) and mastered by Joao Carvalho (Lights, Stars).
After releasing the album on June 9th 2015 the band went on to win 102.1 The Edge’s ‘Next Big Thing’, garnering their first commercial airplay for the single ‘Warpaint’. Within weeks they announced their grand prize win of the Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Artist Mentorship Program. Shortly after the band announced a national tour for spring 2016.
With ‘Warpaint’ spreading on radio and online with the help of a clever stop-motion video, a new album and acoustic release in the works, a MuchFACT funded video for ‘Dreamer’ just released and a hometown brimming with support, it’s safe to say Ivory Hours is riding an upward spiral.
I love Canadian Music. I love all music really, but I have a special place in my quiet heart for Canadian bands. This is combined with my lifelong addiction to storytelling in my little Indie Podcast that could to bring you a unique view of what music is doing, as a living, breathing thing - today. Take a listen as I reflect with Sam Roberts, AC Newman of The New Pornographers, Alan Doyle and Hannah Georgas. Each full length interview is available as well. I hope you like it. Thank you for being part of the journey so far.
I sat down backstage at Koi Festival in Waterloo in June and talked to Sam Cash. He explored where the Romantic Dogs came from but we focused much more on the love of music that brought us to where we are in life. The simplicity of vinyl and the beauty of poetry set to sound. Sam, you are an old soul. Thank you.
Sam Cash’s new album Tongue-In-Cheek Vows perfectly captures that moment when a young artist and his cohorts find their collective voice and suddenly realize that there are no limits to what they can accomplish together. The explosive opening track “Cast Away” serves notice that this isn’t just another singer/songwriter-fronted band. With Cash’s unflinching poetry riding atop The Romantic Dogs taut exuberance, Tongue-In-Cheek Vows is a gimmick-free, melodic masterpiece—tipping its hat to an era when conviction was measured by the amount of sweat and blood exuded on stage, and in the studio.
Graham Wright and Josh Hook sat down with me immediately following my wasted interview with Jon Hembrey from The Strumbellas, which got erased. Yup. You read that shit right. We commiserate on the unfortunate event and move on to stellar stories these bandmates riff off each other. Jon, I'm sorry we didn't get to sit down again where I press RECORD and THEN LISTEN TO MAKE SURE ITS WORKING LIKE A PRO MIGHT. But I appreciate the time you took to tell me about getting lost running in Paris, how strange it is to have curly hair and what Lindsay, Ontario has to offer to the world, besides the Fitsells.
Sam Roberts is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter, whose 2001 debut release, The Inhuman Condition, became one of the bestselling independent releases in Quebec and Canadian music history.
Sam Roberts and I sat down. This interview was a year in the making. Like for me, not him. I suspect he has all kinds of better things to be doing but he sat down w/ me at Koi Festival in the Parking Lot ahead of his stellar performance. I'm keeping the notes to a minimum here because below is all about Sam:
Me first: Patreon Support the Show
Okay NOW Sam:
Davey & Bianca Morrison Dillard are the creative forces behind a new web series I have recently become obsessed with: Adam & Eve.
Davey stars in the show w/ Becca Morales as Adam and Eve, a new take on a biblical classic that even non-believers like me enjoy. The writing and directing are incredibly well crafted, which has not gone unnoticed. Among the independent film awards this group has garnered high accolades and its just the beginning. This kind of film making goes far beyond the subject matter, the character studies are subtly brilliant and the slow-burn we are all falling into these days w/ the Netflix binge genre (anyone for a 7.5 hour movie? YES, as it turns out) means shows like this will continue to be made and we are all the happier for it.
Thank you Davey and Bianca for the incredible interview, and for sharing some of what its takes to produce a show of this quality. I'm already a big fan.
Support direct HERE for Adam & Eve Web Series donations.
Vanessa, David, Paul and Pedro are Goodnight, Sunrise. A Toronto based band that sometimes dresses as Ninja Turtles and plays ONE HELL of an entertaining show. I sat down with David and Vanessa, whom I loved immediately, and we talk about a festival gone WRONG, all the dick jokes I've ever thought possible and what its like to save the day through sheer determination.
I heart these guys.
Paul was in the USA that day, Pedro was in Brazil where NO ONE feels bad for him at all.
Follow them on snapchat now: gnsrband and see me with them on a patio in downtown Toronto laughing the night away :)
I am a private person, you know this about me. Oh wait, you don't. Because I am a private person. haha.. but tonight I release an interview I did with my husband and partner in crime, Darryl. Please enjoy our inside jokes and non stop laughter, pretty much representative of our entire life together. He's an absolute doll and my greatest supporter. I hope you like this wee glimpse into my life, and a bit about what its like to support someone so fully obsessed with podcasting! Heehee...
Anita and Liv (Elivia) Cazzola from Guelph, Ontario, Canada are The Lifers and for the life of me I don't know its its possible I haven't seen them perform before this week! I caught up them riverside after their set the Boathouse in Kitchener/Waterloo (quickly becoming my top spot to catch indie bands on the rise and established acts playing to an intimate crowd, also the creme brulee here is incredible) and they told me about writing, Facebook, learning to perform and how to build an absolutely STELLAR ensemble.
Marlena has been a musician from the time she was a child in New York. Her career has seen her take on the likes of opening for Madonna to Studio 54, and everywhere in between. She's got a killer voice and has built one hell of a career outta this. Join me in listening to her incredible stories and get a taste for the places music comes from.
Jeremy and Brent of the Florida is Sinking Podcast join me to tell me about getting lost in the deep south and the brilliant, albeit not beautiful, rescue team who brought more heart than teeth to their aid :)