How was the Calgary show? (They played Calgary this past Friday at Republik)
"Calgary was insane. People were revved up to hear good music and have a good time. That energy is good fuel for on stage. Everyone can crowd around the stage and you feel trapped." That's apparently a good thing.
Do you guys find a lot of inspiration when you're touring? Do you write a lot of music on the road?
"We're pretty go go go on the road and the way we write isn't conducive to touring. We don't sit with an acoustic guitar and strum out a song."
How does it comes together? Did you guys anticipate your band's current sound?
"While we wrote this record it took a few years to figure out what we would sound like. We probably wrote 100 songs and we'd write a batch and keep it if it sounded like something we'd get excited about. We were really excited about the interplay between acoustic and digital; that was something we latched onto early." Vocals, keyboards, sounds with lots of harmonies and octave vocals with three stacks of octaves were examples of things they would incorporate. "In terms of how we construct a song it's a lot of recording while writing; the writing process is heavily contingent on recording ideas. After 100 layers you start to peel away certain pieces and everything will find its place."
What are your musical backgrounds?
"We were all in other bands before this band so we had a chance to figure out what we liked to play and what got us excited. We skipped the growing pains because of the experiences we had before Royal Canoe."
What do you guys get pumped for now?
"Playing shows, and when people are into it is an amazing feeling. It's that high that gets you through sitting in a van for 12 hours. Getting that boost makes it all feel worth it. When we’re writing and working on new music something that's really exciting is discovering a new sound. We’re constantly trying to mess with new pieces of gear or new styles of playing our instruments. When you find something that you’ve never heard before, it's a pretty big rush. You're working on a drum groove and you move a snare drum ½ beat back and it’s the grooviest thing in the world, then you’re laughing at how great it feels. Its an awesome rush."
Any pre-show rituals
"Last show we shot-gunned a beer in the bathroom before the show." Well I'd say that's a standard and highly approved show move.
If you had a spirit animal what would your spirit animal be?
"The bunny from Donnie Darko. It appeals to our dark side." If you watch their video for 'Nightcrawlin' I think you might start to see the Donnie Darko side of these boys. Creepy yet I'm aroused...
Weirdest things about your band?
"I like to awkwardly touch people in the band when I offend them, or to ease the tension. I will lightly brush their arm in an awkward manner to make them feel uncomfortable. That’s my way of repenting. Brendan Berg has an alter ego that came to life in Saskatchewan. His name is Brant and he wears a trucking hat. He's a real down to earth farm boy who likes to drink Domestics."
Any creepy fan stories?
Bucky has definitely been asked for a moustache ride or two, and he's reinforced how sacred a moustache is. You can't just offer that shit up to anyone. I concur Bucky. A good moustache is a pretty special thing.
Would you rather have a vagina on your forehead or a row of penis' down your back like a stegosaurs?
"Hmmm. I think the row of penis' down the back because then I could at least cover it up, but the other option might have it's advantages..."
What is your fondest music memory?
"When I turned 18 and my dad knew I was trying to go down this music path; I listening to lots of his records growing up, but I hadn’t dove into his era of music. He said if you’re going to be in a band you need to hear some things, so he bought a 6 pack of beer and we watched the Woodstock DVD documentary about the bands last show. So it was this musical bonding moment with my father. It felt like I was in the nest and he was pushing me out, but he was saying before you go here is one last piece of advice from your father." Well I would say that is a very touching musical memory. Way better than mine, which usually end up with me drinking too much and throwing up somewhere unwarranted.
Watching Royal Canoe perform was like seeing a ocean family interact around a coral reef. The intricate details of sound production and instrumental quirks were mind blowing. They are one of those bands that you fall in love with the minute you see them live. Their recorded tracks are no comparison to their wondrous ways on stage.
I'd like to end off with a would you rather from Royal Canoe themselves. Would you rather have pubes for teeth or teeth for pubes? I thought I'd heard my fair share of gross would you rathers, but this one is really up there. You win this one Donnie Darko. Till next time.
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