The Trews just released their new album, Time Capsule, and are just hitting the road for an across Canada tour with stops in Kamloops, Penticton and Vancouver on the list. We caught up to singer Colin MacDonald to ask him some questions!
nightMair Creative: It’s been 2 years since we last spoke to you and a lot has happened since then! A new album, Time Capsule, and working on new material as well – what spurred the decision to tide over your fans with a release of old favorites and alternates/b-sides?
Colin MacDonald: The greatest hits album (Time Capsule) was a contractual thing that kind of snuck up on us. It’s interesting to look back at the catalogue; I think a lot of the material stands up. We wanted to keep it interesting for our fans and ourselves so we wrote new songs and included a rarities package entitled ‘The Vault’ which came as a digital download.
nMC: The Trews recently put a call out to fans for a Pledge campaign with Time Capsule. The band has used a Pledge campaign in the past with great success – did you find the response this time just as supportive?
CM: Yes! The pledge thing has worked very well for us. It’s a great opportunity to engage with the fans and make more music.
nMC: Looking back on the songs from when The Trews first started out (while choosing the songs for Time Capsule)do you feel that you’ve come a long way over the years, or do you feel pretty proud of what those songs were and still are?
CM: I’m proud of the work for the most part, even the older songs stand up well. We have always worked hard on the music.
nMC: Also, being a very humble group of guys, was there any feeling of it being ‘too soon’ in your careers to put out an album of favorites and ‘greatest hits’?
CM: Yes actually. We still feel we have a lot more to prove to ourselves and to the world.
nMC: The Trews are one of the hardest working bands out there but just in the last year or two, you guys have really stepped up your live shows to a new level. What do you attribute that to?
CM: Our new drummer Gavin has bettered the band live and in the studio. There’s more of a reckless abandon to our performances now. We’ve had a lot of really special nights with Gav behind the drum kit.
nMC: The band is heading out on tour – you’re going to most likely encounter a few shows at sit down theatres. What do you do to get people up on their feet and get people more involved?
CM: We just do our thing no matter what the venue. If we’re playing well then people get into it easily.
nMC: Are there any songs from Time Capsule that you are personally looking forward to performing the most? Was it easy or challenging to sing the older songs that might not have been performed live in quite some years?
CM: I really love the new songs. ‘Beautiful and Tragic’ is a pop juggernaut and ‘Chinese Kites’ (which was a challenge at first) have found a nice home in our set.
nMC: Does it get harder to tour these days, or is it easier due to experience? The band is also doing a few US dates – how are your audiences receiving you south of the border – is the US market just as tough to break into as it was 5 years ago?
CM: I’m always ready to play. I don’t change my lifestyle when I go on the road. I enjoy touring. We’re playing really great and getting along well. The States are still a challenge but I love touring in America. There are so many great cities, great people, great food and great music. I just hope to fuck they don’t elect Trump.
nMC: Is there anything you can tell us about the upcoming album? Working title perhaps? What are you being inspired by for the new material?
CM: We’ve demoed a bunch already and there’s a lot of good songs. It’s shaping up nicely. We’ll see where it goes in the New Year. We’re inspired by great music. Working title? Ummm jazz odyssey (laughs)
nMC: Colin you’re a great reader of books – what are you reading at the moment and are there any on your ‘next’ list? Also, what sort of music are you listening to at the moment?
CM: I finally finished Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I really enjoyed How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran. I’m listening to Sid Barrett era Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and Loudon Wainwright.
nMC: How does the band fill the long gaps in time while on the road? Are there any touristy type things in any cities that you haven’t seen yet that you hope to this time out? And as a singer, how do you deal with the varying types of weather (dry air, damp etc) and elevations in relation to your voice being in top form for each show?
CM: I try to get out to see the sights when I have the time. I keep an eye out for great restaurants in every town. Sleeping lots is paramount to vocal power and consistency.
nMC: As a vocalist are there any other artists or bands that you would love to work with (duets, collaborations etc)?
CM: I’d love to jam with Neil young in a barn in Antigonish County!
nMC: Where do you want to see yourself /the band in 5 years from now?
CM: Hopefully with a bunch of great material and still having a lot of success in music.
Thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us. Catch The Trews at CJ’s Nightclub Kamloops Nov 8, The Mule on Martin on Nov. 11, and The Commodore Nov. 12. For a full list of tour dates, head to The Trews website HERE.
Check out The Trews Beautiful and Tragic below:
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