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Interviews

OLD TOWNS – acoustic folk punk rock musician from Canada discusses touring

Edmonton’s OLD TOWNS are heading out on yet another western Canadian tour with fellow act SNAKE LEGS this October. This past year OLD TOWNS has been doing nothing but hitting the road hard and making a solid, permanent name for himself. His reputation and show attendance have been growing tremendously making OLD TOWNS a household name in the western Canadian bar and club scene. I am very pleased to invite you to attend Robbie’s October tour (see all the dates below), starting tonight in Hinton, Alberta, and offer you his thoughts on being on the road and his project in general.

Photo by Gaelan MC.

Hey Robbie! So, you’re hitting another Canadian tour this October. Who’s joining you this time and what are some of your thoughts before leaving for a string of these upcoming shows?

Hi! I often feel myself worn thin before a tour due to the booking, planning, practicing, and organizing that goes into it. That being said, I’m all the more excited to hit the road and reap the benefits when the time comes. I’ll be hitting the road with my hometown pals called Snake Legs. These guys are fresh on the scene with this project, and I’m looking forward to taking them with me to some of my favourite spots.

You’ve spent quite some time touring this year. What made it so good that made you decide to play more national gigs this year?

I’ve been actively touring for the last 6 years, whether it was with this current project or others. It’s a great way to hone my skill as I head out on a working-holiday and try to pay my rent. The experiences I have playing music on the road are unlike any I get anywhere else, so I’m always enticed to see what’s next.

Is there a backing band with you on the road?

These days I’ve been touring as a solo act. I try to link up and tour with another band as a packaged bill, and we usually end up learning each other’s songs anyway. Touring solo can be pretty versatile!

Have you met some interesting and inspiring artists while touring? Would you mind sharing some recommendations for our readers?

I find inspiration every day, and touring allows me to meet and play alongside so many great acts and artists that I wouldn’t normally have the chance to encounter. I’m overwhelmed when I think of the talent and inspiration that I’ve experienced, and I can’t possibly do it justice by naming a few. Please get out there and support your arts community, there’s something out there for everyone.

OLD TOWNS live

Photo by Sean Peacock.

When you compare your first steps in touring to the live work you do in 2015, has your approach changed? What did you learn from touring?

I used to hit the road thinking it would be our big break; like some investor would be at the under-attended show and give us a record deal. I quickly realized that’s not the case. Touring is a necessary part of being an active musician. I like to consider myself a “musician”, and not whatever label I would receive from my current job back home. Touring is my attempt to pay my rent by playing music, and essentially just make my living on the road.

What’s been the primary takeaway for you from developing OLD TOWNS in general?

Old Towns has been my focus and creative outlet throughout my early twenties. It has gotten me through some of the hardest times of my life, while providing some of the best experiences that I otherwise would not have had.

 OLD TOWNS Robbie

Photo by James Bak.

Was there a shift in your intentions over the past years in terms of what would make you a satisfied musician?

My opinion on this is constantly changing. As long as I am playing music, whether as a hobby or career, I will be content. I have specific goals and ambitions, but overall I just want to improve as a musician and continue performing throughout my life.

Are there plans to hit other countries sometimes soon? Do you travel with your work a lot?

The great thing about playing music is that it is versatile and you can do it anywhere. I’ve traveled overseas a bit before and played shows along the way, mostly being compensated with beer. I do want to plan an organized tour overseas soon, but in the meantime I’ll be hitting up some of my favourite Canadian cities.

Ok Robbie, apart from touring, what are you working on now?

I’m currently working on material for a new record, and figuring out how I want to approach it. I’ve been rehearsing with various lineups and trying out some new sounds. I’ve also been focusing on how I can contribute to the arts community in other ways than being an active musician.

Cool, thanks for the quick update and take care! Good luck on the road!

Cheers!

OLD TOWNS Facebook
OLD TOWNS Bandcamp
oldtownsband@gmail.com

OLD TOWNS

Oct 06 – Woodcutter Lounge – Hinton, AB
Oct 07 – Fernando’s Pub – Kelowna, BC
Oct 08 – The Railway Club – Vancouver, BC
Oct 09 – The Cambie – Victoria, BC
Oct 10 – The Cambie – Nanaimo, BC
Oct 11 – Duncan Showroom – Duncan, BC
Oct 13 – Zack’s Coffee – Kamloops, BC
Oct 14 – Byng Roadhouse – Cranbrook, BC
Oct 15 – The Nite Owl – Calgary, AB
Oct 17 – The Buckingham – Edmonton, AB

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