Let’s started off with the four-year gap between albums (of original music). Did you just need a break?
With all the touring we’ve been doing in the last four years I wouldn’t say we’ve had much of a break. We have had members live all over the world at any given time and since there is not one sole song writer, it’s hard – and expensive – to get everyone together to collaborate.
What can you tell me about Westwinds?
The material is a bit of a departure from our last albums. We were trying to get more of a rock record together and I think we did. We hope the material goes over well with the old fans as well as winning us some new ones and broadening our audience.
Any lineup changes since Off The Leash?
Many. Little Joe has been replaced by Gwomper (from Avail) on bass duties. Sean Sellers has recently opted out for a gig back in his native land (the US) and is replaced by Jesse Pinner of DOA fame. Matt McNasty has been replaced by Gord Talyor who has been replaced by Aspy Luison who was temporarily replaced by Matt McNasty who was again replaced by Aspy Luison on bagpipes; Dave Gregg has also exited the band allowing room for Dirty Kurt Robertson to return. The saga still continues. Paul and myself are still here and committed and haven’t missed a show in 13 years.
You guys spend more time on the road than most of the folks I talk to. What are some of your better tour stories?
There are so many road moments they all sort of blend together, and it’s hard to tell one without incriminating someone in some way. So you’re just going to have to wait for the book. I just need a lawyer first…
Is it tough to have a normal life when you tour so much?
I’m lucky enough to have gotten what I wanted out of life. It’s not always easy and it’s not always fun, but itis what I asked for. I’ve seen the planet numerous times and partied my ass off in places I’d never had gotten to if it wasn’t for this band. A lot of my friends who have “normal lives” say they envy me, (and) that they are proud of what I’m doing. I just hope they feel that same way when I need to occupy their guest room for a few years.
Are there any places you refuse to play based on past experiences?
There are a few places I personally detest, but Im not going to say where. No, this band will play anywhere and everywhere.
Have you figured out yet what you are doing this summer?
Yes we will be doing – surprise! – more extensive touring, starting April 27 in Toronto supporting the Reverend Horton Heat, then we will continue across Canada until May 18th when we start the American part of the tour along with Civet. Then a three- week break and we’ll be back in Europe for the summer festivals.
What else is next for the band?
Wait until the dust settles from the summer tours and weigh out our options. At some point we need to fix our van.