Canadian Rock phenoms The Trews are blazing a path across North America promoting their new album ‘No Time For Later’ which already has 3 hit singles being played on almost every radio station you can find on your dial.
Juno award winning The Trews consists of members Colin MacDonald (vocals, guitar), John Angus MacDonald (guitar, vocals), Jack Syperek (bass, vocals) and Sean Dalton (drums, vocals) – together this group of amazing musicians can play their songs to perfection performing live. I had the honor of being a guest at their show in Calgary this past few months and I was honestly blown away by how technically correct they are during each and every song they played – it was one big Rock & Roll party!
Colin took some time away from his hectic tour schedule to talk with me about the new album, the band, the songs and of course the tour.
TFL: Hi Colin, good to hear from you! I was actually just listening to your CD again – I love it!
CM: AW – thanks alot!
TFL: It’s nice to see a Canadian act come out with such a strong album, I know it’s not your first – but it’s definitely your best in my opinion.
TFL: You know I saw the cover and I was like “huh…well that’s nothing like the last one!” (laughing)
CM: (laughing) Well you can thank Jack Syperek for that, he’s our bass player, he’s an artist and we put him in charge of designing the cover. He and his wife took a picture they had taken in Cuba of a line dancer and she has assless pants on or what ever you would call them (chuckling) and they inverted the picture and it made quite a stunning cover for the album it definitely jumps off the shelves when you are staring at the Cds line up at HMV or what ever.
TFL: I tell you that is something you have not seen on a Canadian album released yet!
CM: Yeah I know, and we’ve gotten a bit of flack for it because we’re not like sexist or anything and I hate to think that people think that we’re sexist over that cover.
TFL: Everyone who works for this magazine is female – and not one of us took offense to the cover Colin. It’s not even provocative really – think about the last hip-hop video you watched…this cover is harmless if you REALLY think about it.
CM: (chuckling) exactly!
TFL: It’s artistic and I think you have done a fabulous job with the cover – it’s artistic and very unique – kudos to you guys!
CM: Well I appreciate that! I’m glad that an all female magazine did not take any offense to it.
TFL: You’re getting lots and lost of airplay with the track ‘Paranoid Freak’.
CM: Well it’s been out for awhile now in Canada. This is going to be the first single in the US as well & we’re looking forward to that!
TFL: Well the season is coming, I know that Winter here is always kind of quiet. In Calgary it was insane here last summer for concerts.
CM: Last year, yeah Calgary had a lot of good shows last year. Calgary is a great place to play man, like over the last few years – especially for a lot of Canadian bands – there is a lot of young people out there working & making money spending disposable income on Rock & Roll shows. We’ve always had good shows in Calgary – we’ve done everything from the Stampede to the star shows you know.
TFL: Absolutely – Calgary RAWKS!
TFL: Looking at the lyrics Colin – you guys really wear your hearts on your sleeves don’t you.
CM: Yeah – it’s the only way to do it. You don’t get many chances at it so you have to put it all out there. I like to think that people relate to it more if you are being 100% honest, I never try to be too clever with things and keep it simple and direct & hopefully that will translate you know – I think that works well for us being an honest band.
TFL: Well it does, and I think that’s why you see a lot of the legendary bands that are still around touring or doing world tours do so well because they’ve done that their entire career as well. It’s not a fad, it’s just who they are and they stick to it.
CM: Yup and people appreciate it. Not everybody is always going to like it, but I mean the people who do like it, will love it.
TFL: I think you’ll do fine in the US Colin, really – you’re a very talented group.
CM: Oh thanks a lot!
TFL: You’re from Eastern Canada aren’t you?
CM: Yeah I’m from Nova Scotia.
TFL: It comes through really strong on ‘I Can’t Stop Laughing’ (chuckling)
CM: (chuckling) Yeah – that’s our current single actually. Yeah definitely – we come by it rightly! It’s like where all of the Celtic music comes from in Canada. That song actually, there is a great great song writer from Newfoundland named Ron Hines and we’ve been buddies with him for a few years now. I met him in a bar in Newfoundland a couple years back and he told me that he wanted me to write him a song called “I can’t stop laughing I’m not even happy” so that’s where the song came from.
TFL: You guys – almost every song has a very catchy chorus and cool riffs. Your tunes! The way you guys write it makes so easy as a music listener to learn the song but it’s also complex on the opposite end of the spectrum. If you break down the songs musically, it’s like ‘oooooh that was tricky’.
CM: Yeah! We try and spend as much time as we can on the craft of writing & we try and make it as interesting as possible for us you know but at the same time we like it to be accessible and catchy & something you can hear on the radio.
TFL: ‘Paranoid Freak’ can grab a couple of different genres – that’s what I like about it. It’s like a multi-genre song. You could hear it on a CJAY 92 or you could also hear it on an….
CM: Alternative Rock station.
TFL: Exactly! Someone that’s not playing AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Priest or anything like that. But the fact that you’re being played on a radio station that DOES play Disturbed, Iron Maiden then you hear The Trews and it just makes me smile. For one – you’re Canadian and ya gotta support your own but that’s how strong the song is.
CM: That’s really cool & that’s really flattering and we like to be…I consider The Trews to be a band with a cross-generation and maybe even cross-format kind of appeal. I think a lot of different age groups latch on to different parts of this band & people with different tastes in music can latch on to different parts. It can work 2 ways – it can be great and really broaden your fan base but it can also be one of those things where people will only like one song off the record (laughing). It’s a delicate balance & we try to walk that fine line.
TFL: Have you had your ‘Rockstar’ moment yet?
CM: My ‘Rockstar’ moment? No not really. We opened for The Rolling Stones a few years back – that was pretty Rock & Roll! We opened for Robert Plant on a tour, we actually played the Saddledome with him in Calgary – that was pretty Rock & Roll.
Pretty Rock & Roll indeed! Walking that fine line & performing with absolute energy each and every show; let me be the first to assure you that if you have yet to see The Trews perform live…it’s worth the trip! Few bands can produce a flawless show the way The Trews do – what you hear on the album – is what you will hear on stage. The Trews smothers their fans with energy & pure passion for their music.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing The Trews perform more than once this year – in fact they have come through Calgary 3 times in less than 8 months – and blew me away each and every time! The Trews truly do kick ass!
Thanks Colin for taking the time to speak with me & special thanks to Chip & Jennifer for arranging this interview. Horns Up!