Our interview audio is now available on RadioZoom
We get into a variety of topics, including life on the road, their brief time in Vancouver, what itâ€™s like to tour with Electric six, and so on. The whole atmosphere is very laid back and unscripted. You get to hear the whole interview from beginning to end, with only minor editing to make all the segments flow together. Call it what you want, but this is podcasting. There are no rules. (FYI: some explicit language is used in this episode)
Click for Audio
I knew it wasnâ€™t going to be a regular night at the theatre from the minute we arrived 20 minutes early. We waited for the club to open, called the bandâ€™s manager and confirmed some details â€“ being informed that the first act, The Blue Van, were denied entry into Canada so Aberdeen Cityâ€™s set was bumped up. A guy in line behind us, here from Newfoundland, overheard our conversation and asked about the podcast, John promptly gave him a business card.
When the doors opened I realized that I had forgotten my license. Genius move. Once inside we were hassled a little about the recording equipment, found our names on the list and walked over to the merch table to talk to the bandâ€™s manager. Brad Parker, the bandâ€™s lead vocalist and bassist was sitting close by so we chit chatted a little then moved someplace quieter to talk, although for the sake of the podcast, we really didnâ€™t mind all the ambient noise the club had to offer at that point.
Richards on Richards is a lovely old venue, mind you thereâ€™s really no floor in the girlâ€™s bathroom and the whole place reeks of soggy wood â€“ but itâ€™s intimate with a wide open dance floor and standing-room balcony upstairs. The backstage area wasnâ€™t quite as impressive, but we didnâ€™t care. We walked down a short hallway, lined with shelving units that held big plastic cups and napkins, then into a room that the guys thought was reserved for Electric Six. I kinda thought so too. There were backpacks up on a counter, about 3 feet of wiggle room and about 20 feet of depth to this little â€˜green roomâ€™. Also on the counter was a mini fridge full of Heinekens, cranberry juice and water.
Ryan Heller, Chris McLaughlin and Rob â€œThe Swanâ€ McCaffrey soon met up with us in the snuggly tight quarters and we began our interview, although weâ€™d been rolling ever since I muttered the words â€œOh God John, I think I forgot my ID.â€
These guys were so great. The plan all along wasnâ€™t to be Rolling Stone; it was to be a blogger and a fan. One of my first questions was â€œWhy me?â€ to which they all replied, â€œBecause you asked.â€
We discussed the tour, favourite shows and cities, the bands theyâ€™re playing with, how they like Vancouver and why you canâ€™t really find any Sam Adams on the West Coast. There was then a discussion about where itâ€™s brewed. Near Concord somewhere? Or right in Bostonâ€¦ maybe in JP, hmm. There was a mellow energy in the room, we were all pretty stoked for the show but it was just like hanging out with some of your friends, having a beer and cracking some jokes. It was great to hear them talk about Boston and mention the two venues that I named on the last Radiozoom podcast â€“ The Middle East and TT the Bearâ€™s. Then some banter about Comm. Ave, Allston, Brighton, Cambridge, Central Square, it took me back.
Since their set was being bumped up we had to cut our time together after about 30-40 minutes, at which point I went to pull out the camera and snap some shots but hey, I had forgotten it. Another genius move.
Rob, who was beside me the whole time, was kind enough to pose with me for a pic using my camera phone, and I managed to snap a few more semi-decent shots as well. John handed out some cards, and will be helping Chris with some bit torrent issues in the near future. He’s turned into a real ‘geek assistant to the stars’. We thanked everyone and headed out front to enjoy the show, well, I tried to head out front but it took me a minute to figure out the â€œdoor handleâ€ was just a rope looped through a hole that I had to tug on.
Have I mentioned I love Richards on Richards?
Brad actually told us towards the end of the interview that he just heard it was being torn down to make room for more Yaletown condos. Iâ€™m going to investigate this a little further and probably make it the subject of another post.
Once we were back out front with the rest of the fans that had gathered, it felt unreal â€“ and I couldnâ€™t believe I forgot the camera. Aberdeen City took the stage around 9:30 pm and warmed up the crowd playing such hits as In Combat and God is Going to Get Sick of Me. We also heard Stay Still, Pretty Pet and Mercy. They even treated us to some new tunes for an album they’re currently writing. The fans were really receptive and the guys put on quite the spectacle. Chris had a tomtom on stage and at intervals during some of the songs he would bang on it along with Rob, the drummer who kept tempo in the back. Chris would also put his guitar strings against the wall or the railing of the balcony upstairs, which made for some amazingly funky tunes. Towards the end a cowbell and even a tambourine made an appearance as the boys thrashed about on stage â€“ the audience not realizing that 2 members of Electric Six had joined them up there for their noisy, clashy yet coordinated finale. At the end of it all we were crowded on the dance floor that was completely bare just 30 minutes prior. A guy that had bumped in front of me with his girlfriend turned to her and said, â€œWow, that was a GOOD show.â€ John and I agreed that it was awesome and the crowd was warm, ready for Electric Six while piles of them rushed to the back to inquire about this amazing act they just witnessed.
I had only heard one Electric Six song before, Gay Bar. I have to say – Iâ€™ll be trying my best to hear a lot more of them in the future. They obviously have a huge fan base in Vancouver and I can see why. They brought as much energy to the stage as Aberdeen City but elevated it for the hundreds of fans that were there to sing, dance and laugh along with the witty, snarky comments of the lead singer. At once point he talked about politics, saying, with a raised, pumping fist, that in Canada we have â€œHarper, who got to Ottawa riding the coat tails of Nickelback!â€ It was pretty damn funny. He also said, â€œOur drummer is from Victoria, BC. Heâ€™s the only one here whoâ€™s REALLY from British Columbia,â€ confused, the crowd boos a little, not sure what to think, to which he just replied, â€œthink about itâ€¦ think about itâ€¦.â€ He then giggled and continued to play.
Aberdeen City guys were over at the merch table, meeting and greeting new fans, signing albums and showing much support for ESix. After the show, members from both bands were out and about in the crowd, talking to people at the doors and having a great time, at least I hope so.
The night ended at about 12:30am, and as John and I walked home I had a fantastic idea for the podcast that will hopefully come to fruition. The creative juices were flowing.
It was such a good night. Not only was it a solid rock show with 2 great bands, but we were able to record and document our interaction with Aberdeen City, who are definitely up and coming stars. I mentioned to the manager that the next time theyâ€™re in town theyâ€™ll be playing the Commodore. Itâ€™s a step up in venue (holding about 1000 patrons) but these guys are totally going to get big. Theyâ€™re personable, witty, and so talented â€“ it made my first/virgin interviewing experience a very pleasant one.
The bands head back down to Seattle tonight, Electric Six said weâ€™re all welcome at the show â€œIâ€™ll put you on the list, Vancouver plus one!”. They have maybe one day off in the next little while as they head over to the mid west. The tour will wrap up by the end of November so hopefully theyâ€™ll have some time to relax and get off the road â€“ probably never wanting to spend time in a 12 passenger econoline ever again.
Audio from the pre-show and interview will be available today on Radiozoom, Iâ€™ll post an update here so you can follow that link and re-live our good times. My pics are up on Flickr now as well, Flickr set: Aberdeen City.
Thanks again to the guys in Aberdeen City for graciously letting us into their little world for a couple of hours, hopefully they’ll be back to Vancouver soon. We’ll have some sushi waiting.