You can’t talk about Canadian music without The Trews being name dropped into the conversation. These Nova Scotia transplants have been making music for 10 years now, crossing our vast nation from coast to coast countless times and bringing their unique East Coast, heartfelt and incredibly fun sound to fans all over Canada. The band will be passing through my fair city of Toronto on December 11th and I can’t wait to get my dose of good old rock and roll!
I’ve personally been a Trews fan ever since the boys were crowned the 97.7 Hitz FM Rock Search winners years ago, proving not only their musical prowess, but the good taste of Ontarians, and particularly GTA music fans and industry moguls alike. And how could I not love a band that sings about the beauty of Canada, romantic fails and successes, and how great it is to drink with your friends? I mean seriously, “The Power of Positive Drinking” may as well be my theme song (it’s definitely a song that revs me up for a night out with my faves). The power and passion behind their latest, self titled album just reaffirmed my love and life long devotion to the band. So when the chance to chat with John Angus MacDonald of the Trews came to me, I jumped on it!
Take a read below to see what makes a band make great music, help other bands and last as long as the Trews have!
Aside from that distinctive East Coast feel, that heart, that passion and that happiness in your music is so quintessentially Canadian to me. That familiarity is always there even as a distinct evolution is still heard in your music. How do you stay true to that Trews sound while still evolving and changing as a band?
We don’t really try to maintain a cohesive sound when writing, we just write until we find something that turns us on. The fact that the sound remains consistent is a testament to the fact that it’s the same guys writing and recording it. And, as they say, you can take the boys out of the east coast but you can’t take the east coast out of the boys…
Your latest, and fifth album is your first self-titled one. What’s the significance, if any, of the title at this stage in your career? How is this album different than your previous work?
We couldn’t agree on a title! but we liked the pictures on the cover. We wanted to use it and all of our title ideas weren’t jiving with the cover idea. Plus not many bands do a self-titled record 10 years and 5 albums into a career, so we considered it a re-boot of sorts. A way to set ourselves up for the next 10 years.
As a band you’re creeping up on nearly 10 years of making amazing music, an incredible accomplishment. What advice can you provide to bands that are just starting out, who aspire to that kind of longevity?
We celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our debut album House of Ill Fame in August of 2013. Longevity comes down to commitment. As long as you remain committed to writing songs, putting on good shows and making good records you can overcome almost any obstacle.
Speaking of giving advice to fledgling artists, you’ve done an amazing job of advising and guiding some new artists to great success, the Glorious Sons and the Lazys just to name a few. First of all, thank you for investing your time in helping make music better. And second of all what is it that drives you to take these artist under your wing? I wish more artists would do that!
When I first saw the Glorious Sons I was blown away by them. The songwriting and vibe of their performance was unbelievable and undeniable and it blew me away. I approached them about doing some studio work and it all just sort of panned out. It’s easy to help out when you are passionate about a project. And it’s nice to pay it forward when the opportunity presents itself.
To wrap up, we called our magazine Addicted because we love to celebrate the positive addictions that can drive us to achieve great things and go after the things we love and can’t live without. If you (any or all members) had to pick a positive addiction, what would it be?
Music, surfing, golf and binge watching tv series (though I’m not sure how healthy this really is…)
Make sure to check out the Trews tomorrow, December 11th at Massey Hall, and get addicted!