Long Distance Runners return to Moncton

In the span of less than two years, St. John’s, Newfoundland band Long Distance Runners have released an EP, their debut full-length effort and have toured mainland Canada twice.

Not that the band — vocalist Chris Picco, guitarist Dicky Strickland, drummer Adam Cardwell and bassist Matt Hender — are ones to complain about the geographic disadvantage living in Newfoundland can pose when trying to kick start your music career.

If anything, Long Distance Runners are playing their cards artfully well, earning themselves a few East Coast Music Award nominations while being recognized as one of Newfoundland’s best up and coming acts.

Boasting a sound that combines aspects of The Beatles with some of the darkness of The Velvet Underground, Long Distance Runners will perform at Plan B Lounge, located at 212 St. George Street in Moncton, on Wednesday, April 25. The show starts at 9 p.m.

Speaking to the Times & Transcript from a restaurant in downtown Toronto, Picco and his band mates are settling down for a well-deserved rest. The group left Moncton on Monday, following the East Coast Music Awards and drove straight through to Kingston, Ont., a 14-hour haul, before completing their journey to Toronto on Tuesday.

What many might fail to appreciate is the fact that even before Long Distance Runners play one show outside of Newfoundland, they have a day and a half of driving ahead of them. These details don’t seem to faze Picco or his band mates though.

“Even though this tour is only the second time that the band has left Newfoundland to play, I have driven across the island, without the band, probably 30 to 40 times,” Picco begins.

Long Distance Runners played their first show in June 2010 and then headed into the studio a scant two months later to record the songs that would make up their debut EP, which was released in December 2010. The overall positive reaction to the group’s EP served as a fire of sorts, selling well enough to encourage the band to get back into the studio in January 2011 to record what would become the group’s full-length debut, Tracks.

“We ended up getting a lot more mileage out of the EP than we ever really expected we would,” Picco shares. “We had intended to release Tracks this past January but once we had found out that we received nominations for this year’s East Coast Music Awards, we decided to shelve the record until after the awards had passed so to avoid any potential confusion that we might have caused people having two releases so close together.”

Asked about the group’s experience during East Coast Music Week last week in Metro, Picco shares that overall, the week proved to be a worthwhile experience for the still young group.

“We ended up playing three showcases, all of which fell on Saturday night,” Picco laughs. “Our nerves were totally on edge but we ended up meeting some really great people and, I think, really helped spread the word about the band.

“We are still a new band in the bigger scheme of things so we really have to work to put our name out there and to be present at events like the ECMAs so that people make the connection between the band name and the people in the band. Being based out of Newfoundland can be somewhat isolating. We just can’t get up and go do a tour of the Maritimes every two months. It takes a lot more in the way of scheduling to take time off, etc. Not that we are going to complain about that though.”

 Article published in April 20, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript