An Acoustic Sin makes grand return

Almost a decade after originally going their separate ways, Moncton-based band An Acoustic Sin are reuniting for a show at Oxygen Nightclub on Sunday evening. Their show this coming weekend will mark the first time the quartet of Ronnie Leblanc, Steve Leblanc, Dan Dupuis and Richard Bourgeois has performed on stage together after having parted ways in 2002.

Show time on Sunday evening is set for 9:00 pm.

Acoustic Sin singer-guitarist Ron Leblanc says that there has been a few previous reunion opportunities that had been tabled over the course of the past five to six years but that all of the stars aligned to make the show happen this year.

“We had talked about reuniting in the past but there were just times when one or more of us were focusing on different music projects and the timing wouldn’t have been right,” Ron says.

It is not all that hard to believe, given the fact that Ron had pursued a solo career, releasing Jack Slap’s Magic Hat in 2007 while drummer Dupuis and Steve Leblanc teamed up to form Tracy Starr. But even as they performed apart for the bulk of the past decade, both Ron and Steve admit that people were not easily letting go of the Acoustic Sin name:

“Quite often when I would be playing shows, I would have people approach me and would ask me about An Acoustic Sin,” Steve says. “So I always knew that there was a fan base that still existed but what had perhaps surprised me the most was the fact that some of these people would have been ten years old when the band would have originally been together. It seemed like the people asking about the band were getting younger and younger.”

Although An Acoustic Sin’s split in 2002 was not entirely acrimonious, the group did not necessarily part ways on the best of terms either. Both Steve and Ron admit that external forces were partially responsible for the dissolution of the group but are confident that time has more-less helped heal any wounds that might have initially driven them apart:

“I believe that time has healed anything that might have been an issue back then,” Steve starts. “I’m over it and I’m sure that the other guys in the band are too. I think that as you get older, you live life and all that stuff that seemed like such a big deal at the time is just so minimal in retrospect.”

Ron continues his band mate’s thought saying, “I think that all of us have outgrown any animosity that would have remained from the time we split up. I knew that at any given time, we could sit down and pick up where we had left off with no hesitation. Even at rehearsal this past weekend, it was a very comfortable situation. We could look one another in the eyes; there was nothing in the way of lingering negativity between us.”

With three albums to their credit, 1996’s Erase The Sky, 1998’s Of Four Corners and a 2000 live record, Ron estimates the group sold upwards of 10,000 albums during their original heyday. Those robust record sales are arguably incredible for any independent band therefore it should not come as a surprise to anybody that tickets to the band’s upcoming show have been flying out the door since they went on sale at the end of October.

Although the bulk of the available advance tickets have been sold, Steve did reinforce that the band anticipates making approximately 300 tickets available at the door on Sunday evening. The tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

The response to the band’s upcoming show has been overwhelming to the group and has also helped provide them perspective on their past work:

“I don’t think that we really appreciated the impact that our music had on people at the time,” Steve says. “The fact people would come up to me when I would be playing solo shows and ask about An Acoustic Sin was puzzling in a pleasant but weird way,” he laughs.

“It is really cool though that people haven’t forgotten about us, even after almost ten years have passed. I think that when you play in a band and you eventually move onto other projects and other groups, the opportunity to revisit past work puts a lot of validation into the work we originally put into the band. ”

“It feels really good to know that we still have a fan base and that it has grown since we have been away,” Ron says. “Maybe that is what we needed, just to go away for a little while. I strongly believe that we have earned what we have now.”

“When you play music, you put so much of your life into that, making sacrifices and what not and sometimes you regret things and question whether what you were doing was the right thing. Looking back though, I don’t think that any of us would change a thing,” Steve says.

Asked what the future could hold for An Acoustic Sin once their Boxing Day show wraps up, both Steve and Ron admit that nothing is set in stone but are open to whatever possibilities happen to come their way:

“We have been rehearsing but haven’t necessarily had time to talk about making more music. We hope to release a DVD and CD of the show on the 26th but aside from that, nothing has necessarily been solidified. I bet that there is definitely more to come from us though,” Ron says.

In light of their reunion show garnering such publicity, Steve says that the band has received a few offers for additional shows. But with members of the band juggling their own respective careers both in and outside of music, the timing of future Acoustic Sin activity will hinge on how well their schedules jive in the future:

“There is nothing planned but I think it is safe to say that each of us are open to future activity with the band.”

Article published in December 24, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript