Halifax rocker Matt Mays will be on stage in Fredericton this coming weekend as a part of the FredRock festival. Mays is performing alongside The Black Crowes and The Respectables and others on Saturday June 20 at the Capital Exhibit Centre and Raceway.
The band’s most recent record Terminal Romance hit stores last July and in typical Matt Mays fashion, he and his backing group have toured Canada relentlessly.
According to Mays, the group has been building their following in the US as well.
“The Northeast US is particularly good to us. We do well in centers like New York and Philadelphia but for Terminal Romance, we haven’t done too much in the way of touring the US to date,” he says. “Terminal Romance was released in the States last winter and given the fact that it’s not really the most ideal time to tour, we did tour there a little bit but decided to give touring a bit of a break.”
It was on this short American tour that their touring festivities ground to an abrupt halt when a death in one of the band member’s families caused them to retreat home to the Maritimes for some downtime. But according to Mays, the unfortunate circumstances actually proved to be a blessing of sorts, even in such negative circumstances.
“We had a quick meeting to determine where to go from there and I had decided it was probably best for us to take a break. And in retrospect, it was the best thing that we could have done,” Mays says confidently.
“I can’t quite pinpoint the reason why but I just had a gut feeling that we should end that tour then and there. The time off gave us time to reassess what everyone in the band does which is valuable. We’re all such good friends in the band; I just want everyone to be happy with their role.”
Mays speaks highly of those he plays and has played with but understands the lure of the road can become less appealing, especially as some band finds new responsibilities entering their lives:
Long-time Mays drummer Tim Jim Baker stepped away from the band just prior to the end of 2008 to spend more quality time with his child (and has another child on the way soon, Mays said). Another band member just simply wanted to get off the road.
These are the trials and tribulations a musician gets to deal with. It’s not all bad news though:
The vacancies left behind by the departing band members have allowed a couple of Mays cohorts from his days with The Guthries to step up and fill those positions, something Mays is thrilled about. But with only a scattering of dates between now and the end of the summer, what can fans expect from Mays and company in the fall and beyond?
“I’ve been working on a really great set list for these upcoming shows we’ve got scheduled,” he confirms. “I’m also constantly working on new songs.”
“I fully expect we will attack the US some more come the fall. I’d love to have another record out fairly soon but at the same token, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I feel that Terminal Romance has some life left in it still.”
Matt Mays is appearing on Saturday June 20 at the Fredrock Festival as one of the opening acts for The Black Crowes. Complete show and festival details are available at www.fredrockfestival.com.