There is a long history of bands and artists that just can’t quite handle the rigours of touring. Whether it is being in such close quarters with three or four others nearly 24 hours a day, where the way that someone chews their food suddenly becomes a big thing, being on the road can be a delicate balancing act to maintain band harmony.
And while the legends of groups where each member travels on their own tour buses are plentiful, neither Canadian singer-songwriter Northcote (nee Matt Goud) or American Dave Hause are resorting to such extreme measures for their upcoming 17-date tour of Canada.
Performing at Moncton’s Plan b Lounge, located at 212 St. George St. next Tuesday night, Goud recalls the unlikely first tour that the musicians embarked upon together.
“In 2009, I had recorded a bunch of songs that would end up becoming my first EP, right when I had started performing under the Northcote name,” Goud says from his Ottawa home last week. “I had played some regional shows through the Prairies and was set to undertake my first Canadian tour when the agent I was working with recommended that I do the tour with Dave, who was a friend of his.
“I drove from Regina to Toronto, picked Dave up in a two-door car and we set off on tour together, never having previously met. We were brought together through nothing more other than trusting our mutual friend.”
Of course, no tour would be complete without having some music to promote. Fortunately for both Dave and Matt, each has relatively new records to bring to audiences across our fair land.
Matt’s latest record, a self-titled effort, was release last year on Black Box Recordings in Canada. The album is the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut Gather No Dust (2011).
Produced by Colin Stewart (Yukon Blonde, Dan Mangan), Matt cut the record in a relatively quick 15 days in Vancouver.
“Colin had come highly recommended from others. It was the kind of recording session that felt good from the very first moment,” Matt continues. “Colin helped create a very relaxed atmosphere however he definitely pushed me in terms of the quality of the takes we were getting. But at the same token, anytime that I was letting doubt about something specific creep into the conversation, Colin always insisted on following what I was feeling and not to be shy about it. My confidence level definitely grew as the result of the making this record.
“With this latest record, I embraced more in the way of production behind the songs. The album has more of a groove compared to the stripped down, acoustic nature of my debut. Broadening those horizons was definitely something that stemmed from the touring experiences behind my debut.”
While Matt and Dave’s tour of Canada will see them going from the East Coast through to British Columbia, it is only the first portion of nine weeks together that will extended through early April.
The tour will afford Matt his first opportunity to play south of the border, with more than three dozen shows scheduled over the coming months.
On the flip side of that coin however, Matt’s tour mate Dave Hause is no stranger to touring the United States. A former member of the acclaimed punk band The Loved Ones, Dave is now two records deep into his solo career, something that arose almost by accident.
“There was definitely some hesitation with regards to striking out on my own,” Dave says. “I never really considered myself a folk or acoustic kind of artist but just wanted to experiment in this new realm and then go back to the band. While it was initially a little difficult, I found out it was really empowering and exciting to have people catching onto my solo debut Resolutions.”
Dave says that the 12 songs that comprise Devour, his sophomore record released last fall, were initially brought to The Loved Ones for consideration. But after realizing that the group were no longer on the same page with respect to the promotion of another record, Dave decided to make Devour his second solo effort.
“I am generally not good at ending things,” Dave says, referring to bringing The Loved Ones to a close. “There was no resentment on the part of the other guys in the band at all, however. It was a bit of a painful experience for all concerned at first but then the guys in the band were really excited to see me moving forward and me see them moving on with their lives as well.”
Thus far, Dave has taken to being a full-time solo artist in stride. Admitting that he is fortunate to have made a name for himself with The Loved Ones before striking out on his own, he is fully committed to putting in the time and effort to make his solo career work.
‘With my first solo album, I very much looked at it as a vanity project but with Devour suddenly I was making a record for people that were paying attention,” Dave laughs.
“Thankfully in 2014 though, there is a blueprint of sorts that affords artists like me the dignity of having a career in music. Guys like Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen might have made what some might consider being mistakes along the way but they have made far more great records that people talk about. I think as long as you keep a commitment to quality and keep working hard, your next record should always be the best record you’ve made.”
What: Northcote and Dave Hause
When: Tuesday Jan. 28, 9:00 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton