With two albums in the past three years and an upcoming tour that will keep them away from their St. John’s home until early July, ska/skank group The Idlers are bringing their politically-charged songs to the Maritimes.
Formed in 2006, the group has struck out from Newfoundland no less than a dozen times. Although this might not initially strike you as impressive, take into consideration that it’s almost a 12-hour drive across Newfoundland alone – all before they play a single note for audiences in the Maritimes.
Luckily, the band didn’t have to travel far to take part in the country’s most recent Juno Awards ceremony, held in the Newfoundland capital city in mid-April. The Idlers played four shows over the course of the Juno weekend, an experience which Harnett says had its pros and cons.
“The good news was there were a lot of people out to the shows. But it was kind of a bad time to be a musician in the city,” he says. “There were so many opportunities where we wanted to catch a band in another venue but weren’t able to do so due to our own set times and the long line-ups that were outside each venue. So be it.”
In regards to their extensive upcoming national tour, Harnett isn’t fazed by the distances that the band is about to travel.
“We have close to 40 dates booked for this tour so far,” Harnett tells me from his St. John’s home.
When I remark to Harnett that the group is fortunate to be able to leave potential jobs and loved ones behind for such an extended period of time, he acknowledges that the band is rather fortunate in that respect.
“A couple of our band members are students, another couple are substitute teachers so of course they have the summer off,” he laughs. “But everyone else has great positions with very understanding bosses who let us come and go as needed.”
The band’s upcoming tour will feature material from each of their studio records and will also see the group road-testing a slew of new material on their audiences.
“Once this tour is wrapped up, we will most likely focus on making a new record. I suspect we will be tweaking a lot of these songs as we tour and will most likely put down some solid demos this summer and then start making the record in the fall.”
The Idlers with special guest Mike Bochoff will be performing at the Capital Complex, 362 Queen St, Fredericton on Saturday May 15. Tickets to the show are $5, available at the door.