The Strumbellas Make Moncton Debut This Weekend

Boasting a sprawling six-member lineup, Toronto-via-Lindsay, Ont. band The Strumbellas have a lot on their plate.

It has been busy times in The Strumbellas camp as of late with the group having undertaken their first western Canadian tour earlier this year in support of their excellent debut record, My Father & The Hunter, released independently this past February.

Some might argue that The Strumbellas have saved the best for last, making their debut sojourn to Atlantic Canada in one of the best possible times of year — summer. In what will be their first show in Metro Moncton, The Strumbellas will be performing at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge on Sunday evening.

In fact, The Strumbellas’ Simon Ward was so excited to chat with the Times & Transcript in advance of the Moncton show, he called in while he’s on vacation. Is that not dedication, folks?

“No rest for the wicked, is there Simon?” we ask.

Ward laughs this off, stating that even being on vacation can’t quell his excitement at the group’s upcoming journey to Atlantic Canada.

“We formed approximately four years ago,” Ward starts. “I had placed a Craigslist ad in effort to find some band members. I saw upwards of 15 people stop by my place to test the waters, so to speak. Some people didn’t work out or left on their own accord. And in the end, I ended up calling up some old friends from my hometown of Lindsay and asking them to join.”

When discussing the finer points of folk-infused music, Canadian punk band Sum 41 wouldn’t necessarily be the first thing that you’d be likely to think of. It was actually The Strumbellas’ desire to make more than a mere folk record that got them to hire Sum 41 bassist Cone McCaslin to assume the role or producer for My Father & The Hunter.

“We wanted to set out to write and record songs that would comprise more than just a run of the mill folk record. I absolutely adore folk music but I think that we have some songs, hooks and melodies that are a little more radio-friendly than what some might consider folk music to be,” Ward says.

“Admittedly, Cone might not have been the first person people would think to call to produce a folk-ish kind of record but we really connected with Cone. We were on the same page with respect to so much.”

Asked what McCaslin brought to the making of My Father & The Hunter, Ward says that McCaslin was practically the glue that held the band together in the studio.

“His work ethic was something that was eye-opening to us. We had never been in a studio so we didn’t really have an appreciation for exactly what it entailed. With Cone behind the board, we had never seen someone work so hard. He took the loose ends and tied everything together for us. Getting drunk at 11 a.m. wasn’t an option,” Ward laughs.

 Article published in August 17, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript