If there is one thing thatVancouverrock band Yukon Blonde is well acquainted with, it is life on the road. Though the group had logged an impressive touring schedule prior to the release of their excellent 2010 self-titled record, the buzz from fans and industry alike kept them on the road throughout much of 2010 and 2011.
By his estimates, Yukon Blonde frontman Jeff Innes figures that the band player somewhere in the vicinity of 350 shows over the span of 2010 and 2011, visiting every nook and cranny inCanada, including numerous visits to Atlantic Canada. And though previous tour routes have not permitted the band to perform inMoncton,YukonBlonde are set to make their Metro debut with a highly-anticipated show at The Tide & Boar Gastropub on Tuesday evening. Tickets to the show are $10.
With a stunning new record, Tiger Talk, working its way into the public’s conscious, it is not altogether surprising that Yukon Blonde has returned to the road. Asked what role their seemingly non-stop touring schedule played in the direction of the pop-oriented Tiger Talk, Innes says that he never doubted that their heavy touring schedule would work its way into the group’s new songs in one manner or another.
“Touring is really all that we were doing in the time leading up to the making of Tiger Talk,” Innes says. “As a whole, the record was done in bits and pieces on my part. I wrote some of the record on the road but I find it is actually kind of tough to get much writing done when you tend to be on such a rigid schedule.”
As many musicians who have spent a significant amount of time touring can tell you, there is no better way to refine your group’s song writing skills and make you an all around better band than spending time playing night after night. At an early point in their career, Innes says the band routinely played sprawling seven to eight minute long songs but says they quickly came to realize the value of the two and a half minute pop song when it came to performing.
“When we started the band, we were an absolute mess playing these eight minute long songs,” he laughs. “And if there is one thing that playing a lot of shows will do, it makes you realize that if you’ve got a 20 minute showcase at an international music festival, you can only play two of your eight minute songs as opposed to playing six or seven two and a half minute songs.”
Aside from being a brand new record, Tiger Talk marks a new beginning of sorts for Yukon Blonde as well, with the band releasing the record via influential Canadian label Dine Alone after having released their prior efforts via the Bumstead label. Innes says a big factor in what attracted the band to Dine Alone was not necessarily the success afforded to other acts on the label including City and Colour. He says that it was the employees running the company that won them over.
“When it came time to discuss options to release this record, we were very fortunate in that we had a number of options available to us,” he says. “And while we were in the process of weighing those decisions, our band manager told us that he felt as though Dine Alone were a serious force to contend with in the business and are amazing at what they do. Then when we met them, we could tell that everyone that works there is completely genuine and are true music fans. To them, it is not so much about money as it is spreading good music far and wide. That really matters to us as a band.”
Article published in March 30, 2012 edition of The Times & Transcript