- Let's start with a basic question: how would you describe you music to someone who hasn't ever heard anything by you?
Can I answer by asking you a question?? Why does everyone ask this question?? OK... ok... all fun aside, the thing is, that describing "our sound", as artist's, tends to be rather difficult. "It's ROCK!!" But truthfully I think that Tourist has a multilayered, beautiful, melodic rock sound. We take our hard rock/metal roots, and lay that down... then we spread some hooky lead guitar and vocals and drop that over top, and THEN we hope that we like it as much at the end of the day as at the beginning. So far... it's working. But truly we are driven by our rhythm section, and I love them for that.
- What kind of a rock scene there is in Canada these days? Is there enough gigs for a band like you to make a living out of music?
There is a really good rock scene here in Canada, and there is some amazing talent that calls Canada home. Unfortunately it's such a big country with it's major cities so far apart it's difficult to make a full time living as an independent musician.
- Mike Fraser mixed your album. He's worked with many big names, so how come a band like yours signed to a small european indie label, gets him to mix your album?
Well, fortunately, Mike lives locally, so he does work out of Vancouver quite a lot. We were introduced to Mike by one of our former manager's a couple of years ago and have stayed in touch ever since. Mike loved the band and luckily we caught a break in his schedule along with an opening at Warehouse studio, some things are just meant to be. He is the most down to earth guy and a blast to hang out with. Mike has been very a supportive ally to the band and the Vancouver music scene as a whole. In fact he was instrumental in organizing the Vancouver Music Industry Golf Tournament, which was such a success it will be continuing annually!! We have gotten together with Mike in the time since he mixed the CD, and have recorded some new material with him taking on a production role. Schedule's permitting he will be doing the next Tourist album.
- I read that your song was used as the theme song of a Converse shoe.What did that actually mean? Was the song featured in a ad campaign or what? I suppose you got a few pairs of those sneakers for the band too...
Converse put together an online ad campaign to promote their new "retro" shoe, and one of our songs was chosen as the music to back the promotion, pretty cool being tied together with a great company like Converse. As for the shoe's, I think they got snatched by Canadian customs...
- You've shared the stage with some big names. Have you bumped into any oversized egos or have these stars treated you well?
It's funny how down to earth people have been, you are never sure what to expect. All the people we have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with have been fantastic on a personal and professional level. I think that respecting where you come from... it's important... so, maybe when a young band comes into the scene, it's a good reminder. And that it's all about a positive vibe.
- You haven't been really busy doing live shows this year if the gig calendar on your website is anything to go by. Now that the album is soon out, do you have tour plans already?
Well our website tour dates are not really up to date, however we are working with our label to plan a European tour for early 2007. Right now, we
are busy working on new material, so that we can be ready for the near future. Touring is what we live for, so BRING IT ON!!
- And speaking of the album being soon out... are you still looking for a label to release it in your home country and USA?
We have been looking for the right partnership with a North American label and are in discussions with a few different companies, but we have yet to reach an agreement with anyone yet. So for right now... our main focus will be working with the people that are supporting us...
- The album cover is... well, something quite different. Whose idea was it and would you care to enlighten us about it?
Our bassist, Mark, does graphic design on the side, so he did all the artwork for the CD.
Mark: I wanted to do something that was different, but that would tie well with the title of the CD. "The relevance of motion" came from a personal perception that we as people are overwhelmed with the need to be constantly working towards the achievement of goals, while failing to stop and appreciate what we already have. Hence the simplicity of the red rubber boots on green grass, a nod towards the purity of a childhood appreciation for the simple enjoyment of life's everyday experience without the worry of responsibility.
Blaine: Wow. And here I've had my own little story about this kid that we met, and the boots messed me up for days cuz I was tripping out on mushrooms. So we took a picture, because, if it left that much of an impression on me, then it must also be impressive to everyone else. I'll use Mark's "closer to the truth" story from now on. It's much better.
- When I listened to your album for the first time, I noticed that your vocalist Blaine Braun sounds a lot like Glass Tiger's Alan Frew. Any comments on that? You don't happen to do any GT songs as encores?
You are the first to make that comparison! As for doing any covers... we don't currently do any covers in our set but have been discussing it, so we'll take your comment into consideration. Actually maybe you could suggest a single?? Or have your readers suggest one... that might be fun too!!
- Last but not least: which are your 5 favourite Canadian Classic Rock albums?
Rush - 2112 (1976)
Interview by Kimmo Toivonen,