The Trews Interview with John-Angus MacDonald.
Q: What’s new in the world of The Trews?
A: We are currently in the middle of another acoustic tour. We’re also writing new songs for our next release, whatever and whenever that may be.
Q: Where did the idea come from to re-master your 2009 live acoustic album Friends & Total Strangers?
A: We don’t normally like to go out on the road without offering our fans a little something new and the timing of this acoustic tour was a bit awkward for getting a new album done so we went over the old sessions and found that 4 songs from the original FATS session had never been released. We decided to reissue that album with those 4 previously unreleased tracks and to issue it on vinyl for the first time – something our fans have been asking us to do for a long time.
Q: How far is the band bringing The Trews 2016 Acoustic Tour?
A: We are doing 2 weeks in Alberta and Saskatchewan and two weeks in Ontario so it’s not a full across Canada tour.
Q: Playing acoustic style live should be a different experience for the band. What are your thoughts on this?
A: It is different. For starters we sit down on stools, which totally changes the dynamic. We also have no volume or production to hide behind. It’s the most raw and honest versions of the songs you’re ever going to hear. Colin also puts a lot more emphasis on story telling and connecting with the audience then he does when we’re playing, say, a festival …
Q: To be in the Gold-selling level in Canada must be a great feeling certainly in this day of age. Would you ever have thought the band would reach this success?
A: Success gets redefined with every milestone that is accomplished. When we first started we just wanted to fill a party up with our friends and play for them – that was success, then we wanted to fill up a bar or concert venue. In those days I didn’t know what it meant to be played on the radio or get a gold album or get an award. It seemed very far removed but, in the case of our band, we’ve always achieved these things in stages and at a pace that seemed to make sense.
Q: Do you see a biography being written someday about the experiences you acquired or will acquire in your life?
A: I think I could write a pretty interesting book about some of the experiences I’ve had on the road. It’s an interesting lens to look at the world through. I’m not sure anyone would read it but it would be interesting if you did!
Q: When writing songs, is there a certain instrument you prefer for the creative process? Have you always used the same method?
A: No. I think shaking it up is key. In fact, I’ve made a point of collecting as many different types of instruments as possible on my travels because it always leads me to write something new on it. For instance, 3 songs from our last album The Trews grew out of riffs that I wrote on a ukulele that I bought in Hawaii when I was visiting there. I wouldn’t have written those riffs on my acoustic guitar at home. There’s something about fiddling around on a new instrument that you don’t quite understand that leads to creativity.
Q: Any words of wisdom to share with aspiring artists?
A: Be true to who you are. Don’t follow trends because by the time you get around to doing it the trend has already past. If you do what’s honest to you you will find likeminded people who will want to hear it.
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