Tag Archives: Aaron Riches

Ep. #103: Culture Reject

Culture Reject is the moniker of Michael O’Connell, a talented singer, songwriter, and musician who calls Toronto home. After years in the Guelph band Black Cabbage, O’Connell eventually went solo and has released two full-length albums as Culture Reject, including last year’s Forces. He and his band are playing the Hillside Festival in Guelph this July 25-27 and a while ago, he invited me to his home for breakfast where we talked about Guelph, Black Cabbage, and the Neutron Stars, sitting down when you pee, rice and peas and coconut milk and spices and hard-boiled eggs and peaches, tropical music, how to reggae it up, Cuba, white guys with guitars, how Black Cabbage happened and compromising, Nick Craine, touring Canada by bus with an ambitious Aaron Riches, tinkering with Culture Reject’s first record, how the new record Forces was made at 6 Nassau St., Tristan O’Malley’s transient, permanently on-loan synthesizer that is never coming home, the mystery lodge, how Forces reflects Toronto, people need to talk to people, misusing “the theme,” communication and modern parenting, the written word is the written word, maybe texting is good for us, maybe phones are bad for us, White Whale Records, the importance of playing great shows, sketch.ca, the song “Quicksand,” and no mas.

Related links: culturereject.bandcamp.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #100: Andrew Nathan Hood Interviews Me about Jim Guthrie

Andrew Nathan Hood is a published author who lives in Guelph. He wanted to interview me because he’s working on a book about Jim Guthrie for Invisible Publishing’s Bibliophonic series and so I said “sure.” For this 100th episode of the show, I present Andrew prying into my life by asking me about why we’re doing this, the band Captain Co-Pilot that I was in with Dallas Wehrle and Steve Lambke before they formed Constantines, people I used to make music with in Cambridge, Ontario, how I got into drumming via road trips in my parents’ car, lying to my parents about owning drums, lying about Superchunk and Tom Robbins, rear-ending my high school principal, storing illegal drums, Steve’s mom likes my drumming, playing the Albion Hotel in 1996, playing music with Jim, seeing Bluetip at 10 Ontario Street, merging hardcore and indie-rock scenes, punk rock, my tiny ex-girlfriend who caught Jim’s eye, the Hubble Bunk and Coby Dowdell, Holocron, Dioctave, Venus Cures All, Plumtree and community, recording a Captain Co-Pilot album with Jim and James Ogilvie, enjoying the Beatles, Justin Stayshyn, Stephen Evans, it got louder, the song “Where Have All The Heroes Gone?” and Jim’s notes on it, 517 the man, Jim might’ve been high, Steve McCuen and speech impediments, the gift of gab and generous humanity, Tim Kingsbury and nice, cool people in Guelph, the beginning of Three Gut Records, Gentleman Reg and his red minivan, Aaron Riches and Royal City and Leslie Feist, Aaron setting up Fugazi shows in Guelph and propelling people like Jim to do stuff, King Cobb Steelie and moving to Toronto, Lisa Moran and Tyler Clark Burke, my road managing Royal City’s first U.S. tour which lasted three weeks, Nick Craine, Feist being in Royal City, when crossing the border was easy, Nathan Lawr, it’s business and it’s personal, when Royal City stopped, the power of Constantines, seeing The Late Show with David Letterman and wearing coveralls for work like Steve Albini, the Constantines song “Nighttime/Anytime (It’s Alright)” and Jim’s notes on it, disbelief about things in The Believer, Andrew’s bare bum, why Jim is influential, Stuart Berman’s This Book is Broken, when Kurt Cobain died and live music venues went disco in the 90s, Arcade Fire, why people like Jim and his music, the fact that Jim wrote the “Hands in my Pocket” ad jingle, McDonald’s, Jim’s genius as a pop songwriter, Jim’s award-winning and lucrative work as a composer of video game soundtracks, Jim knows stuff, Jim O’Rourke, Stewart Gunn and Beethoven, Jim’s open-minded curiosity, making money by doing the thing you love and employing your skillset, the Jesus Lizard and American Express, Invisible Publishing’s Bibliophonic series, Tom Clancy books, why are we doing this again?, Jim gets surprised because he’s modest, Jim’s Juno nomination and our 2004 trip to Winnipeg, Canada has a small music scene, championing, Jim’s terrible car accident, the song “Before and After” and good lord, it’s done.

Related links: andrew-n-hood.blogspot.ca jimguthrie.org vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #87: Bry Webb

Bry Webb is one of Canada’s most distinctive singers, songwriters, and musicians. Based in Guelph, Webb emerged from London, Ontario’s post-hardcore punk scene, fronting an excellent band called Shoulder. In the late 1990s, he co-founded a Guelph-based band called Constantines who had a profound impact on rock music during their 10-year run. In 2011, Webb released Provider, his first solo album and did his best to tour the world behind it as a new father with a day job. On May 20, the Toronto label Idée Fixe will release Webb’s new album. It’s called Free Will, and he’ll be touring behind it a lot this spring and summer, including a hometown show, opening for Destroyer at Kazoo! Fest on Friday April 11. Here, Bry and I discuss what CFRU is all about, what the music community in London Ontario was like when Bry lived there, shy Bry and how punk and skating brought him out of his shell, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet’s Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham, the practicality of parents, how having kids can alter how one values their own life, what drew him to guitar, AC/DC and the Cure, when MuchMusic was awesome for kids, Skeletons of Society (S.O.S.), getting to play guitar at recess, the post-hardcore band Shoulder and their album Touch, my band Captain Co-Pilot and its connection to Shoulder and the early days of Constantines, 519 hardcore, Call the Office, and the Button Factory, Guelph’s music scene and The Goods CD compilation, Aaron Riches and a key Minnow show featuring Blake, Chili, and Shoulder that foreshadowed Three Gut Records, the Cons’ early reverence for legendary rock figures and how it might have pigeonholed them, that time Constantines broke up on the radio, the lead-up and motivation that brought Bry back to make Provider, how Free Will follows a thread from Provider but also explores more complex emotions, the naming of the record and its connection to the Cons’ Will Kidman, why Constantines are playing shows together again and details about the Shine a Light reissue and shows they’re playing this summer, some of Bry’s solo shows, the brand new song “Positive People” and then it’s over.

Related links: brywebb.com ideefixerecords.com kazookazoo.ca vishkhanna.com

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