The Trews have taken Canada by storm and it was only a matter of time until they came to Australian shores to rock the socks off a kangaroo, if they wore them. Our Alice had a chat with lead singer Colin MacDonald and tried her hardest to get him to say ‘aboot’ (about) and ‘oat’ (out) as many times as possible.
You guys must like to travel, you’ve done 800-odd live shows…
Yeah we’ve been pretty busy over the last bunch of years. We’ve mainly had our career based out of Canada and we also toured a lot in the States, Europe and the UK.
And do you get to do much sightseeing while you’re on the road?
It’s usually pretty tedious. We usually play every night and we’re constantly on the go and things, but hopefully there’ll be a couple of days when we’re down in Australia that we can see some of the sights.
Do you have a favouite place in the world to travel when you’re not working?
Yeah I really like going to Cuba. I really like it down there.
You guys have supported acts like the Rolling Stones and Guns ‘N’ Roses. What’s that like?
It’s cool you know. It’s always awesome to rub shoulders with your heroes and people who have influenced you over the years. It’s really cool. We got to open for the Stones a few years back, they did like a secret show in a small venue in Toronto. We got picked as the opening act, it was really cool, we got to meet them and they really dug our band. I mean, what’s not to like about opening for the Stones?
Any crazy stories to share from those experiences?
Nothing too crazy. These guys are pretty well protected so we just went about our business. When we first opened for Guns ‘N’ Roses, the first night of the tour the actual road manager came up and said, “You’re not allowed to look at Axl. You’re not allowed to talk to Axl…” So we were really uptight and really worried but then after the show, my brother John-Angus was at a party and Axl showed up at the party just drinking champagne and hangin’. Sometimes the handlers are a
little more crazy than the actual guys.
Drinking champagne just doesn’t fit with Axl though…
Axl in his late 40s drinks champagne!
It’s quite the family affair going on in the band with your brother John-Angus and cousin Sean.
Yeah I think that’s why we’ve managed to stick it out so long. We’ve had quite a bit of success in Canada but elsewhere in the world it’s been a grind. Because we’re such a tight group it’s got us through some of the ups and downs over the years. We’re friends first and foremost.
Are you a self-taught musician?
Yeah I just watched bands on MTV when I was growing up, or what we have in Canada is called MuchMusic and you know we were a little cover band when we were young, playing around our home town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. We eventually decided we were going to make a go of it and moved to Ontario and the rest has been unfolding ever since.
The Trews are currently touring Australia and will be in Adelaide on Wed 13 Oct, Melbourne on Thurs 14 and Fri 15, plus Sydney on Sat 16 and Sun 17. Their albumFriends And Total Strangers is now in stores. See www.thetrewsmusic.com for details.