Having been dubbed Canada’s ‘hardest working band’, The Trews are gearing up for a sumptuous acoustic set at the Memorial Centre on Feb. 14th.
The guys will be showcasing their ‘quieter’ side with ‘The Trews 2016 Acoustic Tour’. To coincide with these dates, the band has remastered their 2009 live acoustic CD Friends & Total Strangers to include four previously unreleased tracks.
In addition, World Vision Artist Collective will participate by helping to bring recognition to the Wamama Simama Project – a World Vision campaign focused on garnering awareness to women’s and girls’ rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fans will have the opportunity to connect with World Vision on The Trews tour and learn more about sponsoring a child.
The guys are thrilled to be teaming up with World Vision explained lead vocalist Colin MacDonald during an interview from Boston. “It’s a great way to spread the word,” he said. As for the tour, he said years back the band decided to do the sets of acoustic dates as a regular kind of thing – generally at the end of touring for a previous record and prior to delving heavily into writing sessions for the next project.
“It’s a fun way to shake things up,” he said, adding it’s also something of a stripped-down approach to their tunes which the fans really seem to enjoy. “It’s also a way to show the fans that we do have some depth and range,” he added with a laugh.
Indeed. The Trews offer up some of their finest, most compelling moments in an acoustic setting as is so clearly reflected on 2009’s Friends & Total Strangers which featured old cuts, rarities and new tunes captured in glorious and authentic acoustic simplicity.
The project was an acoustic session recorded over two nights at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio in January of that year for a live audience. MacDonald mentioned that playing acoustic shows was something that commonly happened in the band’s earlier days, and was always something the boys enjoyed doing.
Meanwhile, everything that’s so solid about The Trews shined through on that project in even bolder ways from the raw, infectious blend of guitars to the never-once-diminished power of MacDonald’s voice. Being mixed in just three days also means there were virtually no touch-ups or overdubs applied. Judging by the results, there didn’t need to be.
Since then, the acoustic approach, as mentioned, continues to attract new fans as well. The guys also make sure that every time they head out on an acoustic tour, there is lots of new stuff for fans to enjoy as well – it’s not simply drawn from past ‘live’ recordings.
As for the relationship with World Vision, the band sees it as a vital way to help make a profound difference in the lives of so many. World Vision’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo includes rehabilitation for child soldiers and female victims of sexual violence as well.
“The World Vision Artist Collective is truly honoured to be participating in The Trews’ 2016 Acoustic Tour this winter to help women and children who are especially vulnerable in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” says Craig Halket, World Vision Artist Collective. “The Trews are one of Canada’s most outstanding live bands. They also have incredibly big hearts. World Vision is lucky to be part of this tour.”
There is no question that The Trews has been one of Canada’s most successful rock bands of the past decade.
The group’s powerful artistry has been honed over the years of working together with the original lineup. They formed as One I’d Trouser in 1997 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia when they were still in high school.
The guys then moved to the Niagara region of Ontario and the band’s new moniker was Trouser. In 2002, they signed with Bumstead Records and were about to release a second EP, when it was insisted their name be changed.
The Trews were born.
In 2003, they released House of Ill Fame which yielded hits like Not Ready To Go and Tired of Waiting. Moving next to Toronto, their follow-up project Den of Thieves hit shelves in 2005.
In April 2014 the band released its fifth full-length studio album eponymously titled The Trews. It was the band’s highest charting debut to date reaching number one on the Rock, Alternative and Independent Album Charts and number one on the overall chart in Canada, fuelled by standouts such as disc opener Rise in the Wake, the rumbling grit of What’s Fair is Fair and In the Morning.
As for MacDonald, a passion for music was something that was simply an intrinsic part of family life. “My dad had a band when we were growing up,” he recalls. “He always had a big love for music, and my grandmother was also a tremendous piano player as well.
“Dad definitely encouraged us to work really hard at it,” he said, adding it was that kind of steady influence that helped point them in the best direction.
These days, MacDonald describes music as having a unique power to help him deal with the more challenging parts of life. “Music always pulls me out of those times – I’m very committed to it.”
Tickets for the Feb. 14th show here in Red Deer are available at the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre by visiting www.blackknightinn.ca.