The Trews
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The Trews

Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | INDIE | AFM

Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2003
Band Rock Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
06
The Trews @ The Ranch

Barrie, Ontario, CAN

Barrie, Ontario, CAN

Dec
14
The Trews @ The Studio at Hamilton Place

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Dec
11
The Trews @ Meaford Hall Arts and Cultural Centre

Meaford, Ontario, Canada

Meaford, Ontario, Canada

Dec
08
The Trews @ Enwave Theatre

None, Ontario, Canada

None, Ontario, Canada

Dec
07
The Trews @ Enwave Theatre

None, Ontario, Canada

None, Ontario, Canada

Dec
03
The Trews @ Imperial Theatre

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Dec
02
The Trews @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Halifax

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Nov
30
The Trews @ Capitol Theatre

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Nov
29
The Trews @ Homburg Theatre

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Nov
26
The Trews @ The Playhouse

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Nov
24
The Trews @ Belmont sur le Boulevard (Le)

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Nov
23
The Trews @ the Empire Theatre

Belleville, Ontario, Canada

Belleville, Ontario, Canada

Nov
22
The Trews @ The Starlight Lounge

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Nov
21
The Trews @ The Starlight Lounge

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Nov
17
The Trews @ The Livery Theatre

Goderich, Ontario, Canada

Goderich, Ontario, Canada

Nov
16
The Trews @ The Regent Theatre

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Nov
15
The Trews @ The Capitol Centre

North Bay, Ontario, Canada

North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Nov
08
The Trews @ 46West

Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Nov
05
The Trews @ Hallam Hotel

Hallam, Victoria, Australia

Hallam, Victoria, Australia

Nov
03
The Trews @ The Jive

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Nov
02
The Trews @ The Loft

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Nov
01
The Trews @ Ding Dong Lounge

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Oct
28
The Trews @ Beaches Hotel

Thiroul, None, Australia

Thiroul, None, Australia

Oct
28
The Trews @ Sydney Blues Festival

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Oct
27
The Trews @ Sydney Blues Festival

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Music

Press


Review by Hal Horowitz

With legendary producer Jack Douglas at the helm, it's perhaps not surprising that the Canadian quartet The Trews emerge as a combination of Aerosmith's melodic hard rock, Cheap Trick's thumping power pop and Alice Cooper's tough glam; all acts Douglas has done exemplary work with in the past. Already a well-known outfit in Canada, the band's sophomore effort is the first to receive a wider, ie: US release, which is natural since the group's sound is proto-typically American. Den of Thieves manages to be both commercial and edgy, in large part due to the band's tendency to combine hook heavy stadium rockers with more psychedelic, almost Beatle-ish flourishes. There are more than a few nods to The Move and ELO too, especially in the layered synths and backing harmonies that rise to the forefront when the band leaves the boogie on the back burner such as on "The Traveling Kind." What's most impressive is that ballads like "Montebello Park" flaunt their retro "Nowhere Man" influences without exploiting them. There are snatches of The Raspberries here too, especially in the craftsmanship applied to these tracks, none of which can be considered filler. That's remarkable on an hour long disc, and makes return spins for another visit to pick up on a tune that might have slipped by the first time necessary and enjoyable. Douglas' production hits all the right notes, leaving room for breathing on the slower tracks while defining the crunchy guitars and ringing cowbell of the Black Crowes-styled rocker "Poor ‘Ol Broken Hearted Me." The album is packed with 14 originals, and only a startlingly sensitive cover of Tracy Bonham's "Naked" keeps this from being an entirely self-written album. There is a lot of Cheap Trick's Robin Zander in singer Colin MacDonald, especially as he reaches for the back rows, but he can also dial down his tendency to oversing when the quieter songs require it. It's hard to imagine the album would be this solid without Douglas' sure hand, but Den of Thieves is nonetheless an impressive second effort that shows The Trews are ready for prime time. - All Music Guide (http://www.allmusic.com)


CHART CONFIDENTIAL
By Paul Tuch
paul.tuch@nielsen.com

Antigonish, Nova Scotia, quartet the Trews returns with its
third album, “No Time for Later” (Universal), which charges
onto the Nielsen SoundScan
Top Albums chart at No. 4
(5,400 copies sold). Meanwhile,
lead single “Hold Me In Your
Arms” nabs Greatest
Gainer/Digital honours on the
Canadian Hot 100, leaping 60-
35. The track enters the Digital
Songs tally at No. 30 (1,100
downloads, up 103%) and
gains in airplay, rising 4-3 on
Radio & Records' Canada Rock
chart. The group's previous
set,“Den of Thieves,” reached
No. 6 on September 2005.
The top two positions on the
Digital Songs chart belong to
Flo Rida, as“Low” (Warner)
holds at No. 1 (6,800 downloads),
while follow-up “Elevator”
climbs four stories to No.
2 (3,200 units). On the Hot 100, the tracks bookend the top
10, with the former at No. 1 for a sixth week and the latter rising
12-10.
Three Universal labelmates with upcoming albums land
impressive debuts on the Hot 100. 3 Doors Down, whose selftitled
fourth set drops May 6, takes Hot Shot Debut honours
at No. 43 with “It's Not My Time;” Theory Of A Deadman enters
at No. 59 with “So Happy,” the preview track from the
B.C. band's third album, “Scars & Souvenirs,” due April 1;
and Bryan Adams, who releases his 11th album, aptly titled
“11” March 17, bows at No. 77 with “I Thought I'd Seen Everything.”
Before touring Europe and South America in March
and April, Adams will join
Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden
and Josh Groban in the charity
concert “One Night Live” at
Toronto's Air Canada Centre
Feb. 28.
In other touring news,
Linkin Park claims the top spot
on the Canada Boxscore chart.
The band has just been announced
as the headliner at
Edgefest, set for July 12 at
Downsview Park in Toronto.
The reformed Stone Temple
Pilots also appear on the bill.
George Strait's “I Saw God
Today” (Universal) hoists the
Most Increased Plays trophy
on Radio & Records' Canada
Country chart, vaulting 44-20.
Fueled by a 19-3 flight on
the Alberta provincial chart, the song enters the Hot 100 at
No. 70.
Also new on the Hot 100 at No. 82 is Jully Black's “Until I
Stay,” (Universal) the second single from “Revival.” The R&B
singer/songwriter will host the Canadian Radio Music Awards
on March 7 in her hometown of Toronto. - Billboard



TREWS, THE
DEN OF THIEVES [US Release]
Label:
SONY/BMG
Rating: ****

Submitted: 11/04/2006
Reviewer: Alan Sargeant
http://www.thetrewsmusic.com

Sometimes you get something through and not even the outrageous claims of the press-release are likely to lift the oppressive mediocrity of the record that eventually rolls across your ear-drum, so you’ll excuse me if I confess I was in no way phased by the A4 plus-sized plaudits bestowed upon The Trews by their bright and eager press department. I mean, you should have seen what they said about The Delays. And imagine what it was like preparing for take-off off the back of an Ocean Colour Scene press-sheet. Thesedays, I’ve learned not to expect too much. I used to approach blind dates with the much same indifference; that way I didn’t have to think of excuses to leave mid-way through my Chicken Tikka Makhani or draft alternative travel routes on the back of my table napkin to avoid the eager old bint scabbing a ride in my taxi home before she even had a chance to order a starter. My mother used to say ‘never fish for disappointment and you’ll never have a disappointed fish on the end of your tackle’. And whilst it’s not as poignant a memory as I’d like to have of the old dear, it’s prepared me rather well. So imagine my surprise to find that in spite of the fact that The Trews have conquered Canada with two Gold albums and six Top 10 singles already, have performed in over 400 shows since 2004 and opened for the likes of the Rolling Stones in addition to having their new album produced by none other than Grammy Award Winning producer Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, John Lennon, New York Dolls) ‘Den Of Thieves’ is every bit the kicking and screaming major rock trouser event they said it was in the press release. Sure, the band’s classic cock-rock influences are barely concealed beneath the thumping, monster riffing and the shamelessly overwrought production values (Aerosmith, Black Crowes, Pearl Jam, Nickelback) but the way the band manage to weave their way through a hefty 15 track album managing to tie all these threads together and still manage to make it sound fluent, is a thumbs-up that not even that crazy, fab Macca could top.

A four-piece from New Glasgow, Canada, brothers Colin and John-Angis MacDonald and co. release ‘Den Of Thieves’ as a follow-up to 2003’s debut, ‘House Of Ill Fame’. Whilst it’s the hard, rocking railway-sleeper tracks that dominate (‘Fire Up Ahead’, ‘So She’s Leaving’, ‘Yearning’) the band throw us some fairly pleasing curveballs with the jangly, open-tunings of ‘Makin’ Sunshine' and the modest tapestry of pianos and pick-guitar that illuminate ‘I Can’t Say’. In all honesty there’s a mass of influences and styles here, and even the Red Hot Chilli Peppers get a soundcheck on the curly, funky ‘Cry’. Elswehere it’s more straightforward. They’re not all dazzlers, by any means, but the sum of the parts means that cruising tracks like ‘Yearning’ and lush, psychedelic ballads like ‘Naked’ provide a sum of quite some magnitude.

Imagine Aerosmith fronted by those sexy Kings Of Leon brothers, Caleb and Nathan storming through a set list that includes a couple of unreleased Pearl Jam compositions, a chirpy Nirvana/REM co-write (Montebello Park’), a Strokes number (‘The Pearl’) and a boxful of energy bars. Because that is what you’ve got. It's not original, it's not alternative, but it sure sweet buggery rocks.
- Crud Magazine


By JASON MACNEIL, SPECIAL TO SUN MEDIA

East Coast rock band The Trews achieved some measure of success with their last album Den of Thieves, but they're hoping their new album No Time For Later takes things a few steps further.

"There's been a lot of changes in our world since the last one," guitarist John-Angus MacDonald says with two of his band mates over a late lunch in downtown Toronto. "We had a couple of new producers and we also had a new partnership with Universal. There are definitely a lot of new things going on in the world of The Trews but I don't know if you'd call them chances."

The group, consisting of brothers John-Angus and singer Colin MacDonald, bassist Jack Syperek and drummer Sean Dalton, perform a sold-out show tomorrow at The Mod Club to celebrate the new album's release.

John-Angus says the band went right to work on No Time For Later, spending about three or four months in a rehearsal space amassing material before paring the 30 to 40 songs down to the final track listing.

He also says the producing tandem of Gus Van Go and Werner F. helped in separating the musical wheat from the chaff.

"I think what's more difficult than knowing when to let go is being objective and being willing to sacrifice a few of your babies for the good of the project," he says. "Everybody is creative and everybody writes and brings something to the table so it's good to have an objective fifth part in the studio to help us kill our babies, if you will."

As for No Time For Later, the band runs the gamut from a bagpipe intro on the galloping I Can't Stop Laughing to the John Fogerty-ish title track, a song singer Simon Wilcox helped out with.

"It was one of those songs that came at the tail end of the session because she was asking if we could knock off soon and get to the song later," John-Angus says. "Colin said there's no time for later, we'll finish the song. She was like, 'No, let's work on that song.' He said, 'What song?' She said, 'The line you just said.' He wrote the verse and the chorus in about five minutes."

Another track worthy of attention is Gun Control, a song created following the Virginia Tech massacre last April and bound to strike a nerve after last week's tragic events at Northern Illinois University.

"We were sitting around the apartment and watching all the coverage from CNN and Fox," John-Angus says. "It just seemed so blatantly obvious they were beating around the bush. The problem was how did this kid have a gun in the first place? It's a personal and political view from us. One of the great things about this job is that you get to put those feelings into words."

The band will support former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley on a North American tour this spring before mounting their own headlining Canadian tour in April. The Trews are also taking time off this summer so Syperek can tie the knot with his girlfriend back in Nova Scotia.

But the band intend on spreading their music in different regions, including the U.S. and Europe.

"We're comfortable in doing a lot of the leg work because we've done it once before," John-Angus says. "Going in and doing it in another country, you just change the name of the country and radio station you're at."
Next story: OK, Canada! - Toronto Sun


THE TREWS No Time For Later
(Universal)

The Trews have grown up. No Time For Later is a far more assured and cohesive effort than the scrambled mishmash of 2005's Den Of Thieves. Their music is still anthemic and radio-friendly, but John-Angus MacDonald's guitar work has a distinctive roots rock flavour to it this time while vocalist Colin MacDonald's delivery is more controlled and his lyrics more fully realized. The band haven't abandoned the sound that made them popular, yet there's a perceptible change in the band's approach to that sound. They've held onto those big bombastic songs, and some of them are still about girls, but now, not every song is about girls. "Gun Control" stands out for its uncharacteristic political bent, delivered with a hefty dose of guitar crunch. The Trews might've been reluctant to "go" in the past, but they're now confidently growing into their music with this assured step forward. Matt Littlefair - AOL Music Canada


CD Review

Artist: The Trews

Title: No Time For Later

Label: Universal

Released: February 19th 2007

4 ½ Stars

Reviewed By: Kindah Mardam Bey

The Trews are really great, and seem to have etched a great personal style out of a well tread track of rock music. Their third full-length studio album No Time For Later is jam packed with brilliant tracks set for the charts. After listening to the full album you feel both exhausted and rejuvenated. Nobody was more surprised then myself to love the hit single ‘So She's Leaving' from their Den Of Thieves album released in 2005, but talent is undeniable, no matter what category its in.

Easily identified as hard rock, The Trews are a throwback to the 80s when rock music dominated. Rock music is more punk inspired these days, but The Trews have derived their influences from those John Cougar Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen days that defined a hard and efficient sound.

No Time For Later is an enriched, souped-up improvement from Den Of Thieves (which was an album we also appreciated for its distinctive approach).

Right out the door and the title track of the album is a pulsing Counting Crows type track, but I was really impressed with ‘Paranoid Freak' an inspired, edgy track with a great piano ending, something reminiscent of ‘The Entertainer.' The Trews may live in Toronto now, but it is easy to see they miss Nova Scotia with classic Maritimes upbeat rock songs like ‘I can't Stop Laughing.'

‘Gun Control' is another classic song with a worthy sentiment behind it with the lyric ‘I don't want to hear about his troubled past, theirs a million little freaks with a past like that' as a rebuke to the excuses people come up with for violence. ‘Will You Wash Away' is a clear hit, catchy and upbeat.

I can't wait to see where No Time For Later goes, but I know it will be a big hit; the tracks are solid, well formed and pithy. When rock music is this good, even I could listen to it all day.

1. No Time for Later
2. Dark Highway
3. Be Love
4. I Feel the Rain
5. Paranoid Freak
6. I Can't Stop Laughing
7. Man of Two Minds
8. Hold Me in Your Arms
9. Gun Control
10. Will You Wash Away
11. End of the Line
12. Burning Wheels
13. Ocean's End
- AnE Vibe


THE TREWS No Time For Later
(Universal)

The Trews have grown up. No Time For Later is a far more assured and cohesive effort than the scrambled mishmash of 2005's Den Of Thieves. Their music is still anthemic and radio-friendly, but John-Angus MacDonald's guitar work has a distinctive roots rock flavour to it this time while vocalist Colin MacDonald's delivery is more controlled and his lyrics more fully realized. The band haven't abandoned the sound that made them popular, yet there's a perceptible change in the band's approach to that sound. They've held onto those big bombastic songs, and some of them are still about girls, but now, not every song is about girls. "Gun Control" stands out for its uncharacteristic political bent, delivered with a hefty dose of guitar crunch. The Trews might've been reluctant to "go" in the past, but they're now confidently growing into their music with this assured step forward. Matt Littlefair - AOL Music Canada


AFTER A LENGTHY day of sitting through over five hours of industry and performer honours in Fredericton’s Aitken Centre last Sunday afternoon and evening, East Coast Music Awards attendees were given a welcome jolt sent out into the night by a bracing blast of heavy rock courtesy of the Trews.

The Antigonish-born band was only up for one award — entertainer of the year — which it ended up accepting on behalf of Calgary-based no-show George Canyon, but that wasn’t really their prime reason for being in the New Brunswick capital.

The annual musical celebration just happened to take place days before the release of the Trews’ third full-length CD, No Time for Later. The weekend turned out to be a perfect time to return home to the Maritimes and get up in front of a crowd to try out the new tunes for eager audiences like the rabid fans that packed the UNB student union ballroom for Thursday night’s Rock the Hill showcase.

"We were super-busy, but we had some great shows, that were super well-attended," says singer-guitarist Colin MacDonald. "Besides playing UNB we did two gigs on Saturday; one at the Delta and then we closed down the Music Nova Scotia stage at the Back Nine after Joel Plaskett played.

""Considering how much was going on, it felt really good to play to packed houses.""

""And we had a lot of fresh material, it was great to be playing all-new songs for people," adds MacDonald’s brother and fellow guitarist John-Angus. ""We also hadn’t been to Fredericton in a while, so that added to the excitement, and we also added a keyboard player for the live shows, named Jeff Heisholt, and had him onstage with us for the first time this weekend.

"It all helped to make the whole weekend really special for us."

Working with new producers Gus van Go and Werner F, the Trews have branched out even further on No Time for Later, from getting even heavier on tracks like the first single Hold Me In Your Arms to the amped-up folk rock sound of the title track.

Considering how much time the Toronto-based Trews spend on the road these days, it should come as no surprise that the bulk of the songs are riff-heavy rockers like Dark Highway and Burning Wheels, well-suited to the group’s high energy, live sweatfests.

"We’re pretty happy with all the material on the record," says Colin. "We arranged it with our producers so that it would work live. We are a touring band, and we want to have a record that works onstage, so we try not to make the songs too busy."

One of the strongest songs, and a future single, is the bagpipe-fueled Can’t Stop Laughing, which features a co-writing credit by Newfoundland folk icon Ron Hynes. It’s a catchy, stomping number reminiscent of Slade’s Run Runaway which only needed the slightest suggestion from Hynes to come into being.

"We kept bumping into Ron over the past few years, we played together at Stanfest and we did an episode of CBC Radio’s Fuse together, and we always said we should write together," says John-Angus.

"But because of our schedules it never came to pass, and one night we were in St. John’s, so we called up Ron and went out for a few drinks. He said we should write a song that said "I can’t stop laughing, and I’m not even happy,’ and that should be the chorus. So we wrote the song, and gave him credit for the inspiration."

"And even though we’re from Nova Scotia, we recorded the song in New York and found a Jewish bagpiper to play on it," laughs Colin.

Like No Time for Later’s title track says, "Hey Joe, it’s time to hit the road"; the Trews are off to tour with another legend of classic rock.

Before recording the new CD, they did some Eastern Seaboard dates with Guns ’n’ Roses and last fall played a series of dates with U.K. mainstays Status Quo.

Next up it’s supporting former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, as the Trews criss-cross (or is that Peter Criss-cross?) the U.S. for six weeks, followed by a trip to Cuba, and finally a Canadian tour that should bring the band back home around mid-June.

"It’ll be great, how can you not be a KISS fan?" smiles John-Angus. "Someone in his camp said it’ll be great if he shows up, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed."
- The Chronicle Herald


AFTER A LENGTHY day of sitting through over five hours of industry and performer honours in Fredericton’s Aitken Centre last Sunday afternoon and evening, East Coast Music Awards attendees were given a welcome jolt sent out into the night by a bracing blast of heavy rock courtesy of the Trews.

The Antigonish-born band was only up for one award — entertainer of the year — which it ended up accepting on behalf of Calgary-based no-show George Canyon, but that wasn’t really their prime reason for being in the New Brunswick capital.

The annual musical celebration just happened to take place days before the release of the Trews’ third full-length CD, No Time for Later. The weekend turned out to be a perfect time to return home to the Maritimes and get up in front of a crowd to try out the new tunes for eager audiences like the rabid fans that packed the UNB student union ballroom for Thursday night’s Rock the Hill showcase.

"We were super-busy, but we had some great shows, that were super well-attended," says singer-guitarist Colin MacDonald. "Besides playing UNB we did two gigs on Saturday; one at the Delta and then we closed down the Music Nova Scotia stage at the Back Nine after Joel Plaskett played.

""Considering how much was going on, it felt really good to play to packed houses.""

""And we had a lot of fresh material, it was great to be playing all-new songs for people," adds MacDonald’s brother and fellow guitarist John-Angus. ""We also hadn’t been to Fredericton in a while, so that added to the excitement, and we also added a keyboard player for the live shows, named Jeff Heisholt, and had him onstage with us for the first time this weekend.

"It all helped to make the whole weekend really special for us."

Working with new producers Gus van Go and Werner F, the Trews have branched out even further on No Time for Later, from getting even heavier on tracks like the first single Hold Me In Your Arms to the amped-up folk rock sound of the title track.

Considering how much time the Toronto-based Trews spend on the road these days, it should come as no surprise that the bulk of the songs are riff-heavy rockers like Dark Highway and Burning Wheels, well-suited to the group’s high energy, live sweatfests.

"We’re pretty happy with all the material on the record," says Colin. "We arranged it with our producers so that it would work live. We are a touring band, and we want to have a record that works onstage, so we try not to make the songs too busy."

One of the strongest songs, and a future single, is the bagpipe-fueled Can’t Stop Laughing, which features a co-writing credit by Newfoundland folk icon Ron Hynes. It’s a catchy, stomping number reminiscent of Slade’s Run Runaway which only needed the slightest suggestion from Hynes to come into being.

"We kept bumping into Ron over the past few years, we played together at Stanfest and we did an episode of CBC Radio’s Fuse together, and we always said we should write together," says John-Angus.

"But because of our schedules it never came to pass, and one night we were in St. John’s, so we called up Ron and went out for a few drinks. He said we should write a song that said "I can’t stop laughing, and I’m not even happy,’ and that should be the chorus. So we wrote the song, and gave him credit for the inspiration."

"And even though we’re from Nova Scotia, we recorded the song in New York and found a Jewish bagpiper to play on it," laughs Colin.

Like No Time for Later’s title track says, "Hey Joe, it’s time to hit the road"; the Trews are off to tour with another legend of classic rock.

Before recording the new CD, they did some Eastern Seaboard dates with Guns ’n’ Roses and last fall played a series of dates with U.K. mainstays Status Quo.

Next up it’s supporting former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, as the Trews criss-cross (or is that Peter Criss-cross?) the U.S. for six weeks, followed by a trip to Cuba, and finally a Canadian tour that should bring the band back home around mid-June.

"It’ll be great, how can you not be a KISS fan?" smiles John-Angus. "Someone in his camp said it’ll be great if he shows up, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed."
- The Chronicle Herald


After ten years, five albums, and 13 top 10 Canadian radio singles (including two number one's), The Trews have more than earned their place amongst Canada’s top rock acts. Recently, The Trews released their fifth album, a self-titled project which was produced by fellow Canadian Gavin Brown, and we caught up with guitarist John-Angus MacDonald to talk about writing and recording, the band’s hugely successful PledgeMusic campaign, giving their core fanbase the ultimate fan experience, bumming around the old Healey’s Roadhouse in Toronto with Serena Ryder, and how they managed to sling a couple of gold records while the music business crumbled at their feet.

Noisey: So, it’s now been 10 years as The Trews and your self-titled fifth album came out this week. What kind of headspace are you guys in?
John-Angus MacDonald: We’re excited! I guess we’re always really glad when the day finally arrives because we’ve been working really hard on it for over a year if you count the songwriting and everything. We started writing in about January of 2013 and went on and off until about May. We did demos all the way through the summer, locked down a producer in the fall, then went in and made the record, and now it’s just been all this build-up and anticipation so it’s fun that it’s finally here.

Can you tell me a bit about the writing and recording process of this album?
We decide we’d really like to separate the writing and recording process on this record. On the last one we sort of went into the studio and wrote and tracked simultaneously, whereas this time we wrote and wrote and then recorded it, so we went about it that way. We wanted to go in with a bunch of finished songs because the studio can be really fun when you have all your stuff sort of laid out in front of you––it can get really frustrating when the songs aren’t fully discovered. We worked with Gavin Brown at Noble Street in Parkdale in Toronto, and I guess the best way to put it was that it was just a really quick process. Within the first 2-3 days we had finished all the drums and then after that it was just about tackling all the other instruments. It was just a lot of fun to be able to sort of experiment with things like different textures because when your mind is not on the songwriting you can just really concentrate on how the thing sounds.

A little while back you guys launched a hugely successfully PledgeMusic campaign which awarded pledgers with everything from Skype chats and drum lessons to lifetime guest list privileges as well as the opportunity to contribute vocals and hand-claps in-studio on a handful of songs. For you as a musician, how beneficial is a direct-to-fan platform such as Pledge for bands today and what was it like working one on one with those fans and bringing them in to the process?
As far as the direct funding goes, I think it’s a step forward––it’s really quite progressive–– and I think it’s a positive thing for the industry. You know, it’s been 10 years now or maybe more since the old institutions and old structures have really started crumbling, and this is a sort of positive way forward. You’re going in to direct partnership with the primary user of your product, which is your fans, and cutting out the middleman; it’s a really great business model when you think about it. It’s always been the investors and third parties that sort of do the medalling.

I’ve always said that if this kind of thing existed when I was thirteen, I would have been all over it! I would have loved to be able to get on the horn with my favourite rock bands and hear bits and pieces of songs before they were done. I would have loved that as a fan and I think sometimes you really have to put yourself in those shoes even if it might be hard to believe that people feel that way about your own band.

In the ten years that you guys have now been a band, you’ve obviously seen the industry change dramatically. Do you feel that you guys have taken any direct hits or been caught in the crossfire in any way?
Well, our first album came out in 2003 so that’s pretty much right at ground zero in terms of when everything started to change. I think the biggest difference is the metrics; how we measure success has changed. Also record sales are not a very accurate barometer any more either. Things like YouTube views have become really important and are sort of indicative of whose watching where and when.

The industry was just much more organized ten years ago. There was the music station that played music videos and the record store that carried your album and the radio station that everybody listened to––if you had two or even all three of those things going on for you, you were a big successful act. We had those things going on early on in our career, which was great. We were even around enough to get some gold albums and experience some of the more traditional yardsticks of success so I’m definitely grateful for that, but it’s just totally different now.

I think it’s become much more of a niche industry today. I mean kids are still kids and they still love music and they’re going to continue to find new ways, but their bands are just never going to know what it’s like to get played on MuchMusic you know? These days I’ll come across certain bands that I’ve never heard of and realize they have a massive following, I don’t think that could have happened ten or fifteen years ago, it just wouldn’t have. It’s kind of indicative of the time we’re in culturally and globally––everything is just fractured. It’s not necessarily a bad thing it’s just different. So, yeah I think something’s took a hit but other things went up and the things that did go up have been really important and useful to our career as well.



So as I understand, in addition to partially funding the record, a portion of the proceeds you guys raised during your Pledge campaign were actually donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Organization of Canada in honor of a close friend of yours who passed last year. The song “65 Roses” is also a tribute to that friend. I can’t imagine how incredibly tough that was to go through but it does seem to be a cornerstone of this record in a way.
Yeah, he was our agent and he had been our agent since we sort of began in 2002. He passed away last May of CS and he was one of the oldest living Canadians with the disease. He died at 39 and I guess it was extremely rare for someone to make it that long since that particular disease primarily affects the young.

We were just proud of him and of course heartbroken because loosing a friend is a heck of a blow, so we wrote that song for him. Pledge had the kind of infrastructure that allows you to donate so we felt that would be an appropriate charity to bring in and hopefully we’d be able to do a little something to send him off in style. It’s such a hard thing to quantify but we were really happy to do it.

You guys also did some collaborating on this album and brought in a Canadian favourite, Serena Ryder. How did that come together?
We’ve known Serena forever––we both sort of came to Toronto around the same time, us from the east coast and her from Peterborough. We used to all bum around the Healy’s open mic where we were the house band ages ago [laughs], so we’ve just always known her and had great respect for her voice. When the song [“In The Morning”] came up it wasn’t necessarily written as a duet, but we thought it would sound really nice as one so we just started thinking of who would be around and appropriate and her name came up. We sent her the tune and she loved it so she learned it, came in and sang it in two takes––she sang beautifully––and there you have it.

Over the years you guys have become known for the quality of your live performances, but as of late you guys have been toning things down and touring acoustically instead. What brought that on and how did you guys enjoy it?
I think it was an attempt to break that preconceived notion a little bit because there are other sides to the band. I mean everybody sings and some of those things kind of get lost when you’re just rocking, full-blown in a club you know? It’s also something we’ve always enjoyed. We’ve jammed and rehearsed and written and played that way since we began, it was just always sort of the other side of the coin in terms of the heavy rock thing. We did a couple of nights at Glen Gould in the CBC building, which also happened to be a studio so we recorded it, liked the way it turned out and released it. It kind of started to take on a life of it’s own and got really popular and people were diggin’ it so we decided to take it on the road once, and that went really well so we took it on the road again, and I think we’ve done it three or four times.

Okay, the record is officially out, what’s next? What’s the rest of the year look like for you guys at this point?
Well, this weekend we’ll be celebrating the release with our show at the Danforth Music Hall, which is great because it’s sold-out and I’ve never played there before so I look forward to playing that. Then we do a couple little things here and there just to celebrate the ten-year anniversary angle of the record. Then we’ll do an American tour in June, which will be about three weeks through the states. We’ll be picking-off a few festival dates here in Canada through the summer before we do a Canadian run through the fall, and I haven’t thought beyond that yet [laughs].

Juliette Jagger is a writer living in Toronto. She's on Twitter. - Noisey - Music By Vice


You have got to admire the resiliency of Antigonish, Nova Scotia’s Trews. Since releasing their debut CD House Of Ill Fame in 2003, The Trews have consistently busted their collective butts, touring and grinding out records, railing against prevailing trends yet always remaining true to their rock roots.

Indications are that the stars are finally aligning for lead vocalist/guitarist Colin MacDonald, John-Angus MacDonald, bassist Jack Syperek and percussionist Sean Dalton. As electric guitars and rock music seems to be making a comeback (The Sheepdogs, Monster Truck), The Trews have fashioned a self-titled new CD that simply pulsates with high-energy rock songs.

The ace in the pack here is ‘Age of Miracles’, an addictive, anthemic rocker with all the ingredients of a monster hit record. Think of accessibility of Tom Cochrane’s ‘Life Is A Highway’ or Nickelback’s ‘How You Remind Me’ – Age of Miracles is just as appealing. But this is just one of a bunch of great power rock songs that meld MacDonald’s catchy vocals with brother John-Angus’s driving guitar arrangements and it’s not all raw power either.

The band effectively switches gears with the folksy, acoustic `In The Morning’ featuring Serena Ryder and the emotional `65 Roses’ written for their late agent, Paul Gourlie, who passed away a year ago from cystic fibrosis. Add a couple of infectious mid-tempo rockers like `Permanent Love’ and the lead off ‘What’s Fair is Fair’ and you have a superb CD that compliments the band’s riveting live performance. If there is any justice in this world, The Trews have fashioned a record that demands major radio airplay.

Download: Age of Miracles, In The Morning, What’s Fair is Fair - Music Express


Discography

...thank you and I'm sorry (Bumstead) - released November 6, 2012
Hope & Ruin (Bumstead/Universal) - released April 12, 2011
The Trews Acoustic - Friends & Total Strangers CD/DVD (Bumstead/Universal) released October 6, 2009
No Time For Later (Bumstead/Universal), released February 19, 2008
Den of Thieves (RED Ink), released April 18, 2006 in USA
Den of Thieves (Bumstead/Sony-BMG), released August 16, 2005 in Canada (certified GOLD)
House of Ill Fame (Bumstead/Sony-BMG), released August 12, 2003 in Canada(certified GOLD)

Photos

Bio

You don’t have to be a physics nerd to know that old chestnut about bodies in motion staying in motion is absolutely true. Just look at East Coast-bred, Toronto-based rockers The Trews who, since the April 2014 release of their universally acclaimed self-titled fifth studio album, have scarcely stopped to take a breath.

For proof, a quick tally of some recent achievements in the following categories…

Touring! Singer/songwriter Colin MacDonald, songwriter/guitarist John-Angus MacDonald and bassist Jack Syperek hopscotched extensively across North America, playing everything from soft-seaters to festival stages. They also supported Supersuckers in the UK last fall.

Awards! An East Coast Music Award for Rock Recording of the Year plus ECMA nominations for Group of the Year, Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year and Fans’ Choice Video of the Year. The Trews also received a 2015 Rock Artist of the Year nod from the SiriusXM Indies.

Film! The forthcoming comedy How to Be Deadly, chronicling the guerrilla escapades of (fictional) YouTube sensation Donnie Dumphy, showcases two Trews songs. Keeners will note that director Nik Sexton also helmed the Trews’ wildly successful (and flat-out hilarious) PledgeMusic campaign video which assisted in financing the latest album.

Thrills! The band performed ‘Taking Care of Business’ alongside Randy Bachman at the recent SOCAN Awards in Toronto where the legendary Guess Who/BTO guitarist and songwriter scored a Lifetime Achievement Award. The MacDonald brothers and Big Sugar also nailed ‘American Woman’ as Bachman looked on.

Singles! ‘Under The Sun’ - one of several songs on album The Trews cut with fans in-studio as a reward for their support - is currently tearing up charts nationwide, following in the footsteps of previous TOP 10 Rock singles,  ‘What's Fair is Fair,’ ‘Rise in the Wake’ and ‘New King.’

Amid all that glorious momentum, there has been a significant change. Original drummer Sean Dalton left the band   after 14 years. Skinsman Gavin Maguire stepped in to brandish the beat at the suggestion of long-time Trews touring keyboardist Jeff Heisholt.

Canadian fans can witness that for themselves this summer as The Trews perform coast to coast, hitting multiple prestigious festivals along the way. Following an winter break, the band joins Gavin DeGraw, Sister Hazel, Will Hoge, Michael Franti & Spearhead and Red Wanting Blue aboard Rock Boat 2016, cruising the Caribbean (and scorching the rock faithful) from January 26 to 31.

Smart money says the newly revamped and re-energized Trews will – in typical Trews workhorse fashion - use any available downtime to contemplate their next album. “Who knows what’s next?” laughs John-Angus MacDonald.

“We certainly have options… maybe issuing previously unreleased material. And we’ve got to write a bunch of new songs. There’s lots to do between now and the end of the year. But we’re ready.”

Band Members