September 19, 2011

Interview with Doc Walker

With the recent release of their new album,  " 16&1" and the nomination of this year's Canadian Country Music Award, Manitoba Country rock trio, Doc Walker has been escalating its speed and ready to hit the road again for this fall tour, "Are You with Me Tonight?. The Trio answered questions for Music Psychos!!!

Kanae(K): Your new record, 16&1 is about going back to the basics, appreciating the past and carrying it into the future. Would you mind sharing how you guys came up with the concept for this album? Was it more of a natural process? If so, what do you think made you come up with the concept for your previous album, which was about life on the road? 

Doc Walker (D): I'm not sure we ever have a concept for an album. Some common themes may appear as we go, but I'm not sure we ever have a clear idea as to what the record is going to be until it's all done. This record was born in a different way than our previous ones, in that we jammed out musical ideas first as if we were back in high school, rather than sitting around the kitchen table with acoustic guitars. That probably gives the recording a different vibe!

K : Do you have any interesting stories from the newly renovated studio? 

D: Interesting story about the studio; I love the fact that Chris was a student at the school and probably the most unlikely to have bought the place. I'd say he was probably the one most likely to run as far away from the place as possible!

K: Transforming an old schoolhouse into a music studio in Westbourne, MB is such an astonishing idea. Was it always a dream of yours or was it something spontaneous?

D: I think it was a spontaneous decision after we had rehearsed in the school a few times. Chris had access to the place and we kept saying, "it sounds good in here, we should record here."

K: I was fortunate enough to catch the performance at Capital Hoedown in Ottawa. It was definitely one of the highlights of the festival. As I listened during the performance, you played the lead single off 16&1, “Country Girl.” It’s a perfect song to fuel up the audience, with classic rock infused hooks and great harmonies. Do you have specific songs from the new album, that you like to perform at a show and why?

D:I think my favourites to play live off the new album are “Never Letting Go” and “Hard Act to Follow.” Probably because I'm a fan of R+Bish tunes, which these are both a little influenced by. Those songs are a little groovier.

K: On the new record, there are 8 original songs and two cover songs, including Bob Seger's “Get Out Of Denver” and Crash Test dummies' “I Think I'll Disappear Now.” What made you decide to include these two cover songs? 

D :“Get Out of Denver” was a last minute call by our producer, John Ellis. We needed one more rockin', uptempo song and he suggested we check it out. He had played it in numerous cover acts years ago and loved it. Chris thought it would be a fun one to sing. As for the Dummies tune, we have all been fans of the band since the beginning and thought this was a tune that sounded like it could be more country. Something more like their first record (Ghosts That Haunt Me). I was fortunate enough to have toured with the Dummies as a sideman on and off for years, so I asked Brad if he'd like to sing on it and he was kind enough to contribute!

K:Speaking of cover songs, you guys performed a cover of Black Eyed Peas' “I Gotta Feeling” at Capital Hoedown, which took me by surprise. Why did you decide to cover this song? Any specific reason?

D: It was just a nice little segue that sounded good in one of our tunes and it was a way of teasing the fans a little…you always need a few little surprises in a show!

K: I know you just finished a North American tour and went to Australia. What's next after releasing the new record?

D:We are recording some Christmas songs and then taking off for a cross-country tour starting mid-November.

Thank you so much Doc Walker for taking the time to answers these questions! Don't forget to check out the new album, "16&1" at your favourite music retailers, on iTunes or at their official site. Here is a video of their first single from the album, "Country Girl." Enjoy!!!

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