Birds of Bellwoods have flown far from Toronto this year. They’ve been across the country performing their genteel folk stylings at various festivals including Jasper Folk Music Festival in Alberta.
Vocalist and banjo player Chris Blades says on behalf on the four-piece, Jasper was the highlight of the Summer tripping.
“Most of us hadn't seen mountains before, so it was a real life-changing experience. We met up with another Toronto band The Pick Brothers and now our bands are basically best friends. Also when we got up on stage a big rainbow came out and it was absolutely beautiful. Skittles were had by all," he says.
The three other Skittle munching members are Stevie Joffe (Mandolin/Lead Vocals), Adrian Morningstar (Guitar/Vocals), Chris Blades and Kintaro Akiyama (Upright Bass/Vocals). Birds of Bellwoods have released an EP, Livewires, of live recordings and their most recent EP, The Fifth ( which may or may not refer to the secret chord or a bottle of hooch).
I would wager the chord and not the poured as Blades says the band’s summer of load-in/load-out has taught them a thing or two about the toll road touring can take.
“It seems obvious but it's easy to burn out if you're not careful. A few times we've learned the hard way that you can't party all of the time and also give the paying-audience the performance they deserve. And the stress of knowing your voice is going to sound like crap is not worth putting up with. So you know... smoke your cigarettes no more than two at a time. Also you might think you're playing a big festival and you get there and it’s more of an empty bar; don't let it get you down and more importantly don't be a jerk about it. Reputation is everything, and even though it's a bit trite it's still true that if you make even one new fan it’s worth it,” says Blades.
Birds of Bellwoods land at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery for their RMG Friday event Oct 2. Become a new fan of these Birds, it will be worth it.