Recently, I (Rupert Hudson, WUSC Music Director) interviewed Evan Acheson, the lead singer and piano player of Calgary, Canada-based band Boreal Sons. He was a lovely man and we chatted about haters, their new album, and maple syrup (not sure if we actually talked about that but it was implied).
I’m very exciting to be interviewing you today. Especially because of the beautiful connection we have through your guitarist Logan (I went to high school with him). How did you meet him?
Yeah, we call him the ruggedly handsome one. I met him a while ago through some friends. We went to the same live music events in Calgary. I think I’d met him very briefly and I was driving in rush hour traffic one day. I looked over and he was the car right where I wanted to be in traffic. We kind of had this silent moment and with motioning charades I said “would I be able to sneak in front of you there?” Of course, he waved me him. That’s why I let him in the band. I owed it to him.
Who else do you have in your band and how did you meet them?
Well, I play the piano and sing, and Logan has the guitars covered. Zack is on percussion and I have known him my whole life. Our parents were friends. And finally, Reagan is the bass player and I met him through an organization called Young Life.
Tell me a bit about your childhood.
Well, I was homeschooled, which was interesting. Actually, I thought that I had a very normal childhood. My mom was a teacher and she taught my three little brothers and me. The four of us were very good buddies growing up and I had lots of friends in the neighbourhood with whom I would go build tree forts in the woods and ride our bikes.
Are you on tour right now?
We are in the middle of a long tour right now but we have a few days off in Calgary. We toured the west coast of Canada and we got to play a bunch of really fun shows out in the Vancouver/Victoria area and also in the mountains. We’re getting ready to head east now. We haven’t really played anywhere on the eastern side of the continent so we are going to be doing a lot of driving in the next few days. We are so excited for new adventures and new sights. Our mechanic just put new tires on our van and he assures us everything will be a-ok for our massive trek.
Have you had trouble with your van before?
Well, we had an old tour van that was a lot of maintenance and trouble. In the end, it burst into flames on the highway. I called our mechanic and described to him what our engine looked like and he said “I think that’s probably all she’s got in her.” Zack, Reagan and I had been at a wedding and Logan was visiting friends in another part of Vancouver and we called him. Like a knight in shining armor, he borrowed a large van in Vancouver and drove 3 or 4 hours to come pick us up.
Your new album Threadbare was just released, how does that feel?
It’s great. It’s our first full-length album. We’ve had a couple of EPs previously but this is our first album where we sat down and strategically planned it out. We worked with an awesome producer and made our greatest effort and best product to date.
What has the reaction in Canada been like? Have certain cities asked you to come play there because of this album or did you plan it out?
Well, it was mostly us, but we have been getting a lot of media coverage. We’ve been working with some people to help us with publicity and they have been a huge help. We have got a few blog articles and album reviews about Threadbare. Everyone has been extremely supportive.
Well, we have loved your album on WUSC. I think you were #5 on our charts this week.
Holy smokes! I’ve never even been to South Carolina.
You’ve got to come here! Anyways, do you have any good stories that come from your most recent tour?
There was this cool bar we played at in Victoria, BC called The Copper Owl. It was a bizarre experience. The venue used to be a gay bar but now hipsters have claimed it. It’s like, a guy sits down with a PBR, another guy sits down with a fancy cocktail and they can hit it off. They can be best buds. It was quite small but made for a really intimate show. There was torrential downpour that night and crazy amounts of wind. I think it was a special moment as people sought shelter from the storm and huddled around.
Are you going anywhere in the next month and a half that you haven’t been?
I think I’m most excited to go to the east coast of Canada because I’ve never been there at all. Not even on a family vacation. I’m looking forward to seeing the beautiful landscape. I’ve heard there are lots of rocky cliffs near the sea and that the people are really lovely. We’re travelling through Quebec as well, and I’ve never been there either.
I see you’re playing at a place called Burritoville in Montreal.
I’ve heard from sources that is a beautiful old building, which should be fun. I’ve also heard that they have great Mexican food.
Have you had to deal with haters at all with your band?
No, not really. Oh wait, today we got a 2/5 star review. But you know, you’re going to get that so whatever. It is interesting though. I think having people give their honest opinions and poor reviews is not a bad thing altogether. It at least gives us a gauge for how many people are actually hearing it now. I mean, we’re not out there to win everybody over. It was such an awesome experience just to make this album and express ourselves genuinely and honestly. We can only improve from here so we are open to hearing honest criticism.
What is your personal favorite song to play live from the album?
Oh, good question. I think it would be Sparks, which is track 2 on the album. It’s a bit more groovy than some of our previous stuff. We’ve been playing a real Fender Rhodes keyboard on tour and the sound of it mixed with the drums, the whole band playing together and the movement of the chord changes is a lot of fun. Also, the song Coward has a bit of gnarly, staticky guitar solo on the recording but live we have been having a lot of fun trying to make it loud and crazy. Some of our fans who have been listening to our softer, quieter stuff will hopefully be surprised in a pleasant way by how these songs sound.
Thank you so much Evan for doing this interview.
Thank you! I hope to see you in Canada sometime soon.