Print Edition: September 25, 2013
Handsome Distraction has set out on its first cross-national tour, going all the way to New York for the CBGB music festival and then back to BC. The Cascade was able to sit down outside the band’s RV and talk with lead singer-guitarist Devin Perfect before the band’s tour kick-off show in Abbotsford. If you’re a fan of rock and roll, this is a band you want to see live. Think of them as a mix between British indie rock and Canadian punk. Lots of energy packed into potent tunes. Their latest EP, A Mighty Roar, was released this past May, and is available on their Bandcamp page.
The CBGB festival looks like a great gig. How do you feel about playing to a US crowd?
We are really excited to be playing in New York and to be a part of CBGB Fest; it was a surprise and honour to be asked to come down as only a handful of Canadian bands were invited. We feel the crowd and the scene in New York will be very responsive to our live show and music; it’s a city and culture that embraces music of all kinds and New York is known for its nightlife so we’re sure the place will be buzzing.
Do you expect any trouble at the border?
We got our passports together and made sure we filed the proper papers to cross without issue. We’re crossing our fingers that we did everything required!
Are we going to get a full-length LP from you soon?
I doubt we will ever release a full-length album, unless we could bunker in a studio for a year with a stack of cash and a fridge full of beer! We like to pick a small collection of songs at a time that we really want to record and put more time into each one. In this day and age it makes more sense to have content releasing on a regular basis than trying to survive on one full-length album for a year or more. This way we can put out more music more often that’s more fulfilling and not filler. We will be back in the studio this late fall to finish some more music set for a release in January or February.
How does social networking affect your band?
We’ve often been told that our social media presence is one of the best fans have seen from an unsigned band. We have a good understanding of social media and know how to develop engaging content for our fans. We respect the new age of music promotion and fan engagement and use it to our advantage rather than talk of the “old days.” We think there has to be a limit to how many platforms a band should be on, too many gets overwhelming and unmanageable. Fans will follow you where you are if they love you enough – ours do!
What kind of road-side distractions do you like while touring?
Kyle would hit up every golf course along the way if he could, he even owns a golf outfit … uniform? Devin demands the band hit up every Tim Hortons he sees – it’s an addiction, we’re sure. Joey is one of those weirdos that can read in a moving vehicle; not much distracts his Never-Ending Story imagination. Weaver is a big man; any chance we can stop and let him stretch his 6’4 stature is enough – he keeps himself occupied with a shake weight and V8s.
Are you guys all from Victoria?
We are based out of Victoria BC. However, Devin is from Toronto, Kyle is from Windsor, Weaver is from Poole, England, and Joey is from Seattle, US.
What’s going to be the longest drive on this tour?
Longest drive will be Kamloops to Edmonton (nine hours over a few days), but that won’t match our straight 19-hour drive from Regina SK to Tsawwassen BC at the end of our Canadian tour last year!
Do you think that rock is on the decline, while there is a rise in electronic dance music?
Absolutely not! Perhaps the west coast isn’t pumping out a lot of rock music these days (though many may call themselves by that genre), but the rest of Canada is still very much in love with rock music and [we] experienced that first hand on tour last year. Rock music has always and will always be one of the primary genres and we see the hunger growing for an era much like the 90s where natural talent, sweat, raw energy, and great fist-pumping rock music ruled.
Is there any type of venue you haven’t played yet?
A large stage in a stadium or festival with a massive sound system would be a dream come true. We would love to hear our music blasting at a whole other level!
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.