Founding members of The Trews, Colin MacDonald, John-Angus MacDonald, Jack Syperek photo: contributed

The Trews find inspiration from up and coming bands

Guitarist, John-Angus MacDonald discusses the band, producing and new bands ahead of show in Kelowna

The Trews have been a leading name in Canada’s rock scene for 15 years, breaking onto the scene with the hit Not Ready To Go. Now the heavy hitters are touring their sixth studio album, Civilianaires.

Their star power keeps rising with their signature guitar-heavy songs accompanied by catchy hooks that lure music lovers into being fans for life. The band, having already achieved fame, are now playing the long game, making their success last for years to come.

“Where we find inspiration, is doing things that we have never tried before in order to feel fresh. It has a sense of discovery to it, rather than going through the regular notions and knowing it’s the enemy of expanding outward,” said lead guitarist and a founding member of The Trews, John-Angus MacDonald.

“I still believe I can shock myself out of complacency and into a mode that you haven’t done before. We have made so many records, two EPs and live records, I have produced records for other artists and I can’t justify putting out new music without feeling exciting and new.”

In their latest addition to their discography The Trews reveal an anthemic album that showcases talent that MacDonald says was built in reverse.

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“I think every album has its own character, not every album is the same….Each one had its own unique characteristic. This one, it’s a sonic departure in the way that we made it, it re-framed the sound,” said MacDonald.

The rockers from Antigonish, Nova Scotia have spawned the singles, Hold Me in Your Arms, Highway of Heroes, Hope & Ruin and Paranoid Freak. They’ve also shared the stage with The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, KISS, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Robert Plant.

Having rocked larger stages, the Canadians still play at smaller, more intimate venues in the small towns they have remained loyal to over their careers.

“I don’t want to do a cross-Canada tour and fly to only stop five times. We have earned our chops in Canada, we know all these towns, we have been going for almost 20 years and we know every nook and cranny where we play. There are some of the greatest shows in these smaller places,” said MacDonald. “We grew up in a town where no one came to play and it was always appreciated when someone does bother to stop and do a show.”

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MacDonald has also added producer to his resume, working alongside up and coming bands such as The Glorious Sons from Kingston, Ontario and they produced their freshman album, The Union. MacDonald has even made a surprise guest appearance at their show in Kelowna in November where lead singer, Brett Emmons credited their success to MacDonald giving them a chance.

“I like producing records, it’s one part I have always really enjoyed. Being behind the scenes and helping bring songs to life and help act get their sh*t together in the studio,” said MacDonald. “I love that it’s a different kind of project and you can be subjective and not so emotionally attached to it.

There’s a lot of inspiration to be found. Bands, once they feel like they know it all, their stuff starts to dwindle. Young bands don’t know the rules so they end up breaking them and that is where they thrive. That’s why they are so good on the first couple albums because they are so naive. Being face to face with these bands renew that in you, a bit.”

The Trews will stop in Kelowna Jan. 26 at the OK Corral on their Civilianaires tour, Altameda will open for them. Tickets are sold out.

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