Cabin Radio’s Jack Antonio spoke with The Sheepdogs frontman Ewan Currie ahead of the band’s first appearance in Yellowknife this week.
Currie and the band will play the NWT capital’s Black Knight pub on Wednesday in a free show sponsored by Aurora Cannabis, which is hosting a series of shows across Canada to promote itself ahead of the legalization of recreational cannabis in October.
Tickets for the show were snapped up in seconds when they were released to the public last week.
On this page, we’ve edited and condensed Currie’s comments to Jack Antonio about coming to Yellowknife. You can also listen to the full interview on SoundCloud.
Cabin Radio: Have you been to Yellowknife before?
Ewan Currie: “A place like Yellowknife is pretty remote so there has to be some kind of incentive to come up there. It just hasn’t happened. As soon as this offer came in I was like, ‘Oh yeah, let’s do it.’ I want to see as much of this country as I can.
Cabin Radio: On June 24 you guys had to leave the UK because of a medical issue. Are you good to go for July 4?
Ewan Currie: Yeah, we are. Without getting into specifics there was a situation that had to be dealt with, with somebody in the band. Nothing too alarming but it was something we needed to come back to Canada for. We’ve taken care of that and everybody’s OK, and we should be good to go for the rest of the summer.
Cabin Radio: This is part of a series of free shows. How did you guys get hooked up with Aurora Cannabis?
Ewan Currie: I’m not sure. Probably because they have a bunch of money they’re able to pay bands to come and play this sort of thing, I guess. October 17 is looming large and all these pot companies are really gearing up big time, but that’s about all I know.
I am an experienced user of marijuana, I know it well. I would have some advice especially for young folks in terms of proper use and how not to abuse it, and I think that’s pretty important now it’s becoming legal. We probably need to have a bit of friendly guidance from our elders. I haven’t been approached to be any kind of ambassador or anything at this point, but unofficially I definitely could chime in if need be.
If there was one change I’d probably like to see not just government control. I’d like to see more private sector involvement in the selling of it, and I know in Ontario it’s going to be similar to the LCBO running it. I think legalization is a good step in general.
Cabin Radio: You released Changing Colours on Warner Music Canada this year. What’s the set list going to look like for the show on July 4?
Ewan Currie: We’re going to play a lot of songs off the new record and then we’ll do the old favourites that hopefully get played on the radio a little bit up there, maybe. Maybe a cover or two as well. A real Sheepdogs smorgasbord, if you will.
Cabin Radio: The venue in Yellowknife is relatively small. What kind of challenges will that pose?
Ewan Currie: Volume comes to mind first of all. I’m not that daunted by playing in a small venue. I like the sound of them, I don’t mind playing with my amp turned down a bit, and when you play in a small venue with lots of folks in it the energy is just fantastic and it feels really good. There’s something kind-of magical to that. We’ll try not to blast people’s ears. It’ll be fun.
Cabin Radio: What do you know about the city of Yellowknife going in? Do you guys plan to get here early and check things out?
Ewan Currie: I’d love to. Unfortunately, we’re sandwiched between a couple of other shows so we’re not going to have enough time to really see things. What comes to mind is the daylight hours. Am I right in thinking it doesn’t get dark this time of year? That’s pretty cool.