Call & Response: Bruce Peninsula

Call & Response: Bruce Peninsula


No, not this one. Today we're talking about local 11-piece gospel/folk collective Bruce Peninsula. They are stacked with talented singers and musicians, including Casey Mecija of Ohbijou. I would put them in the same category as Sunparlour Players - both bands seem to channel a higher power through their music.

After releasing a 7" and playing a sold out acoustic show at St. Andrew-by-the-Lake Church on Toronto Island last month, Bruce Peninsula somehow found adequate transportation for themselves and took off on a seven-date East Coast tour which ends this Saturday at the Whipper Snapper Gallery.

Thanks to Lauren at NO SHAME (the show's promoter) I managed to get a hold of Peninsulite Neil Haverty on the road to chat about writing songs on the porch, how they manage to tour, and how it's all about balance when it comes to the weather.

Keep reading for the complete interview.

blogTO: Why are you called Bruce Peninsula?

Neil Haverty: It's just a name. We could get into it, but you should probably draw your own conclusions!

How would you describe your sound using only a noun?

Bruce Peninsula.

How did the band form? Did you always have so many people in the band?

It slowly built up to 11. Started out with just Misha and Matt singing together, took a year or two to become a big band. And now it'll probably take another year or two to shrink down to be a normal-sized band.

What inspires your songs?

Straight answer is the process of making them.

There are lots of voices in your songs. How does each singer decide on what part they sing?

It's a give and take, guess and check. We sit around on the porch and sing and eventually something good usually comes out.

How does a big band manage to tour and how do you all travel safely and comfortably together?

Well, we're still trying to work out the comfortable part. We're down to seven for this tour but we're still crammed into the mini-van. Trail mix, mix CDs and Hangman, mostly.

What was the craziest thing that happened to you on this tour?

Well, we're sitting in Halifax right now. There's been a story about a 19 year old girl in panties coming out to hang with the boys in Montreal. So far, that's it.

What do you like best and least about living in Toronto?

The music scene & the music scene.

If you could live anywhere else in the world - where would you live?

Right now Halifax is feeling pretty good. Or Toronto Island is tantilizing.

The weather this summer has been pretty bad. Do you prefer the sun or the rain? Where do you prefer to enjoy both?

A little sun, a little rain, it's the balance that makes the garden grow. You know?

What can people expect to see/hear/feel at your show this Saturday?

Faces! Music! Emotions!

NO SHAME presents:
Bruce Peninsula w/ The Got To Get Got, One Heart Many Hands, hosted by Chris Locke
Saturday, August 9
Whipper Snapper Gallery
587a College Street (at Clinton)
Doors 9pm
$8 advance, $10 at door

Call & Response is a series of weekly Q&A's featuring artists from or playing in Toronto. Photo: David Waldman.


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