Gavin Gardiner Interview

Gavin Gardiner

Many of you might not have heard of him, but on a cold afternoon in Vancouver just outside of St.James Hall, I got to sit down with Gavin from The Wooden Sky and chat about music, touring and home life. He is a very humble person and I found he preferred just chatting away and wasn’t too worried about the time, the interview or anything else besides having good conversation and meeting someone new. That’s something you don’t see much from any musician, especially one that’s been on tour for weeks on end. So I just wanted to say how much I respected that.

Anyways, without further ramblings, here is the interview between him and I. For more information on this amazing band, visit their Facebook pages as well as their website, found here.

What’s your favorite place to eat while on the road? Give me the top 5 best restaurants you’ve eaten at over the course of your tour.

The best place we stopped at was this highway stop between Portland and San Francisco. We stopped and thought we’d go to Subway, but around back there was this family run Mexican place and it was amazing. We try to avoid the fast food chains, but it’s not easy to do, it just makes you feel like shit. I’ve been pretty good about avoiding it the past couple of weeks. There’s a place in Vancouver I like to go to called “Foundation”, it’s a vegetarian place. I like that. 

Name some things you disagree about with your band

Everything, I mean it depends on how much sleep we got the night before. But it’s not like a disagreement that ends in an argument, it’s more of a discussion and a conversation. That’s what makes it a band, instead of a solo project or something like that. 

Do you think the weather affects how much you write or what type of songs you write?

I think it just affects everything, it affects your mood. So yeah, I mean I get winter depression like a lot of people, it’s so cold and hard to leave. But being in San Francisco and even here in Vancouver, on days where it’s nice out. It’s like, oh I get it, I wanna live on the West Coast. 

What’s your favourite holiday and why?

Christmas, it’s a nice way to get together with family. 

Name your top 2 biggest influences in music

Pizza and Harry Chapin.

Where did you grow up?

In a place called Morden Manitoba, it’s about 5000 people. 

Where would you send people visiting Toronto?

If you were looking for a nice cozy drink at a bar, I’d go to “Communist’s Daughter”. I’d go to “Salad King” for Thai food and plus, you’d have to walk through the main downtown area and you’d get a little taste of that — which I’d steer you away from probably. If you wanted to go record shopping I’d send you either to “Sonic Boom” or “Soundscapes” depending on if you want new or used.

What kind of music did you grow up listening to?

Classic rock probably and pop and country. A lot of “Boney M”, *laughs*.

Where you raised in a religious family?

Yeah sort of, it was definitely a part of my life. I mean it was a very religious community, I wasn’t so much a part of that, I went to church that was about it.  

What’s your favourite guitar that you play on set?

Oh I don’t know, I got a lot of guitars. Either my 1967 Guild Starfire, or this 1940’s Epiphone Century, which is sort of my go to guitar live.

Do you use any drop tunings in your songs?

Drop D, the Kurt Cobain one *laughs*. 

Where did you learn to sing?

The radio, I just wanted to sing. I used to play the drums in bands and always wanted to sing. So in this one band I switched places with the singer/guitarist. It worked better that way. 

Do you listen to or read certain things when thinking of or writing new music?

No, I try to avoid it. I mean, you can listen to things for ideas and inspirations but I like to go for a walk, it seems like a better way to work on stuff. I feel less inhibited that way, I feel like I write more freely when I play things I don’t know how to play too, like ukelele or piano. 

How often do you think you’ll write a new song? Or get a new idea for one?

I’m writing a lot right now, I’m trying to write all the time, which is good. When you’re touring for this long, you’re starting to lose connection to the world and it’s just not normal. Writing helps to ground me a little bit.  

Can you tell me a little more about your new album and what you want it to be like (you mentioned a rock album — more of a live show)

Yeah I don’t know, it’s still such a baby at this point. We were talking about making a rock album, that would be fun to do. I’ve got a lot of songs right now, so we might make a couple records. I don’t know at this point yet, with the plans for going forward, we’ll see. 

When are you guys going back on tour? Are you releasing the new album in March then touring afterwards?

We’re talking about going back to Europe in March, our record just came out there in October. So now that it’s been out there, we’ll probably go back for just a couple weeks nothing crazy, and then be back home. 

What do you love to do besides playing guitar? 

I’m building a studio right now, I have a dog I like to walk. I like to hangout with friends at home. I’m also reading a book called “Angle of Repose”, it’s good. I like to ride my bike, do some gardening and housework. I’ve got a lot of stuff I wanna fix around my house so I’ll get into that. 

Click here, for The Wooden Sky’s bandcamp page and listen to their music if you haven’t yet! I recommend starting with their first E.P “When Lost at Sea”, it’s amazing.

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