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Not Afraid To Change

“Dave Celia is one of the best talents to hit Merseyside from North America.  He’s welcome at the Cavern Club anytime…” – Alex McKechnie, Cavern Club, Liverpool.

David Celia is something of an enigma when it comes to singer/songwriters.  The Mississauga, Ontario based performer, who cut his teeth with Toronto rock band Invisible Inc., plays music that is both pop-oriented and introspective.  In a perfect world this would lead to mainstream radio play and widespread appeal.  After all, he is singing songs about relationships with friends and lovers and life itself; things we can all relate to.  But today’s mainstream is no longer concerned with all that is down to earth.  Superficiality and pessimism have taken over.  For that reason, the songs of David Celia are a breath of fresh air, with vocals and guitar playing that are as strong as his songwriting: some of the best out of Canada since Ron Sexsmith.

For those who have heard Organica, his debut album, or seen him perform, Celia is as relevant as the singer-songwriters of the classic era.  He pays tribute to a classic brand of singer-songwriter, while avoiding the regurgitation of what has already been overdone in music, and remains original.  Over in England, he has been hailed as something new and spectacular.  His trips to the United Kingdom – with Invisible Inc and as a solo artist – have landed him headlining shows at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club and London’s 12-Bar, a well as radio play on BBC2’s Bob Harris Show.

Even in the United States, he has received compliments from the legends like Hilly Krystal, who founded the New York City classic punk-rock venue CBGBs.  With friend and keyboardist Michael Holt, Celia has played the acoustic room at CB’s Gallery twice.   But it is England where Celia has felt the most appreciated, headlining shows where the audience hangs on to every word and every guitar solo.

While visiting a relative with savvy musical taste and experience, I was exposed to the music of David Celia for the first time.  The album was Organica, David Celia’s debut solo recording.  I was immediately impressed by the strong sense of songwriting and musicianship, with production that was both earthy and slick at the same time.  The songs were positive without being too corny, with harmonies that were wonderfully reminiscent of a lot of the music that has always appealed to me.

I first met David in August at a show he did at Toronto’s C’est What.  The venue was small and filled with mostly friends, but the music filled the room and plastered a smile on everyone’s face.  I truly feel that I witnessed something special that night, as David played from the heart, on his own and with friends such as Michael Holt (a talented singer/songwriter in his own right) on keyboards and Steve Zsirai on bass, along with Peter Murray, who would go on to perform his own material later in the evening.

It was several weeks later that I caught up with David again, a few hours before he was to play Toronto’s historic Distillery district on a cool, August night.  We sat outside and shared stories, discussing songwriting and Organica, as well as touring and the mystery that is the audience.

Being There:  It seems like most of your songs are very optimistic, something that is hard to find in today’s songwriting.  Why do you think a lot of songwriters tend to be so pessimistic?  Why aren’t you?

David Celia:  I guess I used to be.  I used to write lots of dark songs.  I don’t write a lot of tunes, so when they do come out it’s almost like a sensor.  It could just be a period of my life.  It’s exciting, the optimism.  It’s more fun right now.

BT: You recorded Organica at home on a Macintosh G4 as opposed to a recording studio.  What was the process like?  Did it make things easier?

David:  It actually made it harder, because there were more options.  But I learned to limit myself to four tracks at a time.  That’s what I grew up on, an analog four track.  And I would just whip through stuff.  But then in the end, it wasn’t stuff that I would necessarily be able to put out on the radio … and you know, I want my stuff to make it to the mainstream even though it doesn’t sound like its possible.

BT:  How much material did you have in consideration for the album?  Did you know what songs you wanted to include from the beginning?

David:  I didn’t know I was making an album.  I was about six songs into it, and it was basically songs that I’d written to do with my last band that I was in, Invisible Inc.  And I just kept plowing through them, and I thought ‘okay, this could be on another album at some point,’ but then that didn’t really happen.  Then I thought, ‘Hey, six more and I got a record!’  And I knew I had songs that were b-side stuff, but when I released them it almost didn’t matter.

BT:  So in a sense, for your personal interests, it was demo recording.

David: Yeah.  I was learning to use the computer.  “Faker Baker” is my first try at using it.  I literally got the computer – I watched someone else engineer an album on the same system.  So this is my computer in my house for the first time, and I’m like “Hmm… how should I learn how to do this thing?”  And I just went for it.  I was really anal about the drums, the quality of it.  I think a big part of it is technique, and really knowing what you want to hear back.

BT:  At what point did you decide that what you had was an album and that you wanted to release it as one?

David:  Well I had it out as a six song EP, and I went to England with that.

BT:  And what time period are we talking about?

David:  That was 2001, I guess.  Early 2001.  I can’t even remember, though.

BT:  Well I know the album itself came out in 2002.

David:  Yeah, so about a year before that.  About nine months before that I continued plugging away at it, and I was in England.  After that, the next stage was that it was going to be an album, and in the process I thought it was going to be a ten or eleven song album.  And then “Fill My Empty Cup” came out at the last minute, and it was nice how it filled up.  I like to have twelve songs, you know?  Like ten or twelve, anyway.

BT:  As far as the personnel on the album, I know you play a lot of the instruments yourself, and invited a few friends here and there to pitch in.  What kind of environment was that?  Did you invite people over, or were you simply utilizing whoever was around while you were recording?

David:  Well it started out with that EP with Geoff Hen, the drummer from Invisible Inc, and he was so into sitting down and spending the whole day, and not even getting anything!  Just getting sounds.  That’s how I learned what sounds I liked.  And it was about him getting into my mind, and seeing what I was trying to go for.  And he’s really good at that.  And then following that, I met Adam Warner, who already knew and liked the Invisible Inc. stuff, and he knew where I was coming from.  When he came in – and he’s just such a good drummer – he picked it up instantly; he picked up the vibe I was going for.  And we’re friends, you know?  It’s just because we’re friends, really.  Like, they came over, and it’s obvious, he likes what I’m going for, he’s into the rootsy sound.

BT:  Organica seems to explore the same musical territory as albums like The Beatles’ Rubber Soul and Neil Young’s Harvest.  Would you say those are albums that were in your consciousness growing up?

David:  Later.  Like early Beatles, Magical Mystery Tourwhen I was really young, but Abba.  Weird stuff.  But I guess, production wise, when I started four tracking, I automatically gravitated towards the way – you know, I’ve only been realizing this lately, but I think Rubber Soul and Revolver.  And I know, it’s so common too.

BT:  I know the bass line and chord structure of a track like “Faker Baker”, for instance, is very reminiscent of what Paul McCartney was doing at the time.  I definitely notice a shift to more rootsy material with Organica in comparison to your Invisible Inc material.  Is that a fair assumption to make?

David:  Yeah, it’s gentler stuff, more personal.  When I first showed them “Faker Baker,” Mark [Stewartson, Invisible Inc’s other songwriting guitar/vocalist] didn’t really want to do it.  He thought it was too mushy or something.  So I was like, “wait, maybe I have a mushy side, and I gotta let it out.”

BT:  The album opens with a track called “Don’t Be Afraid To Change.”  It’s one of the few recent pop/rock songs I’ve heard that contains a kazoo on the chorus.  How did that come about?

David:  By accident.  I had a kazoo.  I was totally messing around with that song.  I had no idea that I was writing a song.  It was just like “this’ll be a quirky number that I show my friends”, and that’s it.

BT:  There are a few instrumentals on the album, differentiating it from a lot of records in the singer/songwriter genre.  What inspires you to compose these pieces?

David:  Writing lyrics is very difficult for me.  If I could just get away with writing instrumental music I would have never started writing lyrics.  All I had were instrumental songs for a long time.  And it happened by default, cause I wanted to appeal to people who, you know, like poetry.  Some people in the industry have complained, “Oh, you shouldn’t have an instrumental.  That doesn’t make any sense.”  It makes sense musically to me, but that’s why I did it.  I was scared to put them on because I thought instrumentals might not go over well.  But then I got all this strength to thinking maybe I’ll keep adding more and more each album, and they’ll all be instrumentals someday, and people will acknowledge that more.

BT:  In your listening to music growing up, were there any instrumentals that really struck you?  Maybe particular groups that were instrumental?

David:  Right around the same time somebody introduced me to Pat Metheny and Pink Floyd.  And they both struck me right away.  I could relate to that because I was mostly just a guitar player and I wasn’t singing a lot.  I was just soloing.  I was listening to the blues, like Clapton, Hendrix.

BT:  It’s interesting that you mention people like Pat Metheny and Pink Floyd, who are known for their extended, long pieces.  You’re songs, as you said, are very direct, short, sweet.

David:  Yeah, somebody influenced me that way.  I used to have epic songs and epic albums with my old band before Invisible Inc., Tarnished Galahad, *laughs*.  Mark Stewartson from Invisible Inc. was the guy that just like – when I wrote something, he was like, “it’s so obvious… take this outta here, take this outta here,” and I was just like… light bulb in my head.  And from then on, it just made so much sense.  I learned a lot from that guy, just from seeing how he works.

BT:  Beyond the title Organica itself, there seems to be a lot of nature motifs through the album.  On “Procrastination” you sing “I am a tree/I live outside.”  Did you think about that as you recorded the album?   It almost parallels the earthiness of the music itself.

David:  No, but that’s where the name came from, and so did the artwork.  I love tomatoes, and I garden.  Those are my tomatoes on the cover.

BT: Would you say you feel the most at home playing live?

David:  Yeah, that’s where the inspiration comes from.  I write my best songs the day after a good gig.  If it was a really good gig, it’s so easy to write a song.

BT: In a live setting, you sometimes play solo with an acoustic guitar, while other times you’re backed by a full band playing electric.  Would you say you prefer one type of performance over the other?

David:  No, I’m loving them both because the challenges are totally different.  Some of the songs don’t work as well solo, so I’ve also started writing songs for the next recording that aren’t going to be band-oriented at all, and it’s kind of weird for me, but I’m just going to go with it.

BT: You’ve played Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club.  How did it feel to play at a venue so closely associated with the early days of the Beatles?

David:  It came a surprise, because the first time I went over was with Invisible Inc., and we were just visiting.  We had a few days off on the tour, and we just drove there.  And we got up and it was like… wow.

BT: So you were just checking it out as fans of The Beatles?

David: Yeah, and Alex McKechnie, the guy who runs the whole place, let us get up for a couple, and he ended up letting us get up for about an hour.  And then we went across to the Cavern Pub, where there were hardly any tourists because of the time of day or something; it was all locals, and there was a band playing, and we got up for two whole sets.  It was fantastic.  And they were really responding to originals, and you know, we rarely get that kind of reception here.

BT:  You had already played the UK in 2001 with Invisible Inc.  How would you compare audiences in the UK & Ireland audiences in North America?

David:  It feels like they’re listening more closely.  They’re definitely more receptive, and more literate; hanging on every word you say.  I feel like every word I’m singing is actually being analyzed, which is nice, because here it’s maybe more that people just want to dance, or they’re listening to the beat first.  Whereas in England, I think that they’re listening to the lyrics first.  And that’s kinda cool.

BT: You also toured Ireland opening for Stewart Agnew, and England opening for The Divine Comedy, how did that come about?

David: I met Stewart through Peter Murray, who was on tour with Ron (Sexsmith)’s band, and Stewart was supporting Ron.  Stewart came over here to do his album at the Gas Station, and I met him.  Peter was like, “you gotta meet this guy.  Cause I know you’ll probably want to go to Ireland.”  And we just hit it off, and he said “We gotta get you over to Ireland, Dave”, and the rest is history.  I went over on one of my tours.  I was already going to England, so I flew over for a gig with him, and his manager and I got along right away.  We lived together on the road.

BT: While in England you also headlined the 12-Bar Club in London, yet another legendary club.

David:  That was the first gig I booked.  I just e-mailed Andy Lowe who books it.  He’s a great guy, very supportive of anything that he likes.  I just e-mailed him, and he went to my website, and he phoned me.  I e-mailed about ten gigs, and he was the only one that phoned me, and said “Anytime you want, the doors open.”  They’re very welcoming there.

BT: And from what I’ve heard from reactionary articles is that the show went very well.

David:  Yeah, the shows there have always just gone really, really well.

BT:  You play a lot of shows in and around Toronto.

Your band Invisible Inc. was a regular billing at C’est What and the Horseshoe Tavern.  How would you differentiate the experience of playing at home and abroad?

David:  I think at this point, whenever I play in Toronto, even though it’s often to pretty decent crowds, you know, smaller venue type crowds, it feels like it’s a lot of my friends.  It feels like the Canadian music scenesupports me, and it’s a healthy sized group of people, but I think maybe now I’m starting to meet people that I don’t know that are hearing about me and coming out.  But in England, I don’t know anyone!  And the word of mouth is spreading faster.  I love going there.

BT: When I last saw you perform, you played a handful of new tracks and spoke briefly of a new album.  When can we expect it?

David: I don’t want to put the pressure on myself.  It’s constantly growing, and continently getting itself together.  I have about four songs that I’m ready to do the vocal on.

BT: How different is it from Organica so far?

David:  I’m noticing some patterns, but it’s definitely an evolution.  There’s some solo stuff on it.  There are things being said on it that I’ve never said before.  But the production so far seems to be very similar.

David Celia’s album Organica is available for order through David Celia’s official website, davidcelia.com.   

He will be supporting UK folk-rock legends The Fairport Convention at Hugh’s Room in Toronto on September 27th and playing a show of his own there on October 7th.  David will also be supporting The Divine Comedy on September 15th, 2004 at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern.  

In November, he will be attending the North American Folk Alliance Conference in Monticello, NY.  This will follow with an appearance in New York City on November 11th, 2004 at the Makor Café.

In Need of Radio’s Attention

As I sit in a bar called Hugh’s Room on a Saturday night, I see the back door open and I see Joel Plaskett arrive along with Peter Elkas, guitars in hand. Just arriving late after the six hour drive from Ottawa to Toronto, these two men look dishevelled and tired after long months of touring and recording.

“I was in the States for a couple of months.  I drove down to Arizona, recorded a solo record down there.  I was playing everything on it.  I came up the west coast and I had to get myself back home,” Joel tells me as we sit down to talk about his solo tour, his work with The Joel Plaskett Emergency, the early days in Thrush Hermit and his upcoming album.  This show was the last of his tour, before he headed back home to Nova Scotia for a long deserved rest.   Plaskett hears the good news that this last show is sold out and makes the quick quip, “Hey Pete, we’re gonna be rich!” Plaskett’s sense of humour shines through most of our conversation.

In the early 1990s Joel Plaskett (guitar), Rob Benvie (guitar/keys), Ian McGettigan (bass) and Cliff Gibb (drums) started a band called Thrush Hermit. Following the grunge sound that had developed in the United States not long before, they also added elements from 1970s rock and roll.  In 1994, Thrush Hermit signed to Sloan’s Murderecords and released two E.P.s, Smart Bomb and The Great Pacific Ocean.

Sweet Homewrecker was their major label debut, on Elektra, and only venture on a large label. Sweet Homewrecker still featured the sloppy sound of their early work, but showed many indications of the direction that the band would be taking.

Asking what led to the Hermit leaving Elektra, Joel answered, “We wanted to get dropped [from Elektra], because our A&R guy got fired.  We just didn’t have anyone there pulling for us, so being on that label didn’t make any sense.  By getting dropped after the first record, we had a clause in our contract that meant they had to give us $60,000 US.  So we said, drop us drop us drop us and they dropped us, and they had to pay us off to get rid of us so it was awesome.  Worked great, bankrolled Clayton Park and we made a great record.”

By the mid-1990s, fellow Haligonians (natives of Halifax) Sloan, were hitting their stride with the release of albums such as One Chord to Another and Navy Blues, and bringing big media focus and attention to the east coast Canadian music scene.  This new focus led to perfect timing for Thrush Hermit’s release of Clayton Park in 1999.

I asked Plaskett what he thought Thrush Hermit brought to the Halifax scene after Sloan helped shine a light on it.  “Well, we kicked their ass.  We were a hard rock band.  At the time we hit our stride, we were the heaviest band in Canada.  I don’t think all our records were flawless, but by Clayton Park, we were the best band in Canada.”

“We loosened up as a band.  We didn’t write all the guitar solos.  We went into the studio and fucked around.  We bought an eight track with the money we got when we signed to Elektra.  When we came back from recording Sweet Homewrecker, we had a studio, a little eight-track studio of our own, that really [shaped] the way we made Clayton Park.

With Clayton Park, Joel Plaskett seemed to overshadow the other two songwriters, Ian McGettigan and Rob Benvie.  Of the eleven songs on Clayton Park, Plaskett wrote and sang lead on eight.  I asked Joel if he saw it in the same light.  “I don’t see it that way because it kind of came down to it, and it looked like I’m gonna have more songs on this record.  Rob had a ton of songs, but he was like, ‘Which songs of mine are going to fit this record, and what do we need on this record?  We need something fun; we need ‘Headin’ South’.’  We worked that one out live and [we thought], this is a great, kick ass rock song, and we all get to jam out on it.  The thing that I really thought and really still think is Rob’s strong suit, as a songwriter he’s really strong, but also he’s rhythmically strong. He has a really good sense of what makes a song compel itself and is simple.  ‘Headin’ South’ has such a deadly rhythm to it, and he added a lot of suggestions to my songs, and his guitar playing was always really aggressive.  Rob is a great piano player too, so he was playing keys on that record and playing a lot of lead guitar.”

"Ian’s song [‘(Oh Man!) What To Do?’] is a totally fun song on that record. It just cooks, right?  I like it because ‘From The Back Of The Film’, chased with the Ian song is like the record comes out swingin’.  I mean, I don’t think my stuff is any more mature.  The strength of that record is the fact that our roles at that point were becoming, as far as I was concerned, a little more defined in terms of what everyone’s strengths were.  I was writing and my singing was developing by that point.  Ultimately that is what kind of put the nail in the coffin of that band.

“I kind of thought that that record was really strong and we were heading a certain way, and I could see myself as basically the lead singer, but it would be a collaborative thing where we would all be involved in arranging the songs and Rob would still have songs in it, but I kinda wanted to be the singer.  That’s the goal and I thought we were starting to define ourselves and then all of a sudden Rob was like ‘I don’t want to fit into this definition of this band.’  And I totally respect him for that.  I understand that he is a strong-willed guy and is really talented in his own right.  I was becoming a domineering presence in that band from the way I approached the audience and the way people responded to me as the front of the band.  I’m an A Type.  I’m a forceful personality and I know that about myself.  And so is Rob.  He’s really strong-minded.  We get along great now, but I think he knew that record and when we were talking about the next record, he couldn’t see a place on it, so he got out and then we all just said, ‘if you’re not in it, the band doesn’t exist.’

“Then we broke up.” After touring across Canada with The Flashing Lights and The Local Rabbits in late 1999, Thrush Hermit called it quits.

Looking back, I asked Joel what his favourite song of Rob’s was and he replied, “Of Rob’s songs, my favourite I think is a song called ‘Strange To Be Involved’ off of Sweet Homewrecker.  I think it’s a touching song; I love that song so much.  It was one of the few songs on that record that we approached the same way we approached Clayton Park.  We did it a little looser.  We did it live.  We did the whole band live on the floor and Rob just sang.  It’s like a slow ballad. I think that’s my favourite song of Rob’s.  I love ‘Noosed And Halo Swear Words’ off that record too.” (Ed. Is this the place to mention this?)

1999 proved to be a busy year for Plaskett.  Not only had Thrush Hermit released their best work, Clayton Park, and toured across the country; Plaskett also was able to release his first solo album, In Need Of Medical Attention, a low-fi record.  Though released in 1999, In Need Of Medical Attention was recorded in the mid-‘90s, with Plaskett playing most of the instruments on the album himself.  He did however enlist various artists to join him on a couple of tracks, such as Charles Austin, Tara S’Appart, Al Tuck, and others.  Plaskett enrolled the king of Canadian low-fi Rick White (Elevator & The Unintended, formerly of Eric’s Trip) to mix this album.  “I like the sound of [what is] often the first take or first recording you do of a song. It’s your gut instinct, and sometimes its a good thing to just leave it that way even though its not a record thats going to sell a lot because its such a lo-fi record.”

I asked Joel Plaskett what the running themes were on the album.  “Medical Attention was about my grandfather dying; he was a doctor and I was thinking about him.  That was part of it.  A lot of that record was about growing up in Clayton Park.  I’m specific in some songs, and other songs, I just try to paint pictures of where I’m from and how I feel about certain things.  But I dedicated that album to my grandfather who had passed away [in] ‘96 or ‘97. So I wrote some of the songs for him.”

In 2000, Plaskett started a new project. Enlisting the help of Tim Brennan (bass) and Dave Marsh (drums), he formed The Joel Plaskett Emergency.  The Emergency are a three-piece band that could rock and roll with the best of them, while still being able to mellow out and get a little country on the listener.  Dave Marsh, also known as one of the many drummers for the The Super Friendz, along with Tim Brennan create a solid backing for Plaskett’s lead.

"The Emergency [albums, Down At The Khyber and Truthfully, Truthfully], are really band records.  Medical Attention is… I play almost everything on it myself, and I kinda took a long time making it.  I’m really proud of the Emergency records.  I think they show both my personality, but [also] the personality of the whole band in the terms of how we play together.  They (the records) certainly wouldn’t be the same without them.”

On the first Emergency album, Down At The Khyber, is a song called, “Waiting To Be Discovered.”  I asked if this song was about finding the fame that he once had as part of Thrush Hermit?  “To be honest I never felt that Thrush Hermit had too much fame.  We did alright.  I’ve sold as many records in this capacity as the Hermit ever did.  I’ve got more fans, and I’ve played to more people now than the Hermit ever did.  So that song isn’t really about that.  That song is really a little bit more about… more about just being in Halifax, watching people in Halifax having a hard time getting out of town.  [Also asking] what does it take to draw some attention to myself?  I take a hard angle when I write a song.  I certainly felt like I had a little catching up to do when there was a dip between the Hermit and when I started my new band and got Khyber out. I certainly had something to prove. I never felt like I’m back to square one [though].”

In 1994, Thrush Hermit had a song on their Smart Bomb E.P. called ‘Radio Blaster’ in which Joel sang, “I was sitting in the car with the radio blastin’.”  On the latest Joel Plaskett Emergency album, Truthfully, Truthfully, Plaskett sings in “Radio Fly,” “The radio, if it’s on another minute, better grow some wings and fly.”  The imagery of the radio changing from a form of entertainment to a device you wish to throw out the window had me wondering.

I asked him what changed in the past ten years?  Was it his lack of presence on the radio, or just good music in general?  “I’d love for myself to be on the radio and maybe somewhere deep down I have some slight resentment.   Everybody wants to be on the radio.  I think my music is worthwhile and I think the reason I’m not on the radio isn’t necessarily the sound of my records.  It’s the fact that they don’t smell money behind it.  Really that song is more about the fact that you flip the radio and you can’t find a fucking song.  You know there’s a couple that surface every now and then, certainly Sam Roberts was a total breath of fresh air. I don’t know what reason they choose to play these songs.  Certainly it’s not musical.  They’re not trying to make interesting radio.

Turn it back into independently owned stations, make the playlists come from DJs.  Let the DJs choose the songs.  If the radio was more adventurous, if it wasn’t so narrow. They used to take risks, I realise there’s so much music in the world, maybe it’s impossible to sift through it.  But I just feel that the fact that Clear Channel and Chum, they all just dictate, they’re piped in from somewhere, what’s getting played in Halifax is not [what a] bunch of Halifax DJs choosing what to play.  ‘You are going to play the new Theory of a Dead Man single whether you like it or not.’”

File sharing was another subject I broached with Joel.  I asked him how he thought it had affected him as an independent musician.  “I don’t know.  I sell about the same number of records all the time, to my die hard fans.  Maybe it’s affected me, maybe it’s kept me from selling 20,000 records, kept me from cracking 10 [thousand] maybe.  I don’t sell a lot of records.  I sell 5,000 records. That’s never changed for me.  I think, for my fans, if they just can’t find my record in a store, they just burn it, then they come to a show and buy it.  You know, I don’t think I’m getting ripped off by it, but having said that, I’d rather they paid for my music, and it would make it a bit easier if I did make a bit more money.  It would allow me to be more creative about the way I go about things.  I mean, I skimp on a lot of levels and I have to make a lot decisions based on the finances of it.  I can’t do something cool and artistic if it’s going to bankrupt me.”

The song, “Work Out Fine,” gives a sense of the world working out on its own.  “Well, that song I wrote in about the time it takes to sing it.  I guess I sort of subscribe to that.  I’m not a political guy in a lot of ways, so I suppose, it’s a lackadaisical attitude more than anything else.”

On Plaskett’s latest album, Truthfully, Truthfully, an old Thrush Hermit B-Side is included.  This track, “Come On, Teacher”, became the first single off of Truthfully, Truthfully,.  I asked Plaskett what brought this song back to life. “ It was fun live.  I wanted this record to have a couple of songs like “Come On, Teacher” and “Extraordinary” which are kind of goofy, but they’re fun live songs.  The audience reacts to them, so I thought, I shouldn’t be afraid to put them on the record.”

Joel Plaskett will be taking a break from The Emergency and is planning the release of his second solo album.  He says to expect it in the fall, but even his record label Maple Music hasn’t heard it yet.  “I don’t know how they’re going to react.  I know they’re waiting to hear this record.  I don’t know if they’re even going to see it as a commercial record.  It isn’t.  I don’t think it’s chockfull of singles.  It’s self-indulgent, it’s lyrical.  Intrigues me more.” 

A couple of hours later, the lights turned down as he took the stage to a packed room, guitar in hand.  Wearing the same jeans he wore in the video ‘From The Back Of The Film’ and a green shirt with Louis Riel on his back. Seeming to be the most comfortable I had ever seem him in front of a large crowd.  Plaskett takes command of the stage, tells stories, plays songs and leaves a gleeful audience and another tour behind for the trip back home to Nova Scotia.