#INTERVIEW One Bad Son at Soundtrack of the City

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Photo by 604 Records Inc.

Rock and Roll music with a 4am last call… What better way to kick off the first weekend of Spring! Of course The Xtra mile had to check out Soundtrack of the City, which is a music festival in Toronto that takes place on Queen Street at some great bars such as Bovine Sex Club, Cherry Cola’s, The Hideout, Velvet Underground and The Horseshoe Tavern.

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Last night, on March 20, 2015 we stopped by Cherry Cola’s Rock ‘n’ Rolla Cabaret & Lounge to listen to the great sounds of DLV, The Wild, One Bad Son, Last Bullet, The Unchained and The Red Rails. What a fun night it was filled with rock and roll, and burlesque dancers. The band we were most excited to see was Canadian rock band One Bad Son, from Saskatoon, SK. The band consist of singer Shane Connery Volk, drummer Kurt Dahl, guitarist Adam Hicks and bassist Adam Grant. They have been playing together as a band for 10 years now, and have just released their 4th full length album, titled Black Buffalo. After spending the last two years constantly touring, they made their way to Toronto, ON and wow did they ever put on an amazing show to a sold out crowd. Everyone rocked out with their hands and drinks in the air. It was a fun filled set with explosive energy, strong vocals and a bunch of great guitar solos, in crowd favourites such as Satellite Hotel, and Black Buffalo.  Prior to the show we had the pleasure of chatting with Adam Grant, who plays bass for One Bad Son.

Well underway on your Canadian tour, how has it been so far? And how do you feel being back in Toronto?
The tour has been fantastic so far, we started out in Saskatchewan and then have made our way to Ontario, and it feels really good to be back in Toronto. Everything in Ontario has just been so much better than it has in the past. It’s always been building, but I feel like we sort of hit a cool new level with things, and it’s a good momentum to be back to Toronto with.

As you guys are a Canadian band, how was the experience of playing at JUNOfest in Hamilton this past week…Canadian pride, am I right?
Oh Yeah, huge Canadian pride! It was awesome. It was great and it’s always an honour to be part of, and to be asked to participate in them, in whatever way possible. We were pretty stoked too because our producer won Engineer of the Year for his work on one of our songs called Satellite Hotel, so we technically, think we won a JUNO with an asterisk beside it, so it’s pretty cool to have been involved in that.

Tell us, what it was like to collab with Eric Ratz, as he helped produce this album?
Oh it was awesome, Ratz is great. He’s massive. He’s this big hulking guy, that is kind of intimidating physically and also his past catalogue because he’s worked with so many great bands. But he’s so good, he has an amazing way of getting stuff out of people, in the sense where he is almost like a therapist and can gage the type of person you are, and he can get what he needs from you and he knows how to motivate you. I think we did some of our best work with him.

Your 4th full-length album Black Buffalo explores a new tone and lyrical territories, tell us about the creative process of making this album?
Yeah, we spend a lot of time working on this record, I think at our peak we had about 30 songs and had to widdle it down to about 11. The process is like, everybody contributes, we are 4 guys [and] everyone has ideas, whether it’s a riff, a melody, or a beat and we just try to jam it out, and see what sticks and see what needs works. It’s a very cohesive vibe. Shane spends most of the time on the lyrics, but I know he likes to explore some political stuff, some historical stuff, some introverted stuff, all sorts of different things and we’re really willing to explore in the avenue. That’s the great thing about this band, we’re not confined to one thing, whether it’s a more melancholy vibe, to an aggressive rock track everything is game, there are no rules.

Just over a decade of being together as a band, how do you stay motivated to keep on going?
The biggest thing for us is that every year has gotten better, every year we’ve taken another step in a direction we hadn’t been before, or things have grown to some degree, and that’s the biggest motivation. There’s always something left to accomplish, there’s always motivation to achieve a different goal or expand something, or to always just write a better song.

You guys have a number of great hits…which song would you say is your favourite one to play on stage?
That’s a really good question that we’ve actually talked a lot about lately, because this tour we have changed things up a little bit. Last year we had the set list that we stuck with for most of the year, and this time around we’ve spiced things up a bit and there’s a couple of songs that we hadn’t played for a while that we’ve really been grooving on. A song called Red Cloud, on the new record I like playing that one, it’s really cool, it kind of has a Zeppelin-esk groove to it and we’ve incorporated this really cool jam in the middle that I really like, so that’s definitely a set highlight.

For people who have never heard of your music, how would you describe your sound and why should they check you guys out?
I would describe it as four guys that are best-friends that love creating music together; kind of Zeppelin-y, kind of Chili Peppers-esk, but kind of not in a weird way. It’s rock and roll, but it’s such a hard question for me to answer. I guess if you like Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Sound Garden, Pearl Jam, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, and Thin Lizzy, you’ll probably like us. Those are 100% our musical inspirations.

What can we expect to see from your performance tonight?
Lots of hair flipping, lots of probably banging into each other because it’s a tight stage tonight, but yeah we’re very energetic people, because we’re cloistered in the van all day so we’re kind of like a Jack in the Box, when we hit the stage it kind of just blows up. Its very loud and fun, and we want everyone to have a great time.

Our website is called The Xtra Mile, how would you say One Bad Son goes the extra mile?
All the time we go The Xtra Mile, because we are willing to do pretty much anything, whether it’s drive all night to play a show for 25 people or record a record in 10 days, we will do anything for the betterment of our jobs and our music.

Be sure to pick up their new album Black Buffalo, and give this great new single, Satellite Hotel a listen below.

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