Catch The Strain at the Ottawa Folk Festival

September 9th, 2014 by  |  Published in Features, Interviews

The Strain - photo by Jamie Kronick

Photo credit: Jamie Kronick

On Thursday September 11th 2014 at 6pm, you can catch The Strain as they entertain the crowd at the Ottawa Folk Festival (Eh! Stage) for the first time. I recently chatted with frontman David Taggart to find out what lays ahead for the band.

David recently returned from Vancouver where he was doing some writing for the band’s upcoming album. “I met Rykka at a show here in Ottawa last year when we opened up for her. She had asked me to perform with her in the Peak Performance Project. I was a backup singer for her. It was kinda weird. I’m used to singing with a guitar in my hands. We’ve done some writing together. We’ve recorded a new single for the band and she made a guest appearance on it.”

A recent promo photo for the band was released featuring just David and sister Rylee. I enquired about the future of the band and it’s original lineup. “We had a brief moment where we weren’t sure what the future was going to be. I want to push ahead with this and Rylee does too. Alex is still on drums, but he doesn’t want to tour. He’s more into the writing and recording side of things. Nick decided he wanted to remain a part of it too. Joey Kane will be joining us on drums for touring.”

The band plans to head into the studio this fall to record their first full length album. They will be working with Howard Redekopp. “I love the Vancouver scene right now. We’ve been sending demos back forth. We work well together. I met him at the Peak Performance Project. It’s basically a summer camp for bands. They had all of these temporary studios setup. You just go in and record. It was a really cool experience.”

Funding an album is an expensive venture, especially if you’re heading to Vancouver to do it. The Strain currently have a PledgeMusic campaign underway to help cover some of the costs. “We have some cool packages available. There’s a mystery box. Everything includes an advance digital copy of the album.”

One of the items available is the chance to style David’s hair. I enquired if he’d be ok with a pink and blue mohawk. Laughing, he answered, “Yeah it’s anything goes. It’s just hair. I can shave it off and start over if I have to.”

I asked if there were any other plans he’d like to share. “Our main focus right now really is on the record. We have a few shows coming up in Ottawa, maybe a short tour.”

The band recently did a benefit show at the famed Black Sheep Inn for the Huntington Society of Canada with the Matt Dorgan Project. “It’s something that runs in our family. Our cousin organized the event and has it. Part of our PledgeMusic campaign will be donated to the Huntington Society as well.”

As for next year, “We’re probably looking at a spring release for the album. Then we hope to head out on tour after that. We’d like to play Bluesfest again too.”

The Strain are one Ottawa band worth checking out. If you’re headed to Folkfest, be sure to get there early and take in their entertaining performance. You probably won’t be able to stand still if you do!

The Strain at the Ottawa Folk Festival
Thursday September 11th 2014
Eh! Stage – 6pm

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