After many years fronting My Favourite Tragedy, who finished in the top 3 in the now defunct Big Money Shot in 2010, North Easton has decided to venture out on his own.
North will celebrate the release of “One of the Lucky Ones” with a show on October 15th, 2016 at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts. Tickets are only $15 and the show will and the event will run from 7pm to 10pm.
I recently sat down with North to discuss his new solo album and upcoming cd release show.
As we started to chat, it was evident that North is ready to tackle this next chapter in his life. “I’m excited. I’m pumped. Things are happening. I just gotta get out there and keep pushing. I’m excited about the show and I’ve got some tours coming up.”
Staring at the calendar laid out on his studio wall, it was evident he’s put a lot of time and effort into booking shows as he looks to perform these new songs. “I do the cd release party. The weekend after that I’m in Toronto, Kingston and Hamilton. Then 2 weeks after that I’m in North Bay, Timmins, Kapuskasing and Raymore.”
Shortly after that, North heads west for a string of shows in Alberta and BC.
North has been pursuing his dream for a long time. He’s no stranger to the challenges every musician faces in trying to get their music out there and reach that next step. “I have some cool people on the team. We’ve hired a publicist. I had radio tracking for the first single, but it’s a tough nut to crack.”
As he works to get his music heard, he knows inevitably the questions the gate keepers are asking themselves, like “Who’s this North Easton guy?”
As we chatted more on the subject he shared, “Meanwhile they have this record company guy calling them up pushing the latest popular band. It’s what I’m up against. So it’s an interesting path. We’ll see what happens as we open the doors.”
While North has been busy writing away for some time, it was back at the start of the year that the seed for the album was planted. North mentioned, “Back in January I started to put together a marketing plan for factor. I found out in March I got funded.”
He then shared the process of how went about whittling down his war chest of material into a batch of songs that would eventually form the track listing for “One of the Lucky Ones”.
“I had taken 104 songs and I brought them down to 40, but that was still too many. So I brought them down to 26 songs. Then I got 40 people that I knew and trusted. I had them listen to the songs and give me detailed reviews on each of the songs. I saw which ones kinda rose to the surface. I took 7 or 8 of the leads and then I decided what I wanted to put on the album. It just pieced together really easily.”
Our conversation then turned to the venue. If you haven’t been, Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts is an old church with fabulous acoustics. The old building makes a great venue for live music.
“I saw the basement,” North began, “and it didn’t have the epic feel I wanted. I went upstairs and stood on the stage and looked out at the room and it looked epic. I sang a line of a song, and even without a microphone it was calling back to me. So I figured this is where I need to be.”
The affair will be a simple show with the music taking the forefront. North will be joined by his MFT buddies for a few of the songs. “The show won’t be anything holy cow, bombs and lights. For the majority of it, I’ll probably be doing it myself. it will just be me up there with a guitar.”
Given North’s talent as a lyricist, I think the show will suit his new music well. “There’s a level of intimacy and control as a songwriter and a storyteller. For me I think that’s where I belong. Even though I love having the other instrumentation, there’s something about being up on stage by myself. It gives me more freedom.”
North spends a few hours each month running a reginal songwriters group. As much as he puts into the group, he gets more back seeing the transformation he sees some of the participants go through as they return each month to continue their own personal musical journey.
As our conversation continued, North shared many stories of individuals that have touched his life in one way or another. Even just speaking with me, he was relaying stories. At it’s core, North’s music is based on these stories.
“These people in my life, they are always in my show. My kids are in my show. My wife is in my show. It’s these stories that I bring to the stage and hopefully that honesty is what really comes across. You’re not watching me play songs. You’re coming and you’re sharing an evening of my life.” With a laugh he added, “Hopefully it’s entertaining enough that you don’t go that life’s boring!”
As North talked about the upcoming show, I thought he summed up his hope for the evening rather nicely in 2 short sentences, “I’m taking these people on an emotional experience. It’s a window into my life and my perspective.”
The lead single off of “One of the Lucky Ones” is Change. In a few minutes, that song sums up the last 2 years of North’s life. I’m sure the lyrics will strike a chord with many listeners.
North shared with me some the changes in his life that helped give birth to the song. “I was 240 lbs at the time. Over the summer we planned a summer vacation. I wanted to be able to run with my kids. I went on a 69 day juice fast. It was amazing and invigorating. That was one of the biggest changes in my life.”
Continuing on, “At the time I still had my dreads. I ended up cutting them off. The dreads were great for a long time. I liked how I felt when I had them. There was a freedom to them, but I realized people were focusing more on the dreads than they were focusing on me. That was at the same time that I was writing the song “Change”. It was a massive change in my thinking. It was a reinvigoration of what I wanted to do.”
As I left the studio and drove home, I couldn’t help but think of the passion that North displayed as he spoke about his album and the people in his life that helped shape the songs that are contained within it. I have no doubt that that passion will be on full display when he takes the stage to perform. Join him at Saint Brigid’s on October 15th and experience it for yourself.