I caught up with Brandon Scott of Yukon Blonde at the Sirius XM Indies last week to discuss the differences between the Toronto and Vancouver music scenes, as well as to let him know about my undying appreciation for his, and his bandmates’ wicked hair.
Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): I was wondering if you guys were in town for the whole week, to see shows, or just for tonight?
Brandon Scott (BS): Uhm, well we did, like, for CMW? We did the one with Stars the other night, Friday night, at the Danforth, so that was great. Not really able to see shows ‘cause tomorrow (Saturday, March 23) we’re in Kingston doing a show with Lucy Rose; last night we were in Guelph, also with Lucy Rose, and now we’re here. So, it’s kind of back and forth – you do the Ontario rounds, you know? But, I haven’t really been able to see anything other than tonight.
RMM: Did you look at the line-up?
BS: Yeah, we’ve got a lot of good Vancouver friends that are finally coming out here. There’s a band White Ash Falls, you should check him out he’s really great, a good friend of ours, he used to play bass. James Younger, he’s kind of Clash-like. Portage & Maine is another.
RMM: So, you guys are from British Columbia. Are there major differences between the music scene in Kelowna and Toronto?
BS: Kelowna is industry-less. We moved to Vancouver almost five years ago now, from Kelowna, we formed in Kelowna. . . It’s like the Barrie of Ontario, kind of. It’s a small town, you do what you do there, but you can’t really. It’s a small town; you kind of have to branch out to the big city. Vancouver was good. It was what we needed to do, the next step. Our publicist is based there, those little things that kind of make your connections. But, Toronto is the connection hub, and we actually did make probably our biggest break-through at CMW of 2010 at The Horseshoe. Since that show it’s been kind of a whirlwind. It’s been crazy.
RMM: Do you miss the intimacy that smaller venues bring or is it nice playing bigger venues?
BS: Well it’s nice now; we kind of get a mixed bag. Like, last night for instance we played a room of 200, and it was still that awesome connection you get with a small crowd. It’s sweaty, and you know, you get that personal interaction. Whereas tonight is amazing. You’re looking at a sea of 2,000 and you’re like, “Okay, we’re doing this.” The night before that, we were doing the thing with Stars with two thousand people. It’s a day-to-day basis. I love both. I mean, big crowds are obviously fucking awesome, but the small ones, they have their time and place and can be probably the most fun shows.
RMM: And you guys played Osheaga last summer?
BS: That one, for instance, was the best.
RMM: Was that your first time playing Osheaga?
BS: Osheaga, yeah it was. Best catering ever, by the way, oh my goodness. Chuck’s Day Off, he caters the whole thing.
RMM: They had this vegetarian pulled pork sandwich, there, at one of the venues. It was really good. It was spicy and stuff.
RMM: Do you have a favourite venue to watch shows at in Toronto?
BS: In Toronto? I always like the Horseshoe; it’s fun, intimate – if you’re up at the front. I find if you’re at the back, you’re not gonna care. But you gotta really work your way to the front and really enjoy a band. I really like Lee’s Palace too, it’s fun. Had a lot of good nights.
RMM: Do you guys tour with Zeus a lot?
BS: We play the occasional show and I’m so excited to just get to know those guys as friends and spend every day with them. It’s gonna be amazing. But, no, we’ve never toured with them. We occasionally see them, we’re acquaintances, and I respect them so much musically; they’re just the best.
RMM: They’re very powerful live.
BS: Oh, they’re the tightest band ever.
RMM: You guys all have really wicked hair. You guys all have curly hair, it’s super awesome, so, I just wanted to let you know. It’s great. I didn’t really know who you guys were before, and then my friends would say “they all have awesome hair”, so that’s how I’ve come to know you.
BS: Oh, so that’s our thing? We’re like the curly Beatles [laughs].