DS Interview: Gord Taylor on new Real McKenzies, raising the bagpipe bar…and getting hit by a speeding car

DS Interview: Gord Taylor on new Real McKenzies, raising the bagpipe bar…and getting hit by a speeding car

To say that Gord Taylor has had an interesting last couple of years would be, at best, an understatement on par with saying that his band, The Real McKenzies, have been criminally underrated by American audiences for two decades. The former teenage competitive bagpiper (yes, Virginia, there is such a thing) went from part-time member of the seminal “Celtic punk” band (and Fat Wreck Chords recording artist) to being full-time member of said seminal “Celtic punk” band, to announcing that he was quitting the band by hurling himself out of their tour van as it was moving down the road at 40 kilometers per hour (or 60 kilometers per hour, or 10 kilometers per hour, depending on who you ask). Then there was the subsequent first solo album, followed by the unexpected invitation to write on the new Real McKenzies album, followed by the plans to record in San Francisco with Fat Mike, followed by recently spending nine weeks in the hospital after getting hit by a speeding (120kph) car. WHILE HE WAS STANDING ON THE CURB!

Needless to say, it’s been a long, strange, difficult trip for the Winnipegger. To get this interview rolling, Taylor and I began exchanging emails toward the end of his hospital stay, carrying over to the beginning of his transition back home. The result was an entertaining, far-reaching exchange that at least scratches the surface of all of the above topics and more. Wanna know what it’s like to recover from getting hit by a car? Wanna know what it’s like to continually be compared to the Dropkick Murphys? Or what it’s like to play with NOFX? Or to be continually asked “what’s under your kilt?” Or what the heck competitive bagpiping is and how the instrument has evolved in recent years? Check out our conversation below. Stay tuned for more news on the upcoming Real McKenzies album. If you’re like me and thought that Westwinds was their best and most focused effort to date, I have it on good authority that we’ve collectively heard nothing yet…

Dying Scene (Jay Stone): First and foremost, thanks a ton for agreeing to do this. Sorry to start with the “if it bleeds, it leads” question…but what the hell happened?!?

Gord Taylor: That fucker came outta no where!!! It was on a street right after it went from 4-lane to 2-lane traffic. I had just finished crossing the street; I was actually up safely on the curb. Problem is, some dickhead was RACING down the 4-lane, trying to squeeze in to make the 2-lane cut-in. At the last minute he gets over [he’s doing 120 kph (80 mph)] but loses control on gravel (here in Winnipeg, the city puts down gravel and in the spring it’s all left in piles around the city – pure hell for motorcycle). I don’t remember why I looked to the right but I did…I saw this out-of-control, speeding car with 2 wheels on the road and 2 wheels on the curb basically on top of me…and so it nails me.

I wake up 3 days later, through 12.5 hours of surgery, with about 15 newly broken bones from my chest to my toes. Glad to know I’m gonna walk again, but one of my traumas was in my diaphragm/lung, so we’ll see how my bagpipes feel when I first try playing them again.

Goddamn. Glad to hear that you’re on the mend. Are you chomping at the bit to get back to playing the pipes again, or are you resigned to taking one day at a time at this point?

Yup! Definitely on the mend with an unusually good attitude. ‘Chomping at the bit’ is an understatement!! I’ve been continually writing since day 1 of consciousness.

When last we knew, the McKenzies were due to record the follow up to Westwinds with Fat Mike in late winter/early spring. Did the gang soldier on without you or are they holding off til you’re ready to roll?

Actually it did suck because this accident interrupted a really important writing/recording sesh in Vancouver. Tickets were booked and we were serious about getting down with the new demo and getting it closer to Fat Mike. The good news for me is, it feels like the guys out in Vancouver, thanks to where the demo is at now, are sort of in a holding pattern. They are practicing a good deal. I’ve contributed as much as I had to the songs we got. The rest has been brought to the table by Bone, and our new bassist Vlad Zak. But with those guys, also new drummer Jesse Pinner and new guitarist Mario Niece are putting so much practice in (all of which I’m fucking missing right now) that they’ve probably done worlds on moulding the new demo into something I’m gonna have to learn!

So, no one’s been plodding on without anyone just yet. In one sense, I sure wish this never happened cuz I really wanna be out there playing and being a part of this thing, but in another sense I think time is on our side. I just started walking again yesterday so hopefully I can get the rest of my stuff written and presented to them so I can still get a couple practices in before the end of the summer. Recording is slated to start in September 2014 and will be done in a month or so.

I’m glad you mentioned the lineup situation. Does the seemingly revolving door that is the Real McKenzies’ lineup make writing and playing live difficult, or did it keep things fresh?

Well, about the revolving lineup, it’s kind of who The McKenzies are, and have been over two decades! A long time ago there was an album called Clash of the Tartans…even that’s a dramatically different band than has been of the last 10 years! It keeps things fresh for sure. What I always love is the way the new music and new musicians playing new ideas always finds its way to gravitate back to large chunks obvious McKenzie musical style!

Prior to the accident, what was the writing process like between you and Bone compared to you and Sean on Westwinds?

The quality of the writing, the process, and my enjoyment in our product is exactly alike between Sellers and Bone. I mean, they’re very different writers but they each offer these amazing and unexpected bits of creativity and virtuosity to a solid base of music fundamentals. As I said, this accident has really held me up and I’m stoked to see where Bone, Troy, Mario and Jesse have gotten! This is basically where Sellers and I were right before we put our demo into a track list. I feel like I’m fucking missing out at the best time!

When you’re writing for the McKenzie’s, do you start on the pipes or guitar or did that change depending on the day? I’m thinking of a song like “The Tempest“…

That always depends on the song, I think. Sometimes words come first, sometimes riffs, it really depends. I sometimes mess around with different ways to write the same song, sometimes forcing myself to ‘stop writing a song from a melodic sense and write it from lyrical sense’ or something.

You’re back in the McKenzies after some time away a year ago, during which you recorded a solo album with Patrick Kaczor-Santos (more on that later). To clear up a bit of internet chatter first…after you’d left a band, Paul had done an interview in which he said the last he’d seen you, you’d jumped out of the van at 40 kph, never to be seen again (at the time). That was just Paul taking the piss out of the interviewer…right?

Haha ! Oh dear, Paul. Let me see if I can set this silly story straight…

The van might have been doing 10kph…lol not 40kph. And I played the bagpipes at Paul’s wedding a few months ago (not sure if that was before or after that interview). We seemed pretty friendly. I vaguely remember being told ‘all is forgiven’ by Paul, but I’m not sure that really happened or not. Actually, forget it, let’s go back…so yeah I jumped outta the van at 60kph and last saw Paul when I was piping at his Bar Mitzvah…imagine Paul being hoisted up on a chair and carried around the room and me playing The Horah Dance. I’m curious to see how far we can push this!

Was there any trepidation toward returning to the fold?

It really was a shitty thing and I think Paul, Bone and I are finally starting to see exactly what the whole thing was. For the band, well, no band needs the bullshit trip of one of its members quitting halfway through, but from my point of view there’s a time and place when you need your friends to back you up or let you go. When I couldn’t find any sign of anyone who was on my side, I left…at that point it’s impossible to think that you might be any value to your organization.

I think both Bone and I were walking carefully when we first started talking again. I mean Bone’s about the most easygoing goon around, so it was kind of heartwarming to put shit aside and get invited back in to help make an album. That felt good to me…kind of like being told “Gord, you’re a fuck up, and we miss writing music with you.”

That’s sort of what makes up the silt of The Real McKenzies. There’s really nothing that’s holding anything together. There’s no magic glue or special tape. The Real McKenzies today, are pretty much exactly who The Real McKenzies were in 1992: A group of folks who wanted to write, record and perform music together. There’s a bit of scariness to that for band members like me, but this is basically exactly how and why McKenzies fans have been given the BEST output from this band for so long. Nothing was learned from mistakes, no one has made any personal progress in their lives or livelihoods, and arguments are still brought up and dealt with, with no more tact, professionally or handle-ability than they always have been. But that’s The McKenzies!

Now that I’ve said that, I have to say, that’s been perfectly new until just now…with this new album, I’m really trying to crush some of my demons. And a few months ago, I recall not being the only McKenzie who was putting some serious thought into life’s paths and directions. I don’t know what’s bringing this on, this latest call to clean shit up, but I know I really want to write a great fucking album. I’ve always relied on beer and drugs to get me through the process from start to finish, but this time I’m trying to keep myself a bit healthier. Not saying I’m going to go straight-edge this whole album as well as my future performances with this band, but I have a couple of destructive habits that, when gone too far, basically ruin me. I would like to make a concerted effort to avoid taking these habits too far this time. Of course drugs and booze will always hold special spot in my heart and I probably will turn to them once or twice again my life, but I’m gonna try to pull back this time around…better for everyone I hope.

So, trepidation? No, I didn’t give it a second thought. Since then, I’ve said ‘no’ to a couple local band offers, and turned down a handful of musical projects with others because these things have just not meant very much to me. But with The RMK, I’m pretty much facing 3 certainties: 1. I LOVE this music (Specifically RMK), 2. I LOVE writing music with the RMK, and 3. I LOVE being a part of the RMK, wherever, however and for just about whatever.

Interesting that you mentioned trying to give up booze and drugs for the time being. I know that in the Idioteq interview, you mentioned utilizing the occasional mind-altering substance in order to tamper some of the self-doubt that creeps in when in the writing process. Were you already moving in a more sober-minded direction before the accident, or was the accident a kind of turning point?

I don’t think it’s the accident that’s making me want to trim some of the fat off in my life…the idea to do so had come before the accident. It’s just that during the last few sessions I had, I found the stuff to be more getting in the way than helping. Eventually, one day maybe I’ll get into it again…not in the crazy-addiction sense, but simply in the recreational, or introspective sense. Who knows how long I’ll stay away. When I think about it, there are a handful of things that really piss me off about getting loaded (Depending of drug-of-choice). Not to go into any great detail about them, but at the end of the day, it tends to be more work to involve booze and drugs than to not.

I regret nothing in my life and am very proud of each and every one of the addictions I’ve had. I’m happy to have tried and tread as much and as far as I did and to now retain such experience and knowledge regarding what ‘treats’ are out there and when and how these treats’ problems rear their ugly heads. But now, I’m pretty much bored of it. It all does the same thing and always will.

You’ve previously mentioned planning to work on a solo album after the RMK recording was in the bag. I’d imagine you’ve probably got a triple-album worth of material in your head at this point. Does the accident and the change in RMK timeline move yours up or push it off?

Yes you’re right! I have a HUGE pile of tunes ready for this January when I hope to start my second record. Basically I write all year and if The McKenzies wanna do an album, I give them the stuff that’s closest to being done, or the stuff that they have to work with the least, and then I keep everything else for myself. Occasionally there’ll be a riff like ‘Fool’s Road‘ from Westwinds that I just have to show them even though I don’t have a song behind it yet. But for the most part I try to build a demo of my stuff for them so that they can choose what they like and leave what they don’t. Whatever they leave is fair game for my own records!

The accident has pushed The McKenzies’ timeline back a bit, but still well under control in terms of Fat Studio time and release dates. As far as my album goes, no that’s far off enough that the accident really hasn’t played a roll there. I’m super-stoked for both though!! This McKenzies album is going to be a big one. I think it’s around the 12th album in 22 years! I am starting to get little ideas of how it’s going to sound, and while it’s way too early to tell, I’m just loving what I hear regarding the tunes on our demo so far!

RMK are slated to hit the road in Europe in July and August. There are at least a few big summer festivals on the itinerary, with you guys playing alongside the likes of Converge, NOFX, Sick of it All, Lagwagon and a bunch of others.

That’s going to be a really fun tour! Last time we opened for NOFX was at a festival in Slovenia. It was a great, great night! But those are going to be some amazing shows this summer!

In terms of both personal preference and the way the band’s stage show translates, do you prefer smaller, high energy club shows or earlier slots on big European festivals like that?

That question comes up a lot in interviews. I wish I didn’t have to pick one or the other haha. Of course intimate shows are great and I suppose at the end of the day these sorts of shows tend to win for me over the big ones. There’s something important about performing a show WITH the audience as opposed to FOR the audience. Especially for a band like The McKenzies… I think we would all get bored doing nothing but big shows all the time…we’re like little idiots! We love and need interaction from people around us. We love good conversation and really enjoy other discovering other people’s lives, customs, and demeanors. We need to make bad jokes and buy friends’ beers. Without these moments to enjoy during our visits to cities, towns and shows around the world, and we’re just another band.

I forgot to include in there that you guys are booked for the Flogging Molly boat cruise too. That’s going to be a hell of an experience, I’ve got to imagine.

Yeah, I just saw that come up a couple months ago too! That sounds like it’s gonna be great! Kinda reminds me of when The McKenzies toured Majorca and Ibiza! I only wish we went there by boat!

You guys get lumped in with the Dropkicks and Flogging Molly quite a bit, though RMK have obviously been around longer than either band. I’ve kinda felt that RKM got screwed in that regard. Do those “Celtic punk” analogies get tired after a while, especially given that you’re a Scottish Canadian band?

I consider it an honour to share a stage with Dropkick Murphys and FM! No one in the 3 bands are at war with one another like I think a lot of people believe! Haha! I think both FM, DKM and The Real McKenzies are at the top of their games and I think (the cruise) is going to be a show well-worth the ticket price.

I’m actually curious what those bands think of seeing US again. Is it like, ‘oh no not those shitheads again’? I just don’t know…like you said the McKenzies have changed it up a fair bit over the years and I honestly can’t remember when the last time was, who was playing, and what our attitudes and interests were last time we all played together. But I really don’t give a fuck. I’m stoked to see them, stoked to watch as much of their performances as I can, and stoked to play with such talented bands!

I don’t think the ‘Celtic Punk’ title bothers me too much, but from time to time, I do worry that too many people, especially bands first starting out, rely on using that name, or that genre thinking that they won’t be as successful if they don’t. I try to discourage people from thinking like that.The words ‘Celtic Punk’ came AFTER the bands. Our bands didn’t aspire to be good ‘Celtic Punk’ bands – we just shared some stories, histories, and experiences, and started singing about them, and then people started using ‘Celtic Punk’ as a catchall. I’m not sure about DKM or FM but for The McKenzies, that was sort of where it started, but there are another 19 years and 10 records to listen to containing all original songs and ideas that without the image of a kilt would probably not be considered ‘Celtic Punk Rock’. So yah it’s easy to get a little tired of the title, but I understand where it came from and understand that everybody’s different…

Also…what do you get more, FM/DKM comparisons, or questions about what’s under your kilt?

Yes, I’ve heard every under-the-kilt joke there is, but whatever, everyone’s different and just because they don’t take this into account, doesn’t mean I won’t fake a chuckle whilst i try to hi-jack the conversation.

Would you like to see music get to a place where the pipes are a more widely-used staple across a lot of genres, or would that sort of cheapen it (like how adding pedal steel to a pop song suddenly makes it a “country” song)? Or do you like having a sort-of “niche” instrument?

It’s nice having a niche instrument, but you hit the nail on the head; I would very much love to see the bagpipes turn into a mainstream instrument. I mean the same could be said of any cultural instrument like a shawm or sitar. And like those two examples I don’t see the pipes becoming ‘normal’ in Western music anytime soon. For that to happen, there would have to be a hundred bands all playing pipes with their guitars or something…call me pessimistic but I don’t see that happening.

I also think there’s a little message to read within the guitar, keyboard and drums. These instruments are INGENIOUS. Maybe I wouldn’t say they’re absolutely at their final levels of evolution, but they certainly are far, far along. Piano is amazing because everything is laid out right in front of the player. Guitar and bass lays out an incredibly complicated but comfortable matrix of pitches, easy to start, and comfortable to play. And, well, drums are drums; pretty obvious as again an instrument that’s easy to understand, fun to play, and motivational to grow with. And that’s really the big three. I think the ‘big 3′ are just the most comfortable to learn, the most motivational to continue learning and the most easy-to-receive-reward back from the musicians’ practice. And it’s because over the centuries they’ve evolved into becoming the 3 most comprehensive interfaces into so many types of music. Why is this? Why not bagpipes? Why not castenettes? Why not oboe? It’s funny because horns are showing more and more presence on stage but even horns are still kind of a ‘niche’ instrument. I mean, it’s kinda tough to find a horn player when you need one. Anybody can find someone who plays a little piano or someone who knows a bit of guitar, or someone whose brother’s kid’s classmate plays drums…

I would love for the bagpipes to become as mainstream as the guitar or drums, but honestly, it’s got a ways to go before it can hold a candle to instruments like the others. I’m grateful to be able to develop it further! Matt started opening up the evolution of this instrument with his work over his career. I absolutely love studying his stuff and I’m lucky my work on my own and with The McKenzies does well enough to keep me thinking and developing and creating.

I don’t want to break a rib sucking my own cock or anything but I was really happy with some of the directions I discovered both on Westwinds by The McKenzies and GT Featuring PKS. For example the counterpoint harmony in ‘The Massacre of Glencoe‘, as well as ‘Head is Filled with Music‘, or the southern-style bagpipe solo in ‘Aw Canada‘ are both bagpipe writing and playing methods that I tried to open up to evolution. I owe my ability to do this to Matt. A few of my favourite tricks I learned from him are the horn blasts on the song ‘Anyone Else‘ on The McKenzies Off the Leash album, and the fake dying bagpipe that he used in all kinds of songs and performances over the years…it’s kind a horrible sound, whose purpose is to sound horrible too, but whenever you hear the sound (which sounds like a piper just running out of breath and the bagpipes dying like they were stabbed with a skian dubh) you can guarantee that it’s NOT a piper dying…it’s actually a very talented musician expertly painting images with his instrument.

And I’ll tell you this…wait ‘til you hear what I got lined up for The McKenzies new album!! You ever heard the bagpipes through a wah pedal?!! Well get fucking ready…

You know, I think that the creativity and depth of the sounds you and Matt have produced on the pipes over the years is one of the things that, in my opinion, sets RMK apart from most of the other “Celtic punk” bands (there’s that phrase again). I think that a lot of times the pipes get pigeon-holed into a traditional support role, but on tracks like “Head Is Filled With Music” or “Fool’s Road” off the last album (and certainly “Anyone Else”), it sounds like you’re essentially playing lead guitar riffs on the bagpipes, if that makes any sense. Also, I’ve always thought the little fills at the end of each line of verse in “Anyone Else” almost sounds like a video game effect. I can certainly not imagine pipes played through a wah!

That’s a hell of a compliment and while I have to direct 90% of that to Matt (I gave him the same compliment some time ago) I’m very glad it’s noticeable by non-bagpipers. Matt flipped this instrument on its fucking head! I think it’s amazing what he’s responsible for both in composition and in performance…and thanks to our friendship, we’ve always been side by side, learning from one another. And we always had opposite talents – I was always strong in theory and composition and (clearly) Matt was absolutely dominating in musical performance. So now, years later, I feel that I’ve learned worlds about performance stage presence from him where as he continues to compose phenomenal music (‘Chip’ from Off the Leash was one of Matt’s for example!)

You mentioned before about the bagpipes and the ‘niche market’. One of the biggest benefits that I enjoy about being a piper is that our instrument has only just started evolving. So it’s easy to find ways to play that have never been done before…unlike the guitar for example. As you can see, once it’s been lit on fire once, it’s just not going to be original again.

Lead riffs shared and played in unison on guitar and bagpipes have always been a backbone of the McKenzies’ music. I think this started when Matt started playing in the band. He and Bone discovered that they really communicated well, and learned fast from one another. This led to Matt teaching Bone his parts, and Bone doing likewise. The truth is, Bone doesn’t know it but he has a very technical musical mind as well as an amazing ear. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you play, if you play in a band with Bone, you’re playing with an amazing musician who really has no trouble reproducing another person’s ideas on his guitar. And I think the first time he did this with Matt (or maybe vice versa, I dunno, I wasn’t there) the two of them just looked at each other and said ‘Yeah. We have to keep doing this’.

Totally unrelated note, but what drew to the punk world in the first place. As a stereotypically ignorant American, I know very little about Winnipeg, other than that newly-retired Teemu Selanne played there years ago (loved the Finnish Flash), and that Neil Young lived there for a while. Was there much of a scene to speak of?

‘Me and the punk rock world’ has always been a bit of a shitty story that I don’t like to tell. The truth is I grew in Winnipeg mostly after the punk rock scene and I gotta tell you, even if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t have paid attention. From the age of 12 or 13 until about 19 I was totally buried in competitive solo and pipe band playing – not to mention composition, publishing my first book of sheet music of my own (and my friend, East Coast piper John Gillis) tunes when I was 14.

While Matt was probably out at The Zoo or The Pyramid watching Personality Crisis or Propaghandi and fucking punk rock chicks, I was practicing or piping at a contest or partying a ceilidh fucking highland dancer chicks. I wasn’t into any type of music besides bagpipes. It’s embarrassing to tell how late in life I heard mainstream fucking bands like ACDC, Led Zeppelin, or Pink Floyd. I mean I was in my goddamned twenties!!

Bone spent nearly a couple of decades in Winnipeg before moving to Vancouver and I think he’ll tell me I’m full of shit (because he’s older than Matt and I and he would have been banging around Winnipeg during the late 80s and early 90s) but I’m going to say that Winnipeg has a pretty shitty music scene. I was blown away when (after joining the McKenzies) I began spending significant time in Vancouver and seeing all the music posters, and the youth speaking their voice for their music, and all the amateur power involved with the music scene. Winnipeg may have had some good bands but we have really never had a significant group of people step forward and start promoting shows on a weekly basis. And on the rare chance a group of these people did speak up, it was never for any length of time necessary to establish a voice or a sub-culture.

It’s a well-known fact that Winnipeg is a fairly conservative town without much of a population. You need large numbers of people in order for like-minded people to find each other. I don’t really know why anyone likes to live here…including myself. The only reason I haven’t moved is because I’m the kind of person who always has everything they need wherever they go.

I knew you’d published bagpipe sheet music books, but I don’t t think I’d realized that you were fourteen at the time. That’s mind-boggling to me. Speaking of subcultures, I know very, very little about the pipe world. I’d assume, though, that being a published author of sheet music at 14 is outside the norm. Did the older, more established guys in that world view you as a sort of snot-nosed punk or a virtuoso at that age, or was it pretty welcoming and supportive? Why the eventual draw toward punk music, you think? When RMK (and Matt, at that point) got started, there wasn’t really a blueprint for this whole genre, unless we’re counting the Pogues I suppose.

Oh I’m not sure anyone took us too seriously with that first book. It was a great effort and definitely a stepping stone, but I must be honest, I don’t think John nor I had a good grasp of our compositional skills just yet! Haha! A few years later, when I released the second one (I think I was 18) that’s when I started seeing my tune titles appearing on pipe band album track listings from all over the world. It was very flattering to see! Actually, just before I met The McKenzies, ‘Taylor Made’ from Oot and Aboot was recorded and was printed in that book. Matt did a fantastic job recording that piece. We’ve never been able to get that tribal, haunting sound back without it sounding fucking stupid in the studio.

During the time before and after my second book was released, I don’t think there was much room for me to go on in the pipe band world so no, I didn’t get any of that ‘virtuoso’ respect from them. But yes, there were probably lots of people thinking I was a snot-nose. I think that happens though as your peers see you spend more time away from them enjoying composition for the sake of composition. I mean that’s all I was doing…I didn’t care about playing in a pipe band or not…I had what I wanted…but at that exact time, I was getting the biggest and best welcome of all as I started to contribute with Matt with The McKenzies. So kind of answers the ‘draw to punk’ question. I never would have gotten involved in Punk Rock music without Punk Rock music being interested and supportive of my music.

What’s the best market in the States for RMK? Do you find that the band does better in places like Boston or Chicago that have an “Irish” market with bands like the Dropkicks and The Tossers? Or are there hardcore Scottish markets out there?

Best market in the states for us…hmm…the honest answer is unfortunately not a good one. I’m afraid The McKenzies, broadly but historically, have never done great in The States. I really wish this wasn’t true because we really love visiting, and wish we could just sell The Yanks on how great a live show we put out! It’s an absolutely true statement that anyone who goes to one McKenzies show WILL come again. But I haven’t figured out how to get big numbers of Americans out to their first McKenzies show like we can in Germany or Holland! I mean the answer is easy I guess: ‘Write better music’

To answer your question I might say the West Coast is probably the best market for us Stateside. Not because the Westies know us more, but I think more just because of how much more punk rock you see, especially with the attachment to Fat’s California label.

Also, this is totally unrelated to that conversation, but it popped into my head. I’d been planning on asking if any of your pals or bandmates had launched a GoFundMe or Indiegogo page in order to crowd-source money to help with your medical bills (particularly so I could link to it in the eventual story). But then dawned on me that you’re not in America, so you have things like universal healthcare, so that may be much less of an issue…

We once had a ‘Donations’ button on our website, and many of our awesome fans took advantage of it (Thank you again!!) But no, I haven’t heard of the McKenzies using a service like that. As for me, yes, things work a bit different in Canada…there’s really no need for me to crowd-fund my rehabilitation as much of it has been covered by insurance.

Totally off-topic again based on our discussion train, and maybe not even relevant to the interview, but are you able to make a living as a full-time musician? It’s my understanding that it seems Canada, in general,tends to take a little bit more of an interest in supporting the arts. Is there a “day job” waiting for you to get back to?

Sure I think anyone who wants to live as a full-time musician can do just that. It may take a bit of busking, or teaching, or whatever, but if a person really wants to dedicate their all, and manage their life, career and finances accordingly anyone could lead a life like that. It’s always been tough for me though as there are always other things in life that catch my attention

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