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Music

Why You Should Know David Myles - Q & A

Posted by Jer / March 1, 2007

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Last year, when David Myles played Montreal's Toc Toc café, there were 15 people in the bar (5 of whom were regulars and oblivious to the music onstage). Since then, Myles has been touring tirelessly across Canada, opening for the likes of Jill Barber and Sarah Slean along the way. His new album, Things Have Changed, is not just a collection of well-written blues-infused ditties, it also aptly describes the state of his musical career. Two weeks ago in Halifax, Myles performed in front of a packed Metro Center at the East Coast Music Awards as part of a showcase for emerging singer-songwriters. From that stage, things certainly looked different than they did a year ago.

Myles brings his impressive guitar skills and mellow melodies to Le Divan Orange Sunday night. The album's lush textures (with horns, mandolins, and banjos contributed by a who's who of East Coast musicians) are absent in his sparser live show, but Myles' voice and compelling stories easily fill the void.

Ok, disclosure time: I grew up in Fredericton, a town where everyone knows everyone. Myles is currently based in Halifax but he hails from Fredericton, so I know him. Part of me is probably heaping praise on him and his music because David's Dad or brothers might kick my ass if I didn't. That's what we do in Fredericton. But I'm not the only one hurling superlatives in his direction. Myles has been featured on CBC's Vinyl Café and he was nominated for the Galaxie Rising Star Recording of the Year (at the ECMAs). He's also currently in the finals of the International Songwriting Competition. I checked in with Myles last week to see how he's coping with change:

You spent the better part of the summer touring across Canada. Tell me about it in approximately 35 words.

It was great. It seemed like more driving than playing, 16000 km, mostly solo. One man, one highway. I ate more mini carrots then I thought humanly possible and listened to the Best of Bill Whithers about 150 times. You got to embrace it to make the journey really worth it. I should also mention the western tour with Jill Barber was unreal.

I saw you on the East Coast Music Awards 2 weeks ago. Are the Trailer Park Boys as annoying in real life as they appear on television?

You know I could try to lie and say that I don't find them funny but I do. Sorry. The only annoying thing about the show was when the (Halifax) Daily News said "I didn't know Bob Saget sang songs" in their
"best and worst dressed on the ECMA's" section the next day when referring to me. Now that hurts. And I thought I looked pretty sharp. Damn.

How was performing in front of a national audience?

It was pretty unreal. The performance took place in front of a packed house at the Metro Centre, which was a heck of lot bigger than my usual venues. In terms of spreading the word and building a fan base it doesn't get much better. I felt pretty lucky to be on there for sure.

Do you think things have changed for you, musically speaking, in the last year?

I guess I do. The big thing is just playing so many gigs. It really changes the way you approach playing. It has made me more confident but mostly helped me figure out what I do. It takes a little while before you find "your voice" as they say. I do feel like that's starting to figure itself out.

What's next for David Myles (please tell me it's not writing the soundtrack for Trailer Park Boys II: Bubbles Gets Laid)?

We'll see about the soundtrack but for now it's a bunch more touring. I don't think I'll start working on another album until the fall, though the tunes are pretty much written. Also, it looks like there may be a European release in the fall. So that'll mean hitting the studio in a few months and working out a couple tunes. It'll be some new tunes, some from Things Have Changed and maybe a couple from the first album (Together & Alone). Should be pretty cool. But that's kind of up in the air for now.

What's your favourite kind of poutine?

Stuffed poutine. No question. There is a place formerly called Saluzzo's in Halifax that has a killer stuffed poutine. Regular poutine with Turkey stuffing all over it. It's insane. You open the lid to the box/carton
and there is about 5 different shades of brown right there. Plus the gravy there is incredibly thick, almost like a fourth state of matter.

***David Myles plays Le Divan Orange, Sunday Mar. 4, with A Band of Owls. He may or may not be dressed like Bob Saget. You can also take a listen to him on this week's podcast****

photo by Kyle Cunjak, who will also be playing the stand up bass at Sunday's show

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