We caught up with the Canadian music maker HOMESHAKE on his European tour to have a chat about life on the road, where to find the best half-decent Aperol Spritz in Montreal and his tips on travel hygiene.
So how’s the tour been going?
Good. We started in Glasgow, played at a few cities in northern England. Then we went to Spain and played at Primavera Sound Festival followed by Madrid and San Sebastian, then a concert in Dublin and now we’re here.
What’s been the highlight so far?
Madrid, they were so nice in Madrid. It was crazy, I’m a basketball fan and on the door of the green room they put the Toronto raptors logo next to HOMESHAKE, it was so thoughtful. I’ve kept it. I also left something in the hotel and they tracked it down and are sending it to me. The show was also really sweet.
You talk in your songs about ‘when you walk alone, you’re never lost’, do you do any travelling on your own?
I don’t travel alone really, there’s so much touring so I’m usually with the band. If I’m travelling off tour it’s with my sweetie. She makes it a good time, does all the research and finds what we should be doing and stuff. Even with the band, Mark always knows whats up in the next place we’re going to and does all the research.
What are your must see’s and do’s when Trippin?
I really like to eat good local food, especially street food. I don’t really like fancy restaurants, I think they’re stupid and annoying.
What are some of your earliest memories of taking trips?
Coming here actually, my dad is English so we used to come and visit my granny in the summers.
In South Devon. I have lots of memories there. Putsborough beach in North Devon, by Cornwall. We used to go there all time.
How long have you lived in Montreal?
Did you go there to be around more of an industry and a scene?
Montreal is very cheap, so that’s a big thing for a lot of musicians moving there from elsewhere. You don’t have to work too much, but it turns into a thing where you end up partying a lot and no one ends up getting any work done, but it worked well for me.
“I’ve started taking my yoga mat on tour with me, I can’t use it a lot but if the hotel room is big enough.”
What was your introduction into music?
I started piano lessons when I was four, and it stayed and maintained as the only thing in my life I was ever good at and liked. Nothing ever hit above so I stuck with it and forgot about everything else. And worked at it. I’m pretty lucky.
When you’ve released as many projects as you have, how do you get inspired to start the next thing, what kind of head space do you need to be in?
I dunno, I’m just always working on whatever. I’m already half-way into another one. I just need to be at home and force myself to work on it. I don’t need to be outwardly inspired too much, it’s just a work thing. The more I work on making new songs, the more they come out well. I just make a lot of crap until it starts getting good.
Do you ever get any ideas whilst travelling, does it play into your creative process?
Yeah I do, but I never can never write properly when I’m on the road. Some people record, they bring the whole recording set up and make demos in the van, it’s insane. I could never do that. I basically have a notebook for lyrics. It’s like a bunch of disconnected thoughts.
Where’s your favourite place you’ve been on tour?
I really like touring Asia because every day is incredible, new and fun. I’ve done two solo tours in Japan and then again with the band to South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand.
Is there somewhere you really wanna go but haven’t been?
Italy, but that’s just cause I wanna eat the food there. I wanna go on a trip to the Galapagos really bad, I’ve been planning it for ages. I wanna see the turtles.
Lastly, what are your travel essentials?
Passport, that’s a good one. I dunno, face wash, moisturiser and stuff. Hand sanitisers and wipes for the plane. Planes are so gross, I hate them so much. I’m on them so often and I learn more and more about how disgusting they are. I was trying to find a face mask but I couldn’t track one down before we left. I gotta find one of those…
Click here to pre-order / save Homeshake's brand new EP, Helium Remixes.
Photography by Bonnie Ophelia