I recently had the opportunity to trade emails with Halifax indie-rock troubadour Joel Plaskett, and he opened up about the road, the radio, his latest album and what he loves about Winnipeg!
GS: You’ve released numerous albums now with the Joel Plaskett Emergency. What’s the most significant thing you’ve learned after all this time?
JP: There is more than one way to do things and Led Zeppelin is still the best band ever.
GS: You’ve been doing your upcoming album Scrappy Happiness in ‘record time’, writing and releasing a song a week. What made you decide to go with this approach?
JP: I’ve been really into singles and I like the idea of being able to focus on one song at a time. I also like the deadline aspect as there is no time for perfection or too much second guessing.
GS: What have you learned is the most important thing to have with you on the road?
JP: A clean pair of socks and a desire to take the stage.
GS: Weirdest thing that’s happened on the road so far?
JP: There was a hitchhiker named Randy that Thrush Hermit picked up near Lake Louise…
GS: What’s the biggest misconception that people have about life on the road?
JP:That you want to party every night.
GS: Most bizarre piece of fan mail?
JP: There have been a few intense poems but kudos to those who wrote them.
GS: Besides musician, what would your dream occupation be?
JP: Persian carpet dealer to the stars.
GS: Where have you had the best audience response? Were you surprised?
JP: Massey Hall in Toronto was crazy but so was Dawson City, Yukon, Petit Riviere, NS and Ellsworth, Maine. I’m always blown away when people dig it.
GS: What’s your favourite thing about Winnipeg?
JP: The architecture and the blustery streets. The Royal Albert is classic.
GS: What’s an era in music history you’ll never understand?
JP: I can wrap my head around most of it but that doesn’t mean I like it.
GS: What’s one song you wish you’d written? (Yes, just one)
JP: Bernadette by the Four Tops written by Holland, Dozier, Holland. It’s unreal.
GS: You have the power to change one thing about the entire music industry. What is it?
JP: Eliminate the corporate stranglehold on commercial radio and get back to some real variety on the FM dial.
GS: What’s one festival you dream of headlining?
JP: To be honest, I love a good festival but I haven’t really dreamt of headlining any. I’d prefer to set up in a random field somewhere and have my audience show up.
GS: Name someone (artist, group) you’ve met that has left you star struck.
JP: Bo Diddley
GS: Who is someone you’re still dying to meet/ perform with?
JP: Irma Thomas. I don’t want to perform with her. I just want to hear her sing and tell her what her music means to me.
GS: What album are you most excited for in 2012?
JP: Mo Kenney’s debut. I’m a little biased though, cause I’m producing it.