Interview with Dave Rashed and Paul MacAusland from Haywire

Although the heyday for Charlottetown, P.E.I based band Haywire is long past since they officially called it quits in the mid 90's, all the original group members still get together from time-to-time to trot out the hits. On July 3/04 they performed a show with Vancouver rockers the Headpins on the Market Square boardwalk in Saint John, New Brunswick. It's been 11 years since I last seen these guys live so it was quite a treat to catch this show. Prior to the performance and for the first time in 11 years, I got to chat with keyboardist Dave Rashed and vocalist Paul MacAusland for this interview.

GB- First off I want to welcome you back to Saint John and its great to see you guys playing together again, even if its just for a couple of shows. (Note: the band also played in Bathurst, NB with Chilliwack).

DR - Thanks, It's been a few years and it's good to be back. The first reunion we did was 2000 in Charlottetown, a big New Years type of thing. We decided we would re-group for that and we enjoyed it so much that we went to Winnipeg later that summer and did a gig and we have been doing a few festivals here and there.

GB - Any plans some day on maybe recording a live CD/DVD or perhaps a new studio recording?

DR - Funny you mentioned that as we have talked about that quite a few times. Everybody's pretty busy with their work and business's and family commitments but we have talked about it. I'm not ruling out their won't be another Haywire CD.

GB- What are you doing now yourself Dave?

DR- I moved back to Charlottetown a couple of years ago. I was in Ontario for twelve years. I just moved back to P.E.I. with my family to raise our kids there.

GB - Since is quite rare for you guys to play live do you ever fear you will forget some of the keyboard parts to the songs?

DR - I forget all the keyboard parts actually. I'm playing kazoo for the show tonight (laughs). No it's kind of riding a bike, back when we were playing and touring the albums and stuff, we played so many nights and the songs over and over ever night. After you go thought them once or twice it all comes back to you.

GB - Looking back to the 80's any special memories?

DR- The one thing that was brought to my attention was that the show that was played a few years back when we were in the Battle of the Bands here in Saint John. I remember being outside doing that. That was a pretty exciting time doing all the gigs for that and finally wining the main prize. That was kind of nice. It was a real confidence boost for the band. I think we were the only band that did original music at that concert, the final concert. That gave us a little bit of confidence to kind of continue with our original music and produce our independent CD.

GB - Were you surprised when things really took off and all the attention you got from female fans back then?

DR - When did that stop though, what are you saying (laughs). Ya your right, in 86,87,88 for Bad Boys and Don't Just Stand There, when they came out we had a lot of success with videos and stuff. I think we were one of the first bands from the east coast that took advantage of the Much Music and the video scene. It was pretty interesting. It was fun and I'm glad we went though that.

GB - But you also got lumped in with more melodic type bands such as Honeymoon Suite did you not, when you really came from more harder rock roots?

DR - I think it was just the production sounds at that time. People were going for that. That was the 80's sound, right. The producers that we worked with on the first couple of albums, they kind of had an ear and the record companies knew where they wanted the band to fit. The band was always a little heavier live than we came across on the first couple of cd's anyway.

GB - And then with Nuthouse album you really returned to your rock roots?

DR - Ya that was kind of 180 degree vacation we took. It was something we wanted to do I think for ourselves. We all grew up with Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Hendrix and Deep Purple, great bands That was in us and it was just a matter of time before we put those influences to some new music.

GB - So what does the future hold for Haywire?

DR - Its hard to say. We are just are taking it one gig at a time. If we begin the writing process you will hopefully hear some new material and some touring.


GB - I hear you have been keeping busy Paul over on the Island preforming. Do you still have your band called Pappa Shine?

PM - No I'm not with Pappa Shine anymore. I had a couple of dozen bands actually on the go. Rock Island Blues Band was one of them, Pappa Shine. I played with Joey Kidson and bunch of other good fellows and now I'm with another band called Chuckle Head. We also do a remake of Lugnuts which was a heavy band I was in about 10 years ago. Ya we are doing that again, just having fun over there. I just love playing.

GB- Do you plan on doing some recording with any of those projects?

PM - Yes I am actually. I'm starting another band in Halifax. I'm moving there in September. I will be starting up with a few friends that I played with on the island. They moved to Halifax and they said come on over and lets do something. So we are going to get at that in September. You probably won't see anything for about half a year. We're just gonna travel around and get used to each other and get used to writing. Then we are gonna put something out and just keep flogging it I guess and maybe something will turn out or maybe it won't.

GB - Do you ever miss the old days touring with Haywire?

PM- I miss sleeping for 12 hours a day (laughs). I don't get to do that anymore. Ya I do miss it. It's nice to come back and do it every once in a while.

GB - Did you have fun doing the big outdoor show in Winnipeg (Minnedosa Rock Fest) a couple of years back? I seen a few clips of it on Much More Music.

PM - Ya, we thought it was going to get rained out. It was almost like Woodstock. They were showing people sliding down the hill. It was good. Helix was really good. We haven't seen Helix in a real long time and they put on a fantastic show, unbelievable. It was a lot of fun.

GB - I asked this question to Dave but do you every forget any of the song lyrics at times?

PM - Ya I might forget some of them tonight. I have them all written down in my hand (laughs). I hope I don't forget any lyrics but we practice enough so I think we're ok.

GB - Any favorite memories of your trip to Japan back in the 80's you would like to share?

PM- It was expensive. We went to the Budokan before we played too. I heard that P.E.I. maple syrup was very popular over there, so I said I'm gonna buy a ton of this and take it over there and give it to the people at Sony and all the other people that were taking us around. I offered it to them and they looked at me like I had three heads and they were like, ahhh oh thank you (laughs), so that was it. I ended up coming back with like six tubs of syrup. Hard to get through customs with that (laughs).

GB - Ever check on the fan web sites that have been done on the band?

PM - Ya Black Dahlia has one. There is another one too I believe but I haven't checked it out in a long time. I have dial up at home. I'm out in the country so it takes a long time to get on. But I'm gonna get high speed pretty soon. I'm gonna move into the year 2000 (laughs).

GB - What does the future hold for yourself personally Paul?

PM - Oh mostly playing. I tried the 9 to 5 thing and I really hate it. I don't like it at all. But who does really. I want to continue to play I enjoy it and until they tell me to stop I think I'm gonna keep going.

GB - I hope so. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me guys.

PM-Thank you Gary.

DR- Yes, thanks.

Interview conducted July 3rd, 2004

Here is the setlist of the night:
1. Get Back
2. Operator Central
3. She Drives Me Crazy
4. Fire
5. Dance Desire
6. Stand in my Shoes
7. Wanna Be the One
8. Thinkin About the Years
9. Acoustic Sing-a-long (Summer of 69, Brown Eyed Girl)
10. Tremble in Line (Paul solo - vocals and acoustic guitar)
11. Buzz
12. Short End of A Wishbone
13. Standin In Line
14. Black and Blue
15. Bad Bad Boy

Below is my previous interview with Dave from 1993.

Hailing from a land more know for potatoes than pop bands, Prince Edward Island, Haywire were in the right place at the right time. The band owned most of their initial success to the popularity of Canada's music channel Much Music in the mid 80's, who had their "Dance Desire" video in heavy rotation for weeks on end. Their third album 'Nuthouse' in 1990, a much harder, more focused album eventually went gold, but disillusioned a lot of fans. Another album followed in 1992 and in 1993 the label released a greatest hits package, 'Wired', to close out their contractual obligation. The band continued looking for another deal for awhile longer but eventually called it quits in the mid '90's. This interview was done in 1993 with keyboard player Dave Rashed, while on what would turn out to be their farewell tour of Atlantic Canada, opening for Kim Mitchell.

GB - I guess you have a new greatest hits album?

DR- Its called "Wired", its Attic, they put it out, its kinda like all the singles. Just a little something for Christmas I guess. Stocking Stuffers!

GB - Last time I seen you live was when you opened for Kim Mitchell. How did that tour go and what was it like working with Kim?

DR - Actually the first tour we ever did as a recording act was with Kim in 86, and that was cross Canada doing all the arenas and soft seaters and it was a really successful tour, and gave us a lot of exposure. He was coming down here and doing some dates, so we thought it would be neat to work with him again because it was such a good experience before. We did the Maritimes and Toronto with him and it worked out really good.

GB - Do you get recognized in Charlottetown and asked for autographs a lot?

Dave - Not so much now. We did at first when the first couple of albums came out you. We couldn't walk downtown with out making sure you didn't go to the mall at a certain time when school was out, or when every one was on their lunch break, as it would be kind of embarrassing. Its not so bad now. Charlottetown is our home and everybody know us. Its a small community and everybody knows each other. It's no big deal now. When we're home its great, your back and doing your own thing, and they just leave us alone and let us do our thing.

GB - What would you consider to be the high point of your career?

DR - Doing your show (laughs) This is it! I don't know. There's been a few things, Japan, playing at the Budokan, that way pretty great, also doing a couple of shows before we got signed. Playing with Paul Young in Halifax at the Metro Center, that was amazing. Hearing our first song on the radio was something. For any bands doing this the first time you hear your song on the radio its great and then to see it do well, and receiving your first gold and platinum records. Its kind of a building thing, you get excited at that point because our trying to achieve certain things and at different points there is different hi-lights, but I can't think of one thing that stands out.

GB - Any luck at breaking into the American market. I know that can be difficult?

DR- It's been a tough market for us to get down there. Basically our record company had the rights to the American market, so they were responsible for getting us a US deal, that's part of the reason we are not with them any more, but our last album "Get Off" just came out about a month ago and the video is out to MTV and "Wanna be the One" is the first single down there so we are just waiting to see what happens with that.

GB- Sales wise how does it make you feel to be one of the most successful acts to come out of the Maritimes?

DR - I'm not sure who sold the most. I think in the Maritimes the talent down here is incredible. It gets over looked because there is no record company or any industry people who are down here. There is a lot of bands as far as playing the club scene, which is probably the healthiest in the whole country, and its great because a band can play actually every week and get really good. But when you get to a certain point to get good enough to get signed, there is no one down here to look at you or sign you. There is some excitement happening out of Halifax with "Sloan" and all that, and of course Cape Breton music and I hope to see in the next few years a lot of Maritime bands doing something, because there is a lot of talent down here and they deserve it.

GB- It is possible to stay in the Maritimes or do you have to go to Ontario or somewhere else?

DR - I don't think you have to go anywhere, as long as your where you get inspired to write your songs, that is all that matters.

GB - Any advice you could give a young band?

DR- Get a good lawyer (laughs) that's always a good one and really know your instrument and if you really believe in it, work hard and keep practicing and it will happen at some point if, you work hard at it.

GB- What do you do when your not touring?

DR - Marvin and myself have started doing some producing and we produced a band in Cape Breton called "Real World". We did a record for them and that is coming out in Canada in January and I just finished producing "The Trees". They used to be called "The Screaming Trees" out of Halifax. I just produced their last record. I'm kind of getting into that end of it. We have been into the performing end of it for so long, so I'm kind of getting into doing different things. Production is one thing we are kind of getting into a bit.

GB - With the popularity of Grunge, Alternative music do you feel alienated by the music industry?

DR - The music business is forever changing from what radio likes and what they want to play and what everybody is into. Its always a changing thing. Our goal has always been to do what we felt was right at the time and what feels best for the band. Any one who has listened to our last four records, its been an ever changing thing with us. From 1986 till our last record its a growing process. There are radio stations that one week they are playing this and next week their playing country and next week its greatest hits of the sixties. So the format is forever changing, so all you can do as a band is just do what you feel good at, and what's best for the band and hopefully there is enough market out there that can play it.

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