Shaun Verreault, Safwan Javed, myself and Earl Pereira.
During one of the popular Canadian band, Wide Mouth Mason's stop overs at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, I had a chance to chat with group members Shaun Verreault, Safwan Javed and Earl Pereira. This interview was done in the fall of 1999.
GB- The last time you performed here at UNB it seems you had a bit of bus trouble?SV - Ya we were finishing our show and our tour manager walked up and said, everything is all right, nobody got hurt, but the bus was on fire when you were playing. I though he was kidding. I guess during the first big snowfall of the year, the bus caught fire, and once we got out we preceded to get stuck on the main road out of here. Already things are looking up this time.
GB A while back you had a chance to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. What was that like?SV - It was amazing. It was the second time we've been there. Just to have a chance to play somewhere that all of are heroes have played is amazing. To be there this time taking part in a tribute to Muddy Water's Rythym guitar player Jimmy Rodgers, was great. We got to meet Taj Mahal and Jimmy Rogers, all kinds of different players. Saf made coffee for Taj Mahal, the high point of his life so far. (laughs) Last time we had about ten days to hang around and see everybody but this time it was in the middle of Edgefest Dates, so we basically spent more time in the air then we did on land.
GB- Saf I understand you grew not far from here in Prince Edward Island. What do you think of the Confederation Bridge?SJ- Usually every time we go over it I've been asleep, but the one time I wasn't I saw a lot of clouds and not much else. The earliest memories that I have of existence at all were Prince Edward Island. I would go fishing with family friends and stuff like that or on the ferry as I though the ferries were the coolest thing. I even had a little toy ferry. So in that respect I'm more of a traditionalist.
GB - How much input do you have to your web site widemouthmason.com?SV - There is a great guy by the name of Chris Steeleous out of Edmonton looking after out web site for us. He conceived and designed the whole thing as well as the cover of our most recent album for us, and won an award for it. We keep in contact with him and our management makes sure he has pictures of recent things and kept up to date on things. When we're around the computer we'll send a message into everyone and clear up rumors and things.
GB - Has cracking the US market been difficult for the band?SV -What a lot of bands are going though right now is ya the albums great. We'd like a few extra copies so we can have some at home to listen to. We don't really hear a single that could work right now so if you could happen to write a radio single for us that kind of sounds like Backstreet Boys we'd be happy to put your record out. So we are kind of waiting on someone to get the band for the reasons that other people seem to get the band. If that turns into a wait or if we have to do it Barenaked style and just tour there endlessly until people catch on, then I think we're ready to do that. It's just that so many people are fighting for such a small piece of the pie that's owned by alcohol companies and people who's bottom line is profit and not artistry. I think its getting harder and the borders are getting narrower and narrower and we're a band that likes to have a little variety and that doesn't fit nicely into that.
SJ - Plus with the major labels and the different stuff that's been going on with people buying each other out there is less people in charge of the big major labels down in the states.
The band's Durex condom bus that caught fire at UNB
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