The “Magnetic North Tour” is Woodhawk’s third tour and first Eastern Canadian tour in support of their debut LP ‘Beyond The Sun’ released last April.The album was produced by Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) and also features guest vocals on their track “Living In The Sand” by Kevin Keegan (Dead Quiet, ex-Mountain Dust, ex-Barn Burner) plus charted #12 on National Loud Top 20 for 2017- Canadian College Radio Charts (Earshot) and was named the best Canadian metal of 2017: Top 15, according to Hellbound.ca – #13.
This interview was done with Turner Midzain – guitar / vocals
What would say some of the bands influences are?
We all come from different influences, and try to utilize that to its fullest when writing. We love everything from Black Sabbath to Every Time I Die, Phil Collins to Seal and Thin Lizzy to Lady Gaga. We love riffs first and foremost. That’s our bread and butter, but how we get to those riffs, stems from all over.
Your style is very stoner rock, but has some old vintage feel to it. How long did it take for the band to find its sound?
It didn’t really take us too long to find what we wanted to do. The first song we wrote was Don’t Wake The Witch, and that song at the time, embodied what we wanted Woodhawk to sound like. We like riff forward music, with elements of groove and catchy melodies. So we knew what we wanted to do very early on. But crafting it and making it better is always an ongoing process.
You’re on the road in Canada, can you take us back to one of your favourite moments on tour?
We love touring. We all individually love driving around Canada even when not in the bus. It’s beautiful. We had such a blast last year touring Western Canada with Dead Quiet. We hadn’t done a long run with another band before, so that was a lot of fun to being on the road for a couple weeks with some of our best pals. There is always great inside jokes on the road and camaraderie between us on the road. We love it.
How did you meet?
Mike and I met back in Elementary school when we were 10. So we go way way back. Mike actually taught me how to play guitar at a sleep over when we were kids. And I was hooked ever since. We’ve always been in various bands together. When Woodhawk first got started up, we had friend just filling in on drums to get us started. And that’s where we met Kevin. We played with one of his other bands at the time and just formed a good friendship. So when we were looking for a permanent drummer, he was the first one to reach out to us.
Are you flames fans? Who do you rep?
Not really. Not big hockey followers in general.
Who came up with the name Riff Rock Wizardry? (Slow Clap)
That was the previous writer of our bio. Just kind of mashing words together I guess.
Do you book your own tours? if so, describe how difficult the process is?
We book all our own tours. It’s rewarding in a sense to make a plan and see it come together, but also stressful to juggle dates, venues and other bands. I find it’s more difficult to book a new town for the first time. We book Western Canada fairly easily because we know a lot of venues, promoters and bands, so having a bit of an established following makes it easier to book. This being our first out East was trickier mainly by not knowing as many people. But all the bands we’re playing with on this run were so helpful and accommodating. That’s the nice thing about the music scene here, most musicians are willing to help each other out.
Who are some of the bands you’re listening to? anything new?
We’re lucky to call some of our favourite bands friends. They make the best records. Dead Quiet’s latest release, the new Black Wizard album, and Bort. For more mainstream stuff, I’ve been hooked on The Dirty Nil and The Beaches lately. We’re always rotating new bands when on tour. Everyone always shares their interests. Some you love, some you hate.
Does Woodhawk aspire to tour full-time? and what are the steps to get there?
We try to tour when we want and how we want. Sometimes that’s longer stretches and sometimes it’s just weekends. We have bigger plans that will be put in motion for heading overseas and through the US. But right now we’re focusing on Canada. We like to make sure our foot is on stable ground before we start walking. And we need to walk before we run. I’m not sure we’d ever be a “full time” touring band. But it will definitely increase over the years. We felt Beyond The Sun was a great way to kind of make a mark. So hopefully with the next album, we can start making bigger moves.