The Trews will roll into Campbell River on Monday.

The Trews to put a fresh spin on some old favourites at Tidemark

Prefer to “just spend a lot of time jamming"

With 15 Top-10 radio hits over the decade since they launched onto the Canadian music scene, The Trews are touring yet another album – and they’re stopping in at the Tidemark along the way on Monday, Nov. 24.

“It’s going to be a really unique show,” John-Angus MacDonald, lead guitarist of the group said via cellphone from their tour bus, which, at the time, was, “I don’t know, exactly. Somewhere between Brandon and Saskatoon.”

“We’re going to do the first half acoustic and the second half will be electric,” he said, so some of your old Trews favourites might get a fresh spin you’ve never heard before.

While the development and production of The Trews’ new self-titled album is a new approach for the band, they’d like to think it just sounds like them, according to MacDonald. He said they don’t approach any album by trying to come up with a specific message or musical sound, but instead “just spend a lot of time jamming, and when we feel we have enough good songs, we look into who we want to work with and how we want to get it done.”

“Getting it done,” in this case, meant, in part, finding a new way to finance the album.

MacDonald said they suddenly found themselves between record deals after their last release, Thank You and I’m Sorry, and were looking at the options available to them to produce their next one.

“The industry has changed so much, you know? It’s like, do we resign with a major label? Do we move to an Indy label?” he asked rhetorically.

They settled on using a new type of crowdfunding, called Pledgemusic, after meeting the creator of the site and realizing that it would be a great way to engage their fans on a whole new level.

Pledgemusic is designed in much the same way as other crowd funding sites, such as Kickstarter, where those who donate to the project receive a reward of some kind, but with an added wrinkle for fans. They can, depending on the project and the rewards being offered, sometimes actually be a part of the production.

The new Trews album, for example, saw some fans who pledged to the project actually get into the studio with the band and get to do everything from finger snaps and handclaps to actual vocals on the tracks being recorded.

“It’s like the ultimate fan club,” MacDonald said. “And in the end, it had a big influence on the record, because we knew going in that we were making an album for the fans…that they’d already paid for. So it had to be good,” he said with a laugh.

So, what’s changed with The Trews over their decade or so on the scene?

Not much, according to MacDonald.

“I mean, we’re more focused (than when we started),” he said, “and I think we’re a little better at delivering, not only from a technical aspect, but also just in that we’re better able to get our message across,” but other than that, they’re the same rockers that launched into most people’s stereos with Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me in the summer of 2005.

Other than the interesting, “half acoustic, half electric” aspect of the show, fans can be sure there will be a good mix of old hits and new soon-to-be favourites, and that they won’t necessarily be the same old versions you’re used to, according to MacDonald.

He said “Oblivion” (from 2012’s Thank You and I’m Sorry) and “Where There’s Love,” from the latest release, are his two other favourite tracks from their catalogue, so there’s a good chance they’ll play those ones, as well.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $35, and can be purchased at the Tidemark box office or online at

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