The Road to Indie Week Alberta 2013 Winner

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The Time to Hesitate is Through: An Interview with Open AIR

When you hear a song open with a rip of a guitar and the shiver of a symbol, you know you’re in for a good time.  The judges thought so too… Meet the winners of Road to Indie Week: Alberta Edition! In the midst of releasing their latest EP, the boys from Open AIR are finding time to reign supreme.  Self-described hard-rockers from Calgary, they are on a personal mission to bring back all the glory of classic rock, and melt our faces of with their live show in the interim. They are sure to show us why the rock revival coming out of Canada at the moment is only getting started…

1. Tell us about the initial interest in Indie Week. When did Open Air decide to throw their hat into the ring?

The timing worked out really well for us. We were wrapping up our new EP, Extended Play, around the time when submissions were due for Road to Indie Week, and we thought it would be a great way to showcase the new record and get the music out there to people that otherwise would not have heard it.

2. For the other bands still waiting for their chance to impress the industry, can you describe the night you played? What was the venue like? How many other bands were there? Tell us about the build up before you played.

The venue was great, and definitely full of energy. The place was packed with a lot of fantastic bands from the province, and a lot of people excited to see those bands perform. We played with 6 other bands from Edmonton and Calgary, all of which were great and an honour to share the stage with. We tried to just enjoy the show and not think of it as a competition, but the thought of going to Toronto was exciting.

3. You won! What went through your minds when you heard Open AIR called out for the victory lap?

We were definitely flabbergasted. We had our own favourites to win, and when they called our name it was surreal. There’s that moment of “NO WAY…”

4. There is still time between now and October. ..what’s on the docket for the rest of the summer?

There is a lot coming up for us in a short period of time. We’ll be hitting the road for a Western-Canadian tour in the latter half of July, followed by a lot of shows in the areas surrounding Calgary to help solidify our roots. We’ve also been working on a lot of new material, and some unplugged sets we’re excited to try out.

5. Your Road to Indie Week has just begun.  What are you looking forward to most?

Where to begin? It’ll be great to get out east and be playing with the best of the best Indie bands in Canada. We feel very privileged to be considered part of that group. It’ll be great to meet both musicians and industry professionals alike; and it’s sure to be an enormous learning experience for us.

6. Are you daring to look past October and into the future?

Absolutely, we’re always looking forward to the next thing, or more aptly, things. We’ll be touring Eastern Canada in October (with Indie Week in the middle!). We’re also working on some new material that we will bring into the studio later this year/early next year to begin production on our first full-length album. We’re also planning a full Canadian tour sometime in the Spring of 2014.

7. What do you feel it means to be a part of Indie Week 2013?

It’s definitely inspiring. Here is a chance for Indie bands from all over the country and the world to come together and bring their music to new fans, meet and learn from each other and industry professionals, further develop their craft and passion, and hopefully see their futures in the industry a little more clearly. The enormity of all that is really hard to comprehend, and the fact that we are a part of it is pretty overwhelming, but we are very thankful to be a part of it and hope to both absorb and give as much as we possibly can.

8. Alive or dead, which musicians do you dream of jamming with?

The full list would probably be longer than War and Peace.  For the sake of brevity, we’ll simply say any and every member of Led Zeppelin, Rush, The Who, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd.

9. What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?

It’s really hard to say, there have been a lot, but it was probably a show we recently played in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We were invited out by our good friends in One Bad Son, who are really taking off right now, and we felt honoured to be asked to share the stage with them. It was their home town gig, and we had never played in Saskatchewan before, so we weren’t sure what to expect. The response from people was unbelievable, they gave us such a warm welcome and it was pleasantly shocking to get that kind of response from people who have never heard you before.

10. If you win the whole kit n caboodle you’ll be heading to Ireland. Thoughts on that?

That’s probably still in the realm of unbelievable for us. A chance to play internationally would be simply awesome. Especially since most of us have roots in either Ireland or the UK, not to mention so many of our idols being from there. It would be a dream come true, and the best time of our lives. Hopefully the Irish will like us!

Check out tracks Golden Timesand Preacher Man, from their release Extended Play, and get ready to rock in October.

-Lindsay Ure