They’re hard-rockin’ dudes, The Stanfields. A self-described “scrappy bunch of bastards.” Yet they’ve got some trepidation about what’s in store for them when they reach Newfoundland later this week.
“I’m going to be honest. My body is terrified of the prospect of playing Paddy’s Day in St. John’s,” singer Jon Landry told The Telegram with a laugh. “I’m eating salads all week, I’m drinking water, I’m getting on the bike. Every time we go to Newfoundland I have to lay down for three days afterwards. All jokes aside, though, we love going to Newfoundland. Who doesn’t?”
The Stanfields will play three shows on the island this time around: Whelan’s Gate in Corner Brook on Friday, Little Dory in Marystown on Saturday, and the Rock House in St. John’s on Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day. After that, they’ll head to Canadian Music Week in Toronto and then out west for a mini tour.
They’re arriving fresh from the East Coast Music Awards in Halifax, where, last weekend, they picked up two awards: Group Recording of the Year and Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year for their second album, “Death and Taxes.” The record was produced by AC/DC engineer Mike Fraser.
Though it was cool to be nominated amongst some of the best music-makers on the East Coast, the guys aren’t too fixated on bringing home hardware from awards ceremonies, Landry said.
“People say it’s an honour to be nominated, and it’s actually true. I know the guys in Wintersleep and I know Tim Chaisson and I know George Canyon. They’re friends and colleagues and I really admire what they do with their careers. To be put in a group with these people who are essentially the heavyweights, it’s very enabling and very inspiring, to, just to know that you’re on the right path,” he said.
With a mix of roots and rock music, The Stanfields, with “Death and Taxes,” examine themes of poverty, greed, war and capitalism.
When it comes to exploring dark themes, music is as good a tool as any, and better than most, Landry explains.
“Volume is a weapon, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “It’s like, whether you like it or not, we’re coming. You can’t ignore volume, and it’s a tool I find very effective.
“Our themes are most for people to take home to listen to on a CD. When we’re doing a live show, it’s a totally different ball game. People come in the room and it’s about engaging each other to make the best of a situation and have some fun.”
Formed in 2008 in Nova Scotia through kitchen parties, the Stanfields have performed at the Vancouver Olympics, Canadian Music Week, Junofest, and the Canada Games opening ceremonies. They’ve shared the stage with groups such as Flogging Molly, The Trews and Big Sugar, among others.
Tickets for The Stanfields three local shows can be bought online at www.thestanfields.ca/shows.