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City and Colour's Dallas Green clarifies withdrawal from Juno Awards

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Dallas Green poses for a photo in Toronto on , May 8, 2013. Green says he knew some fans would interpret his withdrawal from a scheduled Junos performance as

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Dallas Green poses for a photo in Toronto on , May 8, 2013. Green says he knew some fans would interpret his withdrawal from a scheduled Junos performance as "sour grapes," but he says he doesn't think the annual awards bash should book performers who aren't nominated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO - City and Colour's Dallas Green knew some fans would interpret his withdrawal from a scheduled Junos performance as sour grapes, but says he doesn't think the annual awards bash should book performers who aren't nominated.

Green was named as a performer for the March 30 show at Winnipeg's MTS Centre prior to the nomination announcement. Once the slate of contenders was unveiled and Green saw that he wasn't among them, he put out a statement saying that he would not perform as planned and would prefer to see a "new nominee be afforded the opportunity to perform on the show."

And the 33-year-old, wizened vet that he is, then braced for a backlash.

"I knew people were going to take it as I was being a sore loser," Green said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

"(But) it's an award show and I wasn't nominated for any, so why have me there? And I wasn't saying that like: 'Oh, you didn't nominate me, I'm not coming.' It wasn't that. Basically, I was just trying to explain to the people that run (it) that they were doing things incorrectly. Because if you're going to ask someone to play, make sure they're nominated, is the way I looked at it.

"Maybe they didn't assume anyone would have a problem with it. Or maybe they assumed that most people would pick the spotlight no matter what. But I'm just not that kind of guy. And the fact that I had been there before and won some, you don't need me to go up."

The St. Catharines, Ont., native is a two-time Juno Award winner for his solo work as City and Colour and he claimed an additional trophy for his long run with well-loved post-hardcore outfit Alexisonfire.

In recent years, he was practically as reliable a fixture at Junos as that sleek crystal statuette. Had he trekked to Winnipeg after all, it would have been Green's fourth performance at the past seven telecasts.

His Juno-eligible recording, "The Hurry and the Harm," meanwhile, was one of the year's bestselling Canadian albums, topping the chart en route to platinum sales.

"Part of me felt like they were just asking me to play because maybe I would help with ratings, which I'm also not willing to be a part of," Green said. "Obviously they wanted me to be a part of it, they knew that I'd done it before, and we're pretty easy to deal with. So maybe they wanted one less egomaniac or something, I don't know.

"But yeah, if they come calling again, like I said I hope in the future now they'll figure out who's nominated first and figure who they'd like to perform on the show."

And, Green points out, it's not as though his Winnipeg fans are left to lament his indefinite absence.

He'll be back at the MTS Centre on May 17 as part of a robust Canadian tour that will launch Friday at Halifax's Metro Centre.

Before wrapping May 23 in Burnaby, B.C., Green will have hit eight provinces on what will be his first headlining arena jaunt.

With four (platinum-certified) albums from which to draw, Green says his show has inched up to about two hours. He doesn't foresee any further sprawl.

"First of all, I wouldn't want to play for more than two hours and I don't necessarily think anyone would want to watch me play for more than two hours," he said.

Gradually, his shows with City and Colour have become louder and more dynamic. The same is true of his records, of course; a career that started with the gentle acoustic folk of the hastily recorded "Sometimes" has progressively broadened in sonic scope.

Green has written "eight or nine" new songs that sit in various states of polish. Although he isn't yet putting them in the context of a new album, he says his current touring band — which includes bassist Jack Lawrence of the Dead Weather and Raconteurs and former Constantines drummer Doug MacGregor — has provided inspiration.

He sounds intent on involving his bandmates more in the songwriting process this time out. And if that results in an even more dynamic record that nudges City and Colour even farther from its folk roots, so be it.

"My fanbase has been very willing to evolve with me," Green said. "And I think the evolution of my sound has also opened the audience up.

"I think that more people have gotten into it because of the evolution of the record — instead of me moaning for six minutes with an acoustic guitar."

___

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