Not even a shattered leg could stop trio from hitting the road

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There could not be a more apt title for Red Moon Road's new album than Sorrow and Glories.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/09/2015 (2637 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

There could not be a more apt title for Red Moon Road’s new album than Sorrow and Glories.

The local roots trio has had its fair share of ups and downs since the release of its last EP in 2013, namely a crippling injury to band member Sheena Rattai. The group was on tour in B.C. when she broke her leg in a freak accident while playing Frisbee, resulting in a cancelled tour and nearly 2 1/2 years of rehabilitation.

The band eventually did get back on the road, hitting up seven countries in Europe and going coast to coast in Canada several times, but not before they took a break to work on some new material. The result was their second full-length album, Sorrows and Glories, an eclectic collection of songs rich with vivid narratives and sweeping, intricate melodies.

Red Moon Road

Rattai and her bandmates, Daniel Jordan and Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner, are getting ready to drop the new album Sept. 11 with a hometown show at the West End Cultural Centre before hitting the road again.

 

FREE PRESS: What was your mindset like while you were working on the new album?

DANIEL JORDAN: We had sat down at one point and tried to map out our next couple of years in terms of where we were going to tour, and we showed it to someone and they said, “Well, you’re probably gonna have to do a new album in there somewhere.” Like, you have to have music too, and it’s funny how often in this industry you can forget that.

We had to abort the tour because of the ridiculous leg break, so we had some time off and we sat down and decided to write these songs. Inevitably, at least two of the songs are from Sheena’s perspective, highly influenced by that incident. And then, a big part of what we’ve always done is story-based songs, so this album is no exception.

 

FP: Sheena, how are you feeling now, post-leg break?

SHEENA RATTAI: It’s been almost 2 1/2 years since I broke my leg and it’s finally, in the last half-year or so, getting better. It’s still a healing process, but for the better part of two years I couldn’t really walk, so it was a pretty big thing. And the guys were really supportive and we continued to tour pretty rigorously even after that.

DJ: Yeah, sorry about that (laughs).

SR: I think it was good for me. Looking back, maybe I should’ve slowed down a little bit, but at the same time, I have the FOMO (fear of missing out) real bad, and I don’t want to miss out on anything. So I think in the end, it was good for us to continue to plow ahead in a lot of ways. And we definitely got a couple songs out of it.

 

FP: Which song best speaks to your experience dealing with that injury?

SR: Beauty in These Broken Bones — that’s the one that was definitely the most informed by my experience. I really honestly could have lost my leg, and it’s a lot to come to terms with when you’re on tour and you’re not with your family or anything. We were in Trail, B.C., just outside Nelson, in the middle of nowhere, (when) it happened. I ended up spending eight days in the hospital and had four surgeries, and then I had to spend a week on bed rest before it was safe for me to fly. It was a real drag to have to let everybody down and to cancel the tour, but through this whole experience I learned a lot about myself and I learned a lot about the people closest to me.

Part of me didn’t know what to make of these big scars that were left behind, and I thought I’d wear a special little thing to cover them up, and then I was like, ‘You know what? No.’ I’m proud of these: they’re an example of our human ability to heal, both inwardly and our body’s ability to heal. So that’s kind of what that song was born out of — even though I feel less capable because I can’t walk around and I feel less able and I have these marks, there’s beauty in that.

 

FP: Your songs are quite traditional in a lyrical sense, in that you tell stories with clear narratives. How do you modernize that to make it more relevant for the current musical atmosphere?

DJ: I always find it funny when we end up in folk-music concerts full of bluegrass and singer-songwriters, and then there’s us, hauling all this modern equipment. Someone joked around and called it folk 2.0, which I thought was an interesting take on it. The thing is, we all come from not-folk backgrounds — gospel, jazz and metal and classical — so I think the narrative part is folk, and even a few of the instruments, but that’s about it.

SR: So much of it is in the delivery. You can say the same thing in a bunch of different ways and have it seem totally different, so it has to do with how we tell those stories.

DJ: There’s no limits on what we’ll do as long as we can actually do it, whether it’s instruments or sounds. We refuse to be bound by tradition, although we are certainly formed by it.

 

FP: How has your group dynamic changed as you’ve spent so much time working and touring together during the past four years? (They all laugh and look at each other.)

SR: That is a loaded question!

DJ: It’s like standing on the triple state line of business, family and friends and there’s a bleed between all that.

SR: Metaphorically and literally (laughs).

DJ: I mean there’s no one else I’d rather be in a band with, and I don’t think there’s anyone else who can stand me.

SR: Let’s not breeze over that, but that could be said of all of us. Now we so intimately know each other’s personalities and triggers and the things that we like and dislike about each other and things we’ll all consistently roll our eyes about with each other.

DANIEL PELOQUIN-HOPFNER: We kind of temper each other in a pretty interesting way too, though. The reason this band came together in this format and this lineup is because we found that all of our strengths play off of each other really well, and it really does become “The sum is greater than the whole of its parts.”

 

FP: After touring so extensively, what’s it like to play a hometown show?

DJ: We’re pretty excited for the Winnipeg show, that’s the one where we get to pull out all the stops. This is the third time I can remember being super-nervous for a show, and the other two were our first two CD releases. What I often have a hard time with is when they see us perform a song for the second, third and hundredth time… I have to remind myself if they’re coming back to see the show, it’s because they liked it the first time. So I don’t have to worry about that this time because it’s new, but then the other worry is they really liked our old stuff, what are they going to think about the new stuff?

SR: I’m nervous for sure, but I’m mostly excited. I can’t frickin’ wait because all these people you know and love are there and you get to go to them and say, “This is who we are!”

DJ: It’s the one time you want to sell out because it’s Winnipeg and there’s so much going on — why would people come see us? It’s an honour when you get that support in a town where there’s so much amazing stuff happening.

Erin.lebar@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: NireRabel

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Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Manager of audience engagement for news

Erin Lebar spends her time thinking of, and implementing, ways to improve the interaction and connection between the Free Press newsroom and its readership.

History

Updated on Thursday, September 10, 2015 8:19 AM CDT: Changes photo, changes headline

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