Dala to play Coldsnap
Sheila Carabine of Dala has a simple reason for why the Canadian music duo has made three trips to Prince George – all in winter.
"We're gluttons for winter," she says on the phone from Toronto. "I love Canadian winters."
Then she shifts gear for a second.
"Is it true there's green grass sometimes in Prince George? We've never seen it."
Well, considering their first trip here was a few years ago with Stewart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe and their second trip was for Coldsnap three years ago, that's not a surprise.
They probably won't see any green grass when they're in the city Jan. 23 for another Coldsnap performance. The Coldsnap show is one of the first in what will be a busy – and travel-full – 2013.
"We sat down and figured out that by the end of April, we hill have visited 37 states, including Hawai'i for the first time."
But no Alaska?
"We have to save something for 2014."
And while the future looks bright (and busy), the past is also something to look at fondly.
"It's been a great year," Carabine says. "We released a new album, Best Day. You know how parents sometime have a favourite child? For both of us, this is our favourite child."
She says the new album "reflects who we are."
"We've been working together for 10 years, so there's been some evolution, but I think the album is still pretty much the same.
"It's not jazzy blues with a lot of interpretive dance solos."
Listening to Carabine and Walther, it's not hard to see why they got together years ago at school in Toronto. With one of the singles from Best Day being called Lennon and McCartney, it's also not hard to see where their musical influences come from.
"We have similar musical tastes," Carabine agrees. "We both grew up with the Beatles, Chris deBurgh, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell. Our parents basically had the same record collection, so it was easy for us to write together, because we would go to the same place."
As Carabine describes the writing process on a couple of songs, something seems to crop up regularly, so the question has to be asked: Is Amanda the melody person and you're the lyrics one?
"Are you implying I talk a lot?"
She says that Walther does have a gift for melodies.
"If she went into writing commercial jingles, she would make millions. She can write a melody in five seconds and it sticks with you all day. She's a genius when it comes to melody."
And while there is that somewhat nebulous division of labour on the songs, Carabine says one thing is clear.
"We don't feel a song is finished until we're both equally excited about it. But we've also learned to back off sometimes, because it's not worth losing the band over a disagreement about a song."
For the Coldsnap show at Artspace on jan. 23, Carabine says fans can expect a mix.
"We'll play stuff off the old albums and a lot of stuff off Best Day. We've also got some new songs and some new covers we're been working on."
Tours are the best way to test new songs, she says.
"You see the guy in the corner who you thought was nodding along to the music is just nodding off, and you say,' OK, that one still needs some work'."