It doesnt matter what the weather is like in Prince George on Oct. 19, Speed Control has seen worse.
I think about the only thing we havent seen is a hurricane, Graeme Peters of the Whitehorse-based band says over the phone from Alberta. The three-man power rock band plays Rileys Pub on Oct. 19.
It was raining in southern Alberta on Monday when Peters called. They didnt have a show that night, but they were on the road to Tilley, Alta. to visit the local school.
We do a lot of work with kids at school during the day, giving them a RAWK school, Peters said. He is the guitarist and vocalist for Speed Conrol, while brother Jody plays bass and does vocals, and Ian March handles the drums. We work with whoever is there, from kindergarten up to Grade 12.
In summer, the touring usually ramps up and so does the RAWK.
Between shows, well put on RAWK Camps. They might three days, they might be a full week. We work with Yamaha to have brand-new instruments for the kids to play, and at the end of the week, they put on a RAWK concert for their family and friends.
Speed Control was putting on a show of its own on the weekend, as they attended the Breakout West Showcase in Calgary. Things did not get off to a good start, timewise, Peters says.
We forgot to look at the maps, and we figured it was 24 hours to drive from Whitehorse to Calgary. It turned out to more like 30 or 32, so we got there, and they basically said, Play, and were like Oh my God.
The band played two sets, both well-attended, but it was what happened after the music that Peters found more valuable.
You play, and then the next morning you start doing these one-on-one meetings with people from all over the music business. One might be the manager for Red Hot Chili Peppers, then the next one is one of the organizers of the biggest festival in Australia.
You get all kinds of info, some really general and some really specific.
Last week marked the release of F.A.B., the groups second album. Peters says there are a lot of things different this time around.
The first album, I did it all. I wrote all the songs, I was the producer, I basically said, This is my band, and this is how its going to be.
For F.A.B., though, the songs came from other sources.
I was working with a friend of mine in the Yukon, Barry Jack Jenkins, Peters says. I had forgotten we had agreed to write a rock opera as part of one of those Write a book in 24 hours things. So he calls me at like 2 a.m. and says, The lyrics are all done, you just need to write the music.
Peters figures it took him about two hours to get all the music done, and three of the songs from that collaboration made it to the album.
Im super-bad with lyrics, Peters admits. Im starting to challenge myself now to write the lyrics first sometimes, because Ive always done it the other way around.
His brother and bandmate Jody also contributed a couple of songs, and Graeme brought in some of his own as well.
What I did this time was record my songs and send them to the other two, so they could listen to them. Then, when we got to rehearsal, we could make changes if we needed to.
With Speed Control now having two albums out, it would be relatively easy for them to do a whole show of just their own songs, and Peters says sometimes they do.
If youre only playing one set, and theres three or four other bands playing, then yeah, you want to make sure you play your stuff.
But if were doing a two-set show in a club, I like throwing in covers.
His reason is simple.
When you grabbed a guitar for the first time, you didnt start playing your own music. You played the songs you heard and liked. Thats what influenced your music, so give the audience a chance to hear where youre coming from.
The Oct. 19 show at Rileys Pub wraps up the first portion of Speed Controls western Canada tour. Show time is 9 p.m., theres a $5 admission charge, and no one under 19 will be admitted.