Dec 7, 2013 – T-Mak World was at Measure on Brunswick at Bloor back on October 11th for a show that included Womb, who you can read about here, Pete Van Dyk & The Second Hand Band and Dead City Soul Revue. All three were fantastic and today we’re focusing on Pete Van Dyk & The Second Hand Band, who were the reason we were there. The band had a new 7″ single out for Shake Me/Plan B, you can download to it on bandcamp here. Click on play below to listen. Pete Van Dyk & The Second Hand Band is a great bluesy rock band and included Hendrix’s Foxy Lady in the set. We always want to hear more about great blues rock bands so contacted them later to set up an interview.
Hey Pete, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
Pete Van Dyk & the Second Hand Band
Pete Van Dyk: Vocals & Guitar
Ed Van Dyk: Lead Guitar
JD Norwood: Bass, Vocals
Scott Carruthers: Drums, Vocals
How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
PVD: I started out in some high school garage type bands, and then did some solo folk stuff, but I’ve always preferred the band format. I put together a backing band for my solo stuff, which slowly turned back into more rock and roll based stuff and that was the start of the band we have today. JD and Scott were both in a band called Scarce for a while and we had played in the same scene. Their band was on a break and around 2011 they both kind of joined the band over that year. Ed and I have always played music together, he started out on bass and then some guitar. In 2012 our lead guitarist quit and Ed took over lead guitar, so I would say it was around then that the Second Hand Band really became a full band with everyone writing and really pushing for it together.
Who are some of your musical influences?
PVD: Grateful Dead, Monster Truck, The Beatles, Tedeschi Trucks Band, John Coltrane, Said the Whale, Brand New
So based on that, how would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it?
PVD: I would say is rock and roll of the blues persuasion, we come from a lot of different musical back grounds, so there’s also a lot of punk influence, some jazz and roots music too, its quite funky and danceable as well.
Why do you believe that a music fan should come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them on any given night?
PVD: I think the reasons are energy and musicianship. We are all pretty dedicated to the craft of our music, a lot of bands can’t translate a heavily produced record to a live show or they are more about the posing than the music. For us its always about playing and writing the best songs possible, there is also a lot of energy at the live shows, we don’t like to stand still as statues, we enjoy entertaining as well, Ed (lead guitarist) will sometimes set his guitar on fire or play behind his back or his head, so there’s always going to be a surprise for whoever comes out.
What does the rest of 2013 and 2014 hold for you?
PVD: We just finished a bunch of Toronto and Hamilton dates the last few months and also did a pair of shows in Montreal last month. December we are going to be demoing all of the tunes we have and picking out the songs for our new EP. We are planning on releasing the EP and a new video in spring 2014 and in addition to Hamilton and Toronto dates, in the New Year we are planning a tour to hit cities like Ottawa, Peterborough, London, Montreal and also hoping to get out East and down to NYC next year.
Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig.
PVD: Current I would say probably Monster Truck and historical The Allman Brothers Band.
What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
PVD: I think its up to bands to adapt to a more DIY approach to making music and educate themselves about the business side of things as well. CD’s are not the only way to make music, you can give away download cards, have full streaming albums on bandcamp and there are even more affordable ways to do vinyl now, which sounds a lot better than CDs to begin with. Its pretty obvious the future of music retail and sales is going digital but I think there will always have to be a physical counterpart to that model in order for it to succeed, that is why I think vinyl is making a comeback in such a big way. People like to touch and feel an album and be able to see the cool cover art and hear it in high quality, vinyl fills that void. While MP3s are not as high quality in terms of sound they make music very accessible whether in your car or on your iPhone, so I see the two mediums working together in the future. The economics of being in a band are what they are; no one gets in to music expecting to make a half a million in a year or two. People who make music because they dig music will be ok to sleep in shitty motels and on peoples floors, and will be able to adapt to be financially viable in the future. If your in a band and you want to be able to not go broke, then the band should be able to internally learn aspects of the business side as well, whether it’s the marketing/press, engineering and production or even photo and video. Those skills will go a long way and will save some cash if you do it right.
We just published our picks for top 10 albums of 2013. Lists like those are always a reflection of personal tastes so if you were making this year’s list what are some albums you would have had on it?
PVD: I’m not sure, there wasn’t a pile of new albums I really dug this year.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Made up Mind
Monster Truck – Furiosity
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
Any closing remarks for our readers?
PVD: Keep an eye out for an EP early in the New Year along with a new video. We plan to tour in the spring and will be hitting Toronto so we hope to see you there!
Thanks so much to Pete Van Dyk of Pete Van Dyk & The Second Hand Band.
Interview and Photos by Steve Mallinson