By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY — Tim Livingstone and Dave Rollie just celebrated their “friendiversary” after “six magical years” of a friendship that began in the ski town of Whistler B.C. Before they met, they both were busy DJs and producers who performed as Livingstone and Canosis, respectively.
Drawn together by mutual musical tastes, the two began spinning and making tracks together, but it wasn’t until they played Bass Coast festival a few years later, and one of their peers Timothy Wisdom (who felt for some time that they needed a new name) snatched up the microphone and asked the crowd if they should change their name to SkiiTour. The crowd agreed and the name and thematic connotations have stuck for good.
SkiiTour is known now for their party-rocking sets, in which they bring out snow machines and don full retro ski attire. Their fans also show up in the same gear, creating a wildly amusing and extremely fun dance floor.
“As annoying as it is, it’s also, when they (the snow machines) are not there it’s like missing an element,” Rollie says. “And don’t get me wrong, when we travel without them it’s like the greatest thing in the world.”
“We played in England and we played in Australia this year, and you go to these festivals and you know what people are in the crowd there to see,” Livingstone adds. “Because people are wearing ski goggles and toques all over the world — sometimes you’re triple billed with another headliner, and you see all these toques and goggles and it makes you feel real good. It’s always nice to have sort of an angle for your stuff and that angle has definitely worked very well for us.”
While we’re on the subject, Livingstone, when asked about whether fans should be catching the artificial snowflakes on their tongues says, “definitely do not eat it, it’s highly toxic,” before adding with a laugh, “and it’s made from unicorn tears and yeti sweat.”
Festivals like Bass Coast and Shambhala (where the duo play a big set on the opening Thursday every year) have helped establish the duo in the West Coast music community, showcasing their music to thousands, and propelling them to international stages.
“All year people look forward to that and I don’t know if the vibe can get any higher. When people start whistling and that cheer just spreads across Shambhala… we’ve just been absolutely blessed with that time slot, people are so amped, it’s just such a release almost.”
They played a set at Bass Coast this July, where many West Coast DJs paid homage to their peers who lost their lives in the past year including John H from Fort Knox Five and California based artist Pumpkin.
“John was a friend of ours and we hung out with Pumpkin, actually we were hanging out with both of them at What The Festival just over a year ago,” Livingstone remembers. “I mean it’s terrible to lose people like that, but it’s also – life is so finite and you could die at any moment, so it kind of inspires you to take full advantage of every moment you have.”
That is a philosophy that is clear the duo wholeheartedly embrace. They are continuing on a steady upwards trajectory; perpetually working on new tunes, planning new international tours, starting their own label called Double Black Records and signing on with Paquin Agency, who also represents The Funk Hunters, Mat the Alien and the Librarian.
SkiiTour brings their summertime blizzard to The Drake in Canmore August 11, Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival August 13 and Wild Bill’s in Banff on the 14th. More dates can be found online.AB, Alberta, Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival, The Drake, Wild Bills