By Graeme Wiggins
VANCOUVER – It’s a good time to be a music fan with a fondness for the ’90s. Not only does all of the music from said era tend to be readily available on various streaming services, but a lot of the bands — even smaller ones — are back with reunion shows and tours. One such band is Halifax’s beloved post-punk/indie rock band North of America who are hitting the road again for a tour to commemorate their 20th anniversary.
“We’re just getting into our 20th year now,” explains guitarist Mark Mullane, “Even when we did the 10 year anniversary shows we thought that was going to be it. I guess it’s a testament to the songs that we’re still able to play them and people want to come out and see us. And a testament to the fact that we’re all friends after this long period of time.”
They haven’t let the fact that the band’s members all live in different cities across Canada, or the fact that they haven’t released an album since 2003 deter them. As Mullane puts it “There’s no time expiry on this band anymore. Our last record was released in 2003. No one is expecting us to do anything so we don’t have to do anything. We can play as many shows as we want. For the 20th we thought we should do something.”
For the band, the tour isn’t about promotion, it’s more about the enjoyment of things; and there’s a freedom from constraints that tie active bands down.
“We wouldn’t be doing it if it weren’t for the pure joy and fun of it. There’s no money to be made here. No fame we’re trying to latch onto. Just play some shows, see our friends, both in the band and those seeing us play. If we can just keep playing shows so be it, that’s great.” Mullane suggests the possibility of new music, though nothing official: “If we want to make music that’d be great too. There’s no pressure. At the same time I know I still have gas in the tank and the other guys play music, and there’s five of us so it wouldn’t take much to do a record.”
Until that possibility materializes, they’ll just have fun along the way. “It’s a nice excuse to go away in November and see our old friends we haven’t seen in a long time. And an excuse to play loud rock music.”
North of America perform November 9 at 333 (Vancouver), November 10 at Nite Owl (Calgary) and Nov. 11 at the Rec Room South (Edmonton).333