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BeatRoute Magazine BC Print Edition February 2018

BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics. Currently BeatRoute’s AB edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton (by S*A*R*G*E), Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. editor@beatroute.ca BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120

MUSIC DAN AUERBACH BLACK

MUSIC DAN AUERBACH BLACK KEYS FRONTMAN GOES NASHVILLE AND SOARS MAX SZENTVERI Dan Auerbach believes it’s not work if it’s what he’s passionate about. Dan Auerbach’s lengthy résumé reads as that of a workaholic. Starting in 2011, he and Black Keys bandmate Patrick Carney embarked on a five-year grind of worldwide tours supporting three separate records, after working more-or-less non-stop since 2001. So when the Keys finally took a hiatus in the summer of 2016, you may have assumed the musician would pause to relax. Instead, Auerbach has produced seven albums, launched a record label, begun hosting his own radio program (The Easy Hour, on SiriusXM) and is now preparing to tour in support of the solo album he released last June, entitled Waiting on a Song. But Auerbach’s ethos is the old adage that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. “It’s not work really, it’s what I’m passionate about,” he explains. “I’m very lucky I get to do it, so I do it as much as I can.” After moving to Nashville eight years ago, the Ohio native built his own studio, Easy Eye, and gradually began assembling an inner circle of distinguished local musicians with whom to collaborate on Waiting on a Song. The record’s roster is stacked with titans of 20th century American music, such as hall of fame singersongwriter John Prine and legendary rockabilly guitarist Duane Eddy—even Mark Knopfler lends his signature finger-picking to standout track “Shine on Me.” Despite the potentially comical juxtaposition of one of rock hipsterdom’s leading front men working with a band of grey-haired old hands, Auerbach felt like he had met kindred spirits—people who shared “the same disease,” as he puts it, a near-addiction to music-making. “Somebody like [iconic session keyboardist] Bobby Wood—who’s in his midseventies—he’ll be texting me at, like, two in the morning with song ideas, just excited about a riff or something.” This chemistry was exhilarating for Auerbach. “I just got really hooked on writing,” he says. “And I’ve been doing it ever since.” Indeed, he soon became a craftsman-style musician in the classic Nashville vein, punching in early in the morning and diligently writing all day Monday to Wednesday, then recording Thursday through Saturday. By the time the album was released, Auerbach and Co. had recorded a staggering 200-plus songs, of which 10 made the final cut. The result is a sunny, radio-ready collection of catchy, retro-prismed tunes that sounds unlike anything Auerbach has released before. Auerbach opens his 22-date tour February 10 at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre, and is audibly excited about the more intimate scale of these shows compared to the Black Keys’ stadium gigs: “I do love playing these sized venues—places like the Fillmore [in San Francisco], the Ryman in Nashville—they are really great rooms. The kind of places where people who really love music go to.” After 17 years fronting the Black Keys, Auerbach’s passion for making music remains as strong as that of the old industry veterans he now calls friends. “Honestly,” he says, “I’ve never had more fun.” Dan Auerbach performs February 10 at the Vogue Theatre (Vancouver). 20 February 2018

BLACK WIZARD HEAVY METAL HOMIES GET HEAVIER AND HAZIER ANA KRUNIC The lower mainland’s heavy music scene wouldn’t be complete without our homegrown road warriors, Black Wizard. Their brand of metal with a heavy lean towards rock n’ roll definitely sounds like it was cultivated here, tinged with the Vancouver haze we know so well. Their new record, Livin’ Oblivion, slated for release on February 16, brings us a heavier and faster ‘Wiz. Founding members Eugene Parkomenko and Adam Grant say it was an intuitive progression. “It was kind of natural, honestly,” says Grant. “Even though it’s our fourth record, this is the first time we’ve had the same lineup following the last one. So it really helps, having that consistency as well as [guitarist] Daniel Stokes, who’s a genius and also a death metal boy. He definitely had a big influence on writing of some of the newer songs.” The album ebbs and flows, as Black Wizard records have always done, with some slow-burners to break it up a bit. “’Feast or Famine’ is a faster one, but the rest of the record still follows our classic ‘Wiz formula, but on the next level,” says Parkomenko. “We spent a lot more time on tones and sounds this time, making it big and in-your-face.” The guys have always considered engineer Michael Kraushaar the fifth member of their band, as he’s worked with them from the start and has had a big impact on their work. “Having worked with Mike on all of our records, he’s just so fucking good at what he does, and he only gets better year by year,” Grant explains. “It’s become effortless now that we’ve worked with him so often. It’s great to feel comfortable doing what you’re doing, and having a guy that contributes valuable things. We’re definitely super happy with how the new record sounds.” As for future plans, Grant says it’s their mission to tour with Judas Priest. “Rob Halford actually left a comment on one of our photos one time,” Grant laughs. “It was a devil horns emoji, a microphone emoji and a little flame emoji. So hopefully that means we get to tour with them someday.” “Naturally, we have an eternal tour question that we ask bands we’re on the road with: would you let Rob Halford suck your dick if he offered?” adds Parkomenko. “Whoever says no is probably a homophobic dickbag. Because if I can get it up, the answer is always YES.” Black Wizard’s album release show is on February 16 at the Rickshaw Theatre with Mean Jeans, WAINGRO and Killer Deal. Livin’ Oblivion is Black Wizard’s fourth magical offering. February 2018 21

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