With their new single “Let You Down Again” just released and a third album on the horizon, Halifax four-piece band Gloryhound is well on their way to topping the Canadian rock charts. I had the opportunity to chat with their lead guitarist David Casey about hecklers, hockey and Halifax in an exclusive, uncensored interview. If you’re in Kingston for the summer, grab a shot of whiskey with Gloryhound at The Mansion on May 22nd—and perhaps hang around long enough to listen to their set.
Emma: So Gloryhound is playing in Kingston at The Mansion on May 22nd. Have you ever played in Kingston before?
David: Oh yeah, I think this will actually be our fourth time playing at The Mansion and we’ve played a couple other places in Kingston. We always have a good time in Kingston and we’re looking forward to coming back
E: Have you been to Queen’s?
D: No, we haven’t been to Queen’s yet. Not to say that we won’t when we get there next time, but we’ve always had a good time in Kingston. The people have been nice to us and hospitable. The Mansion is a pretty cool room. I remember last time we were there, there was a pretty crazy little mosh pit in front of us. I think there was a punk band that followed us and I think it was a week night too.
E: Yeah things can definitely get pretty wild in Kingston, and I know you [Gloryhound] are known for your crazy antics, especially from that YouTube video of you guys playing in bathrobes. What’s the craziest thing you’ve gotten into at a show?
D: Typically at the shows we play, we try to put our blood, sweat and tears out on the stage. We always end up soaked in our own sweat by the end of it. But as far as crazy shit we’ve done on stage, we played a party one time where some instruments were smashed; played shows with the crowd on stage with us. We just like to put on a good solid rock show.
E: I’m sure you’ll show Kingston a good time. Do you have any surprises planned for the Kingston show?
D: It’s gonna be completely spontaneous and unrehearsed and anything at all could happen. So it’s gonna be a surprise; how about that?
E: I’m sure that will keep people on their toes.
D: I should hope so. I can’t make promises that I can’t keep but let’s just say it’s gonna be a great, sweaty rock show and we’re all gonna have fun. I remember actually one of the only times we’ve ever got heckled was in Kingston. Not to say that the crowd isn’t usually good to us there but on this particular occasion the [Vancouver] Canucks were playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs at the Merchant Taphouse and the game was on while we were playing, so nobody gives a shit about the band on stage playing during the playoffs. Everybody’s backs were turned to us, and in between our third and fourth song, somebody yells out: “You guys are shit!” And it’s the first time we’ve ever been heckled and we just didn’t know what to say. But anyways, it’s a good thing to get over.
E. First time being heckled but not the last!
D: Yeah that’s right. So from now on, no TVs in the venue; no Stanley Cup playoffs while we’re playing…unless we wanna watch it.
E: What did you think about the recent Leafs loss in the playoffs?
D: Oh man, it’s such a heartbreaker. The poor friggin’ Leafs. But you know, they did put on a good show this series and I was pretty impressed. Who knows what could happen next year. I don’t wanna say that they choked, but they did. Despite that it was still a good game.
E: If you could compare your band to any team in the playoffs what team do you think it would be?
D: Well I’m not gonna say the Leafs and I’m not gonna say the Bruins, because I don’t want to make any enemies in Ontario. I’d like to say the Blackhawks because I grew up as a Blackhawks fan. It was kind of genetically passed down to me from the old man. Maybe I’d say the Blackhawks because they like to bring it, and we like to do the same.
E: Do you have a pre-show or post-show ritual? I know you guys met in high school so you must be pretty close.
D: Yeah, we’re all pretty close—we’re best buds really. I remember when we first started playing. Evan and I were playing bars when we were 15 years old, and the first weekly gig we got we used to always say this prayer before we got onstage. It was this big epic thing—not that we’re religious at all. But you know, it was just kind of a funny thing for us to put our heads together and like, get all pumped up. But now that we’ve played hundreds of shows, before a show we make sure our chops are up. Like, we’ll practice a little bit before we get on stage and maybe do some acapella vocal warm-ups. Nothing really crazy at the moment, but we like to have a few whiskeys and make sure we’re ready. That’s pretty much it.
E: So, since you guys are best buddies, do you think that ever gets in the way of your career or do you think that brings you closer together?
D: We get along with each other in the band, in the hotel rooms… in all cases. It makes things a lot easier, the fact that we’re all comfortable with each other; that we can say whatever the fuck we want. There are never any hard feelings, you know? We’re pretty lucky in that regard, not a lot of bands have that, so hopefully it will continue. I’m sure it will.
E: Sounds like you guys have a good thing going, especially with the new single “Let You Down Again” which was recently released. Can you tell me what was behind that song?
D: Oh yeah, well we recorded the tune with Joel Plaskett.
E: That’s a huge deal, especially in Halifax.
D: He’s a rock star around here; he’s quite a Halifax icon. We always wanted to work with him and it was really nice to finally get the chance to work with him. We had a lot of fun with it. He really knows his tone and we like to think we really know our tone. We combined forces and came up with what I think is a pretty good little rock tune. Hearing it back—the song—I’m still happy with it. Sometimes you record something or you create some kind of art, and it’s in stone once you put it out there. It can be kind of torturous if you’re not comfortable with what you’ve done. But I feel like the stars aligned with this particular project and everything worked out just so. We had a lot of fun. I remember at one point there was a record player in the next room and we took a break and he [Joel Plaskett] put on this old Vanilla Fudge album and I don’t know anything about Vanilla Fudge—I don’t think he did either—but he threw on this tune called “I Need Love.” And we’re all playing air drums to this song in this room on our break and all just giving it and laughing our asses off. We became buds over the course of those days and it was awesome. Hopefully a lot of people hear the song. That makes us excited.
Gloryhound will be performing with Poor Young Things at the Mansion in Kingston, Ontario on Wednesday May 22nd.
Emma Hoffman, Co-Editor-in-Chief