The Canadian Music Week festival returns to Toronto for its 34th year. From May 2-8, more than 1,000 artists from 40+ countries will perform in 60 venues. Single night event tickets are available as well as wristbands. Participating artists will include both headlining and emerging acts. Many artists will have the chance to network with others and industry professionals to help build their future careers. Not limited to concerts, CMW has seminars, celebrity interviews, and mentoring sessions. There are also music-themed film screenings and comedic performances.
Australian duo Peasant Moon are Harvey Russell and Josie Rothwell. Since 2013 they’ve brought their Blending “late-night folk and intimate, acoustic alt-country” to the Sydney Americana music scene. They are now set to play their first Toronto (and Canadian) showcases as part of Canadian Music Week. On May 4 they play the Cameron House. On May 5 they play the Dakota Tavern. On May 6 they play the Supermarket.
Ahead of their CMW showcases, Peasant Moon scheduled an online interview with byteclay.com.
Ryan Ayukawa: Will this be your first chance to play up in Canada?
Peasant Moon: Yes! We’re really excited, this is our first time playing outside of Australia and we can’t wait to bring our music to Toronto and new audiences.
RA: Have you set out any expectations for CMW? Going to conferences? Networking?
PM: It will be a busy week, we’re planning to attend a lot of the conference sessions, they look really good. We’ve tried to check out who’s presenting from industry and get in touch with them before hand to invite them to our shows.
In terms of expectations, we’d love to have the opportunity to play more festivals / shows in Canada or the USA.
RA: Canada is a wide stretch of land and touring costs here have gone up considerably in past years. Are there any similar obstacles where you are?
PM: Touring in Australia is pretty costly too – the major cities are all pretty spread out. We both have day jobs, so it’s necessary to combine out town of shows with that. We try to be pretty efficient.
If we came back to Canada, we’d look at it as a holiday as well as a tour! Since we’re only in Toronto for 5 days, we need to come back to see more of the sights!
RA: Have you planned out any Toronto sights then in advance? Do you have a few local friends as tour guides?
PM: If anyone reading this wants to be our tour guide – contact us via Facebook, please! We don’t really know anyone in Toronto. Having said that we have bought a guidebook, and Niagara is on the list, if we have time.
And Josie is keen to try to stand on the glass floor of the super tall tower, CN Tower? Not sure if I’ll have the guts to do the edge walk though.
RA: If we could talk about building audiences then. When you play a new venue or new city for the first time, is there a particular approach? Will your set list change depending on the audience?
PM: We’ll start our sets with a few more intimate, quiet numbers to draw the audience in. We also tell a few stories and engage with the audience that way between songs. For Toronto, we’ve been working on covers from our favourite Canadian artists – we may weave that into our set.
We always plan a setlist, but it can change depending on how the night is going (Harvey). We’ve always got a few extra songs up our sleeve and Harvey has been known to spring a new song on me song mid-set, I have to hang on for the ride! (Josie)
RA: Are your songs inspired by real people and places or is there more fiction or just general emotion as the main sources?
PM: They’re a mixture of material from personal experience and observations of both fictional and real characters. The subject matter varies widely, but heartbreak and melancholy are central themes. We’re always inspired by how people respond in life’s more challenging situations… one song deals with the apocalypse.
Standard breakups are also on the menu
RA: Finally, what’s next after CMW?
PM: We’re taking advantage of being in North America and heading down to Austin to record our next single, and maybe see some shows there. We’ve got a few gigs lined up when we get back to Australia to launch the single.
Peasant Moon website.
Peasant Moon fan page.
Canadian Music Week showcases
Cameron House (408 Queen St. West)
Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Ave.)
Supermarket (268 August Ave.)
For Canadian Music tickets visit here.
For Canadian Music week full artist info visit here.