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.
Indie pop band Laura and Greg currently reside in Brooklyn, NY. Laura, originally from Melbourne, Australia (living in NYC for 9 years), owns an ice cream business and a restaurant. Greg is American, an animator and visual artist as well. The two are playing two Canadian Music Week showcases. Their May 5 show is at the NiteOwl. Their May 7 show is part of the Sounds Australia BBQ at the Horseshoe Tavern.
Ahead of CMW, Laura and Greg scheduled a remote interview with byteclay.com.
Ryan Ayukawa: CMW is a big festival. You’re in town for at least 2 days. Have you set up any conference plans or non-AU acts to check out?
Laura and Greg: We haven’t really checked out the full line up yet, but we are in town for a few days and keen to catch some shows. This is our 3rd year there, the first year we caught Woods, who we love, excited to check out who’s playing this year.
RA: Will you being doing any non-CMW things? Any favourite Toronto spots you’ll be hanging out in?
LAG: We love Toronto. We are big fans of Fresh since greg is vegan and always go to Poutini’s a few times (they make vegan and vegetarian poutine) we like the bar Cold Tea and want to explore the DIY venues too.
We are based in Brooklyn and play a lot at the DIY venues here
RA: Now after 3 yrs of CMW and with playing other festivals, have you found there is a bit of a learning curve in getting ready? Do you look at the other festivals appearances and make adjustments?
LAG: It’s all about planning ahead, since the festival really only puts you on one showcase usually, it’s good to reach out early to other folks to play other showcases (like Sounds Australia) and make the most of your time in town.
We flew the first year and drove last year, we prefer to drive so we can use all our own gear
RA: For anyone not familiar with Sounds Australia, how do they assist Australian artists?
LAG: Sounds Australia is a government funded organization that helps Aussie musicians abroad. We first got in contact for CMJ last year then played another of their showcases in Austin for SXSW this year. We are super excited to be playing The Aussie BBQ at CMW this year. The SA team are super helpful and offer showcasing and networking opportunities and just generally help navigate the sometime overwhelming festival circuit.
RA: Have you found any differences between playing in the US, Australia, and Canada? Do audiences respond differently to your music or is it different from just show to show?
LAG: We have only played a few shows in Australia and mostly play in and around NYC. We’ve always enjoyed playing in CA. Show’s that are outside of major city seems to have audiences that are a lot more outwardly excited.
RA: For CMW audiences looking to check out music they’ve not heard before, what would you say is the best reason for them to come out and listen at your showcases?
LAG: The Festival seems to be mostly CA artists, which is great, but this is a good opportunity to catch some international/out of town bands. Our new EP is on spotify, band camp etc, so they can check us out ahead of time too.
RA: And finally, what do you have coming up after CMW ?
LAG: We have a show in Brooklyn late May, then we are playing the Northside Festival in June. We are also getting ready to record some new music soon too.
Laura and Greg website.
Laura and Greg fan page.
Canadian Music Week showcases
May 5 at midnight
NightOwl (647 College St.)
May 7 at 2:45PM as part of the Aussie BBQ
Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen St. West)
For Canadian Music Week tickets visit here.
For Canadian Music Week full artist info visit here.
For more Toronto music news visit here.