Canadian rockers The Trews play in Byron Bay.
Canadian rockers The Trews play in Byron Bay.

Canada's The Trews in Byron Bay

Canadian rockers The Trews are back in Australia and looking to take over the world, one country at a time. Vocalist Colin McDonald talks to Pulse while strolling through the streets of Newcastle.

I know you've been to Australia a few times before, but for those who haven't heard of you, what would you say about The Trews?
I think we're just honest rock'n'roll and a bit of funk. But for the most part we're just hard rock'n'roll.

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Tell me about the band's name and how it came about...
It's a pretty boring story actually. We had a lot of a following in Canada so we had to keep the name. We started off as a high school band and it was a bit of a joke we named ourselves One I'd Trouser. We then shortened it to Trouser and then there was another band with that name so we had to change it so we used the Scottish name for trousers.

Hope & Ruin is your fourth album, but it's probably the first one we're hearing over here - what is it like to start over again?
It's challenging. We've got a long track record of singles and videos at home so we have to remember that this is the intro to our band so we have to go hard at it every time. We have to be more concise.

What is it like to start somewhere when you actually have a lot of history ... is it like leaving your baggage behind?  
Yeah, we're always seeking to leave our past behind. We always want our music to change and evolve. We have new influences, new styles. We're always trying to evolve. Sometimes we're folk-tinged, sometimes we're heavy rock. Back then we were just straight ahead rock.

People said we sounded like REM or the Black Crows or AC/DC, but we didn't try to. People just like to have a reference point, or a category to put you in.

Your voice also has a country edge ...
Yeah, I've been told that a few times, but I must have got it from listening to country in the womb. I don't listen to it now. I only listen to old country.

The band is almost a family band - does that make it easier or harder?
It's the world we've always known but I guess we're lucky to do what we love.

I know you're quite big at home - why was it important to come to Australia?
We're always trying to crack new markets. Canada is big geographically, but it's a small population.

The Trews play the Byron Bay Brewery tonight, 8pm. Free.