RTR: How the heck are ya?
Jesse LeBourdais: I'm super awesome. I just finished recording my new record and now I am listening to the bed tracks, some of them for the first time since recording them a few months ago.
RTR: How's that new album shaping up? Can you tell us a bit about how it compares to your first album "The Worst Kind of Ambition" and, your last release, the "Little Mountain" EP? Are all the songs written by yourself for this album?
Jesse LeBourdais: I'd say it's way better. Haha. TWKOA was written and recorded at the same time, so none of the songs had any life on stage or were based in any kind of real performance. Half of them were old Public Domain songs, and never felt like my own. That's probably why I don't play many of those songs anymore, because they never had live legs to begin with. Whereas the new songs have all been played and figured out on the road over the past year so they have a much stronger backbone. It's a lot more along the lines of Little Mountain EP, in terms of instruments and performance as well, except for better and more of it. All the players I had on it make me seem much better than I am, and I am very grateful to them.
RTR:Tell us about your upcoming tour in Ontario this April, and perhaps a bit about your concerts out West. What's out there for folk punks and other musicians looking to head West?
Jesse Lebourdais: Well, I'm coming out for a few weeks to play Rebel Fest, and I'm gonna be doing a bunch of shows with my friend Jon Creeden and some with the Rebel Spell. I wish I had more time, but as soon as my record is out for real, I will be going cross Canada again. As for the West Coast, things aren't as great as they could be. Vancouver seems so confused with live music these days. Everyone seems kind of afraid of not being cool, and it's very segregated, and not very welcoming to just have a good time. I just played Edmonton and Calgary last weekend and the sense of solidarity in the music scene in those cities, regardless of genre, is inspiring. I can seriously book a better show in any city in Canada better than I can in Vancouver. All the punk rock venues have closed, and everything is so expensive that the idea of having a few beers and singing some songs has become a kind of chore. I hope it will get better. The folk/punk scene here is nowhere near as big as it is in other parts of Canada so we have some catching up to do.
RTR: If you were to cover one song from the I.W.W. songbook, what would it be?
Jesse LeBourdais: Ha! Well, I can't remember them all but I remember some of the best titles, like Dump the Bosses of Your Back and Fifty Thousand Lumberjacks. I should do a cover album of some of those songs.
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