Rattle your bones

Toronto band Dinosaur Bones are back from South By South West unscathed and ready to take on Kingston once again, as long as The Tragically Hip don’t steal their thunder

Dinosaur Bones pictured above in Toronto.
Dinosaur Bones pictured above in Toronto.
Dinosaur Bones plan to on touring to the East Coast next month, although they have never done a cross-Canada tour.
Dinosaur Bones plan to on touring to the East Coast next month, although they have never done a cross-Canada tour.

Ben Fox, lead singer of the much buzzed-about Toronto band Dinosaur Bones, has some advice.

“Never drive from Little Rock straight to Toronto.”

Advice taken, although I don’t think you could stop any eager indie band from trekking across the old U.S. in hopes of breaking out at Austin’s South By South West three-day music festival. Having just got back from the festival, Fox sounded energized, inspired and hardly exhausted.

“It was far beyond anything we expected. It’s like a rock and roll Mardi Gras,” Fox said. “The city is unbelievable.” South By South West has become a Mecca for up-and-coming indie acts and a haven for any music journalist or A&R rep.

“We played four shows there—it was a great experience,” Fox said. “If it was any longer than three days it would be exhausting.” Fox advises also advises bringing sunscreen, t-shirts and sunglasses—accessories we can only hope to be wearing in the near future when the weather gets warmer.

The band has been keeping busy over the past two years, building a solid reputation in their hometown of Toronto and touring the Eastern seaboard steadily.

“We really just started touring recently,” Fox said. “We’re sitting getting to go to new places and see things for the first time. We identified some cities we wanted to tackle—New York being the Holy Grail.”

Not having done a full Canadian tour is a strategic move on the bands part, as Canada is vast in its landscape for a young band that opts to rock a van and not a private jet.

“It’s easier to tour the East Coast. We figured we’d start close.” The band has embraced travelling and touring, Fox said.

“We love the road. Personally, it’s seeing new places and travelling that I love. It’s also a lot of fun to play in new places—to get out of your comfort zones,” he said. “The van is the womb.” Fox is taking his womb to Kingston for the second time next Thursday, hoping this show will be a better experience than their last trip here.

“We played Kingston one time. But The Tragically Hip were playing in town that night…” Fox said. “It was a bit of ghost town.” Lucky for the band they met fellow rockers Clothes Make The Man at a venue that Fox can’t even remember the name of, where the band put on a show to an audience of no one. Showmanship is something the band has come to admire in other acts.

“If you’re not putting emphasis on your live show you’re doing something wrong. It’s always a disappointment when a band’s live show doesn’t live up to its album.”

One might wonder if all of Dinosaur Bones’ energy goes into their live shows. After being together for over two years, the band is pulling a Drake, with no full length album yet released.

“We’re working hard to put out an album that captures the energy of a live show,” Fox said. “This year we’re going to release our album in the summer of the fall—mostly likely the fall.” The summer is shaping up to be a relaxing one for the band. Touring festivals and taking them in as spectators. Fox said he can’t wait to drink beers in the grass at what he calls “summer camp for alcoholics.”

Whatever the beverage, let’s hope Fox and the rest of the fellows in the band can stay off the purple drank. Guilty of being a Lil Wayne fan, Fox has his own predictions for the rapper’s stay in the birdhouse.

“I think he’ll hold up in the slammer,” Fox chuckled. “He’ll probably come out with 20 albums.” Let’s hope we get at least one album from Dinosaur Bones this summer—we can’t all be Lil Wayne.
Dinosaur Bones play The Mansion on April 1 with bands The Ascot Royals, The Darcy’s and Allison Lickly. Ticket prices are to be announced.

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