Huron Carol

Huron think of themselves as indie ‘meat and potatoes’

Huron’s Cam Malcolm, Adam Melnick, Aaron Goldstein and Peter Hall clad in plaid.
Huron’s Cam Malcolm, Adam Melnick, Aaron Goldstein and Peter Hall clad in plaid.

1. Who are you?

Aaron Goldstein.

2. What do you do?

I play guitar and pedal steel and also sing and write some of the songs in Huron.

3. Where can someone find you?

Either on stage or in a van on my way to a stage.

4. Where do you live and work and why?

I guess I work in a number of different places. A good amount of my work is on the road as a pedal steel player with some other artists—these days, mainly, Tom Wilson’s Lee Harvey Osmond band, and the Cowboy Junkies. The big secret I’ve been hiding is that, while Huron formed in Hamilton and the other three guys still live there, I just recently moved to Toronto. I’m sort of the band manager by default, so when I’m not on the road I’m usually at my computer making arrangements for the band. The record just came out so that was the end of a long stretch of intense work for me. I also moonlight at some music-related jobs … on random days I might be your guitar salesman on Bloor St. and on other days I do some work with backline equipment in Scarborough.

5. What’s the Hamilton music scene like?

The scene in Hamilton is incredible. I miss it all the time and try and get back there when I can. The mutual support there is just awesome. … I saw more amazing local shows in Hamilton than I can count and some of the people making music there never cease to inspire me—guys like Wax Mannequin and Slow Hand Motem, bands like Sandman Viper Command and Harlan Pepper, Thin Lines, Cowlick, the list goes on. So much good music going on. If there was any money in the record business I’d start a label and put out all my favourite Hamilton music.

6. When did you Huron start making music together?

Just around the beginning of 2008.

7. How would you describe your music?

My girlfriend just came up with a good one this morning: “You guys are the indie version of meat-and-potatoes.” Seriously, that’s not a bad one-liner. I might put it up as our MySpace tagline. In truth though, we’re just a rock and roll band with a variety of influences. It helps that there are really two main writers (myself and Cam Malcolm), and a bunch of the tunes—probably our best numbers are collaborations between the two of us. The influences are varied but at our core I guess we’re a rock-and-roll band, relying heavily Sabbath and Skynyrd-style riffs, but the songs are sing-able and can be poppy, and we lean into country territory probably more than any other heavy band since Thin Lizzy, and there are times when it gets majorly psychedelic in a Pink Floyd or Grateful Dead vein. How’s that for concise?

8. What inspires you?

I was pretty goddamn inspired after seeing the two-night Thrush Hermit reunion in Toronto last weekend. I’ve said this in interviews before but their Clayton Park record is a huge inspiration. Outside of that? I could go on forever. Buddy Holly, Hank Williams, The Louvin Brothers, The Band, The Allman Brothers, Ryan Adams … I’m inspired by my old buds in Arkells and my friend Julie Fader. I’m inspired every night I get onstage with Tom Wilson or the Cowboy Junkies (and on many nights, both).

9. Is your band name a reference to the Great Lake? If so, why? 

It is indeed a reference to Lake Huron. It’s a nice lake. It’s in Ontario. We felt it was appropriate.

10. What’s the nicest things someone has said to you after a show?

Probably a tie between, “Your record is my favourite new album,” and “Your guitar tone is incredible!” I get the latter a lot but it’s not as good as somebody actually liking your songs—still nice of people to say.

11. What’s the worst thing someone has said to you after a show?

“I really like the band! I don’t really like that shirt you’re wearing, but I like the band!”

I guess I’m doing okay if that was the worst thing someone’s said, eh?

12. What are your current obsessions?

Faron Young, Shotgun Jimmie’s “Still Jimmie,” Sam Cooke, the Dexateens, Kathleen Edwards’ “Failer,” the Great Speckled Bird, Hamilton band Monster Truck, A Serious Man and a sweet gal named Michelle.

13. When someone says “Kingston” you think...

Actually Kingston and I go way back ... my brother went to Queen’s and my sister is still there as a third-year Poli Sci student. Last time we were in Kingston we had an awesome show at the Toucan with our bud Ian Blurton, which was hilarious because ... well ... it’s the Toucan. Great show though. And before that we were at Clark Hall Pub with Arkells which was also a blast, lots of people were out to that one. But my greatest memory of playing in Kingston was when I was in Dan Griffin’s Regrets. We were on our way to the East coast for a short tour and on the way out, my brother helped organize a show/kegger in Kingston at his buddy Andrew’s loft. We borrowed a set of drums from one of my brother’s professors—ended up being one of the best shows of the tour.

14. What are you currently working on?

I’m always working on new Huron tour-dates. We’ve just begun some writing for the next record and I’m always working here and there on new material. Also about to do a bit of writing with Tom Wilson for the next Lee Harvey Osmond record. I’ve been in the producer’s chair for Harlan Pepper’s first record and we’re just working on finishing that up.
Huron play The Mansion on Saturday with Owl Farm and The Loose Cannons at 9 p.m. Ticket prices are to be announced.

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