Plaskett out of the box

East-coast musician says he takes touring day by day

Joel Plaskett Emergency gets their endorphins going and loosens up their limbs by playing a game of catch before going on stage.
Joel Plaskett Emergency gets their endorphins going and loosens up their limbs by playing a game of catch before going on stage.
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Joel Plaskett may be a Kingston regular, but he doesn’t arrive empty-handed.

Plaskett jokingly said his bag of tricks includes a wooden bust of Wayne Newton and a set of dancing monkey toys.

As the crew was unloading the tour van at a club in southern Ontario, Plaskett took a few minutes to joke about his tour materials and talk to me about playing in Kingston again.

“We’ve been to Kingston so many times before and played all the Kingston haunts — the Grad Club and even A.J.’s Hangar,” he said, adding that he already has his favourite hangout spots in town picked out.

“We have to go to Brian’s Record Options and stop at the Kingston Guitar Shop too. You kind of have to,” he said.

One venue yet to be conquered by Joel Plaskett Emergency is the Grand, the site for their upcoming show.

“The challenge is to get the audience rocking out and it’s tougher because people will be seated,” he said.

But chair legs won’t stop Plaskett from spontaneity.

“I never really know what the set list’s going to be until the night of the show,” he said.

Plastkett said the band will take audience requests depending on how the night goes.

“At a show a few nights ago someone yelled an obscure song from Ashtray Rock and we played it,” he said.

With a music catalogue that includes five full-length albums, Plaskett has a wide variety to choose from when he plays live.

A classic for the band to play live is fan-favourite ‘Nowhere With You.’

Plaskett said it’s satisfying because by the end of the tune, he and his drummer are both completely wiped out.

“I’m a skinny guy with not that much insurance.”

That might be due in part to the band’s pre-show ritual to get the endorphins going.

“We play a game of catch before our shows and it’s a good way of loosening up the limbs,” he said. “It’s not as hardcore as shots of tequila.”

Currently in the middle of building his own studio back home in Nova Scotia, Plaskett said he’s not making a mad dash to record another album in the near future.

“I know that when I set my mind to something, I will keep going until it gets done and it becomes kind of an obsession, so I’m hesitating to get into that state of mind too soon,” he said.

“I’m finding that the best way to enjoy touring is to not look at it on a calendar. You just have to look at what’s going on today, and if I have that on the horizon, that’s enough.”

Joel Plaskett Emergency plays the Grand Theatre tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.

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