Ten years & counting

Mark Sasso says the audience makes touring different every time

The last time Elliott BROOD hit Kingston, they played the annual Wolfe Island Music Festival.
The last time Elliott BROOD hit Kingston, they played the annual Wolfe Island Music Festival.
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Elliott BROOD has been playing together for ten years and has opened for acts like Blue Rodeo and Corb Lund.
Elliott BROOD has been playing together for ten years and has opened for acts like Blue Rodeo and Corb Lund.
Photo: 

Elliott BROOD’s latest album Days Into Years is getting one last kick in the can.

Vocalist, guitarist and banjo player Mark Sasso tells me this through the phone as he carries boxes of CDs and merchandise to his car in Newfoundland.

He’s preparing for the band’s upcoming tour, but after the upcoming months of going on the road, Sasso said the band won’t be headlining any shows with their latest album. “It’s a last go at it, as they call it the album cycle in the music business. One last time and then we’ll start on our new record in the new year hopefully,” Sasso said.

Looking back, the band first got their identifiable name while watching the Robert Redford film The Natural. Sasso thought if the femme fatale named Harriett Bird had an evil twin brother, his name would be ‘Elliott Brood.’ Ten years later the name still stands strong, and the three-piece death country band are still making their way together through the music business, playing shows like they always have.

At live shows, Sasso said the band leaves it up to the crowd to set the pace.

“It’s one of those things where a show is a show and of course, it’s interesting. But it’s never the same people doing the same things — the audience changes it up for you.” As Sasso stacks boxes of t-shirts and hats on the hood of the car, he tells me the band has yet to perfect the art of touring.

“That’s the one thing about touring — it’s never down to a science. It’s different every single day. You can’t control it, it’s a beast,” he said, but a beast worth taming, he quickly adds.

“If it was the same every time and that was the case, we would have done one tour and been done with it.”

Along the line, Elliott BROOD was nominated for the 2009 Polaris Prize and has opened for Canadian country icons like Blue Rodeo and Corb Lund.

This fall, they’re co-touring with Wintersleep — no opening act, just two bands getting equal stage time.

It’ll be the tenth or twelfth time they’ve played in Kingston, Sasso guesses. The last time they came to Kingston was to play the Wolfe Island Music Festival in August.

Because there are two headliners this time around, it’ll be a shorter set in Kingston for both acts.

“Where we’d normally do two hours, we’re now doing one hour and a bit each,” Sasso said.

“Getting to tour with a band that you actually like really is a plus.”

While on this final tour with Days Into Years, the band is taking little time to mourn the album’s passing — they’ve already begun working on the next album.

“We’re always writing,” he said. “We have no super concrete plans or anything like that, just a few new demos.”

Elliott BROOD plays Ale House on Monday with Wintersleep. Doors open at 9 p.m.

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