The Wooden Sky supports fellow artists

The Wooden Sky’s lead singer Gavin Gardiner says he wants to be sure he’s giving back to the entire music community.

The Wooden Sky sitting on the sidewalk with a dog.
The Wooden Sky.
The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

The Wooden Sky’s lead singer Gavin Gardiner says he wants to be sure he’s giving back to the entire music community.

Based in Toronto, The Wooden Sky consists of lead singer Gavin Gardiner, bassist Andrew Wyatt, pianist and guitarist Simon Walker and drummer Andrew Kekewich. The indie rock band has released four full albums and two EPs since 2007. Their most recent album, Let’s Be Ready, was released in 2014. 

The Wooden Sky’s songs are filled with raw and honest lyrics, which reflect Gardiner’s lyrical talents and sensitivity to the world around him. 

“There’s the idea that songs all exist and that songwriters are just conduits for those songs,” Gardiner said. “Which I think is pretty valid … like a subconscious dealing with things.”

Although he’s weighed down by pressure to achieve perfection in his own music, Gardiner said he produces other bands’ records and aims to support struggling musicians. 

“I would love to be considered an ambassador of [Canadian music],” Gardiner said. 

“Whether that be through just sitting down and having a beer with another musician or just chatting and sharing war stories and getting advice.”

In 2014, the band started its own independent artist-driven label — Chelsea Records. 

Gardiner said The Wooden Sky played in Ottawa the night before their Kingston show with fellow musician Kalle Mattso. Gardiner produced Mattson’s last record. 

He describes his own career choice as a way to explore his relationship with the world that infuses his life with meaning. 

“I wrote a song and the message is very simple: you are not alone,” Gardiner said. “I sometimes feel like life in the world can be very lonely. It’s easy to get trapped in your own head.”

Gardiner said finding what’s meaningful to other people breaks down that barrier, but he wonders if he can achieve that.

“Are my ideas good? Are they important? Why should anyone care about what I have to say? What am I contributing to society by doing it?” Gardiner said. 

Gardiner added that meeting people on tour who have connected with The Wooden Sky’s music is both rewarding and inspiring. 

“I have that relationship with music, it’s part of why I still do what I do, and its neat to hear other people having that relationship with our songs.” 

Gardiner said thinking about a listener’s relationship with the band’s songs reminds him of places he goes for lyrical inspiration — like the rooftop patio at his old apartment in Toronto above Queen St.

“We would go up there and sit in the sun and it was above one of the busiest streets in Toronto and you’d sort of be in your own world,” Gardiner said.  

“It felt like you were in this place you weren’t supposed to be, living on borrowed time.” 

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