Grapes of Wrath TND







© copyright 2013  the neighbors dog

Interview Transcript




NOTE: The following transcript is the first few minutes of the ‘uncut’ interview.... more to come.

The Neighbors Dog  I'd like to hear something about how the "get back together" was initiated.  Where did it start? Who ...what did you guys think when the idea came up? If it wasn't your idea?

Chris Hooper Ahhh...that's a lot of questions.

Tom Hooper  Lots of questions.

Kevin Kane I feel like we have to unravel this field of questions now...

The Neighbors Dog It's a story

Tom Hooper We got an offer for a gig at this thing called the Surrey Fusion Festival and, me and Kevin had done a few acoustic shows before at some wineries and stuff like that in the Okanagan and things like that, anyway... and the three of us had been talking about, “...One of these days it would be kind of a cool thing to do if the right thing came along.”  And so, we got this offer and the offer was over... was like, it was for a decent amount of money (I'm trying to not be sarcastic) [laughter].  For a million dollars!

Kevin Kane I was going to say... "and it wasn't the right offer, but we did it anyways..."

Chris Hooper ...but we did it anyways.

Tom Hooper … so anyway the offer was... would the original guys be interested in playing this? You know, with the original guys again right? And it was like, “Oh, okay.” So we all talked together and got our lawyers involved, and no... ah, we decided, let's do it.

Chris Hooper Yeah...

Tom Hooper … and it was a few months in advance so we had to....

Kevin Kane are we going to do this?

Chris Hooper  That's the point isn't it?  It sort of forced us to say yes or no, because it was a, "You guys gotta decide now, or this isn't going to happen."  So I think if we had along... a long time... I don't know?  It might have dragged on, it might never have happened?  We were sort of forced....

Tom Hooper Yeah, 'cause we kind of thought that we were going to do it.  But we just never... we were all equally being not really pro-active about anything. Until this offer and so it got the ball rolling.

The Neighbors Dog How did that show go?

Tom Hooper  It was amazing [laughter]

Kevin Kane And we're sitting here today.

Tom Hooper  … and the rest is history.  No, it was great.

Chris Hooper  Yeah, yeah it was a… it was strange.

Tom Hooper  Yeah... it's funny, too, because, yeah, we hadn't played together like with some of these songs, in twenty-some years.  Not to say that we were all... like we're fantastic or anything like that but, we had just one rehearsal before, just one, and we were like, you know... I remember thinking to myself like... 10 seconds into the song, "This is weird", because we hadn't played this song in 20 years. I never really practiced this stuff too much but it's just like, I guess we toured so much with those songs, it was like... “Well, this sounds pretty good.”

Chris Hooper That's the thing, it was so ingrained in us from years of touring and playing.  But I mean, I hadn't even played drums in years.  I hadn't even sat behind a drum set, in... I don't know... I don't know what it would be... ten years?  More?

Kevin Kane I practiced them everyday with cardboard standups of you guys [laughter], so I was ready. [laughs]

Chris Hooper But it was different.  I mean, you guys never stopped playing. [No] You guys, you know, have always kept...

Kevin Kane [in British accent] Performing and Entertaining. Performing and Entertaining.

Chris Hooper Children's birthdays....

The Neighbors Dog It almost sounds like you didn't have to relearn them - you did and you didn't - it didn't sound like you were doing a cover of somebody - or it didn't feel like it, did it?

Kevin Kane I had to relearn certain things, like, ah, obviously lyrics and guitar solos - other than that.  I remembered everything, except for those kind of detaily [sic] things. Like the words.

Chris Hooper It was funny...

Tom Hooper The less important stuff like that.

Chris Hooper No one listens anyways.

Tom Hooper No, it was pretty smooth actually.  We were surprised.

Chris Hooper Course now it will cut to our live performances.

Kevin Kane And we're in complete shambles....

The Neighbors Dog Do you guys feel like you had plenty of time to get ready for these two shows? Obviously you've had plenty of notice on them too... but have you've been able to get together enough you feel?

Chris Hooper When we need to, we get together, and we have a day of practice kinda just to work out what needs working out.

Kevin Kane Not as often as we'd like, because we live in different places. 

Tom Hooper Yeah it's not like... sorry...

Kevin Kane My missionary work takes me all over the world [laughter]

Chris Hooper No, I'm out in Toronto, and Chris is in Vancouver and Tom is on Saltsprings sometimes and you know, Victoria other times, you know, he's out playing a fair bit so...

Kevin Kane [To Tom] Wherever the hell you are.

Tom Hooper  One dumpster to the next.

Kevin Kane You make him sound like a hobo...[laughs]

The Neighbors Dog Yeah, jamming on Skype doesn't work too well does it?

Chris Hooper I wonder if anybody's ever tried that?

Tom Hooper What?

Chris Hooper Practicing on Skype.

Tom Hooper Oh yeah, yeah...

Kevin Kane If anybody would, it would be you two. Because they're cutting edge.

Chris Hooper Well we tried to do Skype meetings... remember some of those? And it just ends up you're just frustrated.  What?  What d'you say? No... you go ahea... wha... no... you...

Kevin Kane Hard life eh?  They're complaining about that Skype... boy....

Tom Hooper  Back to Pony Express...

The Neighbors Dog So tonight's [ at the casino Regina show ] going to be a rehearsal for tomorrow night [ the neighbors dog taping ], when, like I say, it's going to be...

Kevin Kane Essentially... yes.

The Neighbors Dog I mean that in a nice way... but it's like... tomorrow it will be that much better just because... and we'll get it on camera.  That will be cool.

Kevin Kane That's what gives us our edge.

Tom Hooper mmmhhhmmm.

The Neighbors Dog Excellent.

Kevin Kane Well, it's like … the funny thing is too... I remember back, twenty-something years ago, and we never practiced anyway.

Tom Hooper Yeah, we hated practicing.

Kevin Kane We just hated it... and we played so much live that there was just no point in practicing.  A new record would come out and then we [would practice]

Chris Hooper Yeah, once we got into the cycle yeah... but before that... there was practice everyday.  We had a rehearsal space in downtown Vancouver and everyday at 2 o'clock we'd get together and rehearse.

Tom Hooper We'd ride our bikes there, and then we'd practice for a couple of hours or until we got bored of it... but everyday, yeah. We had nothing else to do. I mean... we had no money, we were completely poor.

Kevin Kane We were spending all our money on that rehearsal space....[laughter]

Tom Hooper Well, that's why... living in our manager's apartment. Well I guess... it was practice and... that's all we did.

The Neighbors Dog So when you revisit some of the old songs... how do you approach it?  Is there's obviously an evolution maybe... rediscovering it... and you're going to re-interpret it, if you want to call it that.  I mean... would you call it that?

Kevin Kane  mmm... no... we're pretty true to them. [yeah]

Tom Hooper I think we used to do that a bit more, but I think... I don't know... personally I, I don't want see the band... I mean I like it when bands I've seen do the songs the way I hear them.  I don't find that's a bad thing at all actually.  Obviously it's live, so it's not going to be exactly like the record. But ah...

Kevin Kane They totally vetoed my soft jazz interpretation idea... so... I said "let's go all Sting on this,"...

The Neighbors Dog Then how do you compare the creative process of the old songs with... to the new ones you've created? Are these coming from the same place or are they... kind of co-operating and building them in the same way?

Tom Hooper Silence... ah... I don't know.  I think everything is different, I think. I think... we're... I don't know... pretty much....

Kevin Kane Well I think it kind of evolved, like with a... up to the last album, like before when we used to jam together everyday.  Songs evolved that way. Then we were on the road a lot.  You know, we got to the point where Tom and I would work up little demo sketches kind of thing, and pass them back and forth and we'd sort of hone arrangements, and that's pretty much how we did the new record too... is, we started with demos that we passed around, and then once we got to the studio, things sort of took shaped.  And some things changed, and some things are similar to the demo but it wasn't… I never felt like it was "okay, it's got to be exactly like this demo," it was more like "well, here's an idea, if we can improve upon it lets," and something's changed.  It was a collaboration in that regard.

The Neighbors Dog Yeah... revisiting the older songs - those are well-established demos, that don't... they've had their time to be honed and....

Kevin Kane … yeah... and we've played them live a whole bunch, and I mean it's like Tom said, it can be kind of annoying when you go to a show, and somebody's playing a song differently just for the sake of playing it differently.

Tom Hooper Yeah, 'cause they're bored.

Kevin Kane And I think after that kind of break too, I certainly didn't feel bored playing those songs, I was actually really stoked to play them because I hadn't played them in so long.

Tom Hooper And I mean the bottom line is you're not up there playing for yourself... I mean that is really the bottom line - you're playing for the people that are paying to see you so... [laughs]... I don't know, it's corny, but you should be giving them what they want to hear.


I certainly didn't feel bored playing those songs, I was actually really stoked to play them because I hadn't played them in so long.