Aug. 22, 2012 - Issue #879: Is The Party Over?
Sat, Aug 25 (8 pm)
Haven Social Club
$18 (advance), $25 (door)
To celebrate the Haven Social Club's fourth anniversary, its time to bring back an Edmonton musical institution.
Old Reliable went on a hiatus in 2006 after a decade's worth of recording and touring, but as the band's Facebook page states, Old Reliable didn't break up; it just broke down for a while. Vocalist Shuyler Jansen, who now lives in Saskatoon, SK and has embarked on a successful solo career, says there was no real baggage when the band was last together, but it had reached a point where things had seemed to stagnate. Old Reliable's last album, The Burning Truth, had been unsuccessful and its last tour had been poorly attended, which killed some of the motivation to keep going.
"We just weren't feeling like there was any momentum," Jansen says, adding that the feeling stalled any ideas of heading back out on tour, especially since solo ventures were picking up speed. Jansen and Mark Davis, who co-wrote Old Reliable's material, have since released three solo albums each, earning national and international acclaim for their separate bodies of work.
The band has kept in touch over the years, visiting when each is in town for a show, and have now come together to bring back the classic hits and stompers from its repertoire. Jansen says revisiting the songs and remembering harmonies and solos has been a challenge, but he hopes Old Reliable can come back sounding better than ever.
"It's nice to revisit those songs and hopefully present a new approach with more skill with all our experience from our solo projects," Jansen notes. "I think everybody's come a long way since the band last played together. There's been a lot of touring on my part personally and I know Mark's been really busy playing with other musicians and touring himself, so I think time and experience and playing different genres and playing with different people always adds to your ability to become better musicians."
However, the future remains uncertain for Old Reliable. Jansen says the band is taking things one week at a time, with no definite plans to record or hit the road again in the immediate future. In the meantime, Old Reliable just wants to bring back the songs that shaped its career and which fans have become attached to. Hits like "Tight Knit Seams," "Now You're Gone" and "Face the Day" have been danced to, gotten drunk to and made out to, bringing back memories for fans each time they're played at a local bar and as covers from a new generation of local bands.
"We're just going to do these shows and enjoy ourselves and, I don't know, get kind of sentimental about it with the people that listened to our records for the last 10 years," Jansen says, admitting that, if things go well, recording could be a possibility. "People have their own personal memories attached to songs and times in their life, so I think for them, that's what it's all about."
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