If Barn Burner were a lonely man describing himself on an Internet dating website, their interests would likely include huge riffs, beer bongs, Iron Maiden, and coming up with puns about getting high, while getting high.
But in fact they’re a local band whose first full-length album, Bangers, released this past summer, mixes elements of boogie-rock and stoner-metal, to create the perfect soundtrack for double-fisting cans of Alberta’s Best with your buddies.
Singer/guitarist Kevin Keaglesmith, talks about heavy riffs, touring Canada, and his Dad.
Q: On the Barn Burner MySpace page you describe the band as “riffs…just riffs.” What are some of your all time favourite guitar riffs?
A: (After much deliberation) “Supernaut” by Black Sabbath is probably one of my favourites … “Kick Start My Heart” by MÃ¶tley Crue is pretty crucial, “Raining Blood,” “Blackened” by Metallica, there’s so many…
Q: Your song “Beer Today, Bong Tomorrow” strikes me as an apt description of your sound and style. Do you see Barn Burner as more of a beer drinking boogie-rock band or a doobie smoking stoner metal band?
A: The beer drinking part is there, but were sort of trying to get away from the boogie part a bit, we started sort of in the Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple “70s boogie rock style, but then we evolved more towards the heavy metal side, more along the lines of Iron Maiden. Di’Anno-era Iron Maiden influenced me in a big way, and then newer stuff like Mastodon and things like that, we’re getting heavier and heavier as we go.
Q: Are you guys as debaucherous as your music suggests?
A: We’re definitely a party band, we like to tour and all the things that go along with touring are things that we sort of live for, so yeah definitely debaucherous.
Q: You guys are going on a small tour of Eastern Canada and playing shows in some pretty small towns, what’s it like playing somewhere like Coldbrook, Nova Scotia?
A: I haven’t played too many small towns with Barn Burner yet, but in another band I played Coldbrook and it was awesome; it was an all ages show and there were a lot of kids in the town who don’t see a lot of shows, so when there is a show, especially all ages, it’s quite an event for them. They might even be better than a lot of our bigger city shows.
Q: I sort of imagine touring Canada being a fun, but gruelling experience, like in Hard Core Logo.
A: I haven’t seen Hard Core Logo in years, but yeah Canada is a bit of a wasteland to tour through, it’s a ton of driving and not a lot of places to actually play.
Q: Have you ever come close to reaching your breaking point, or have you been able to stay positive?
A: So far so good. If you have too many shitty shows in a row, your moral gets pretty low but if there’s even somewhat of a response it always keeps you going. It’s the days off that really stunt everybody and their enthusiasm because if you’re not playing for a few days and you’re broke and you’re trying to figure out how to eat and where to stay and stuff like that, that’s when the shit sort of hits the fan. But if you’re playing every night you have an outlet, which is good.
Q: Does your mom like Barn Burner?
A: I don’t think she thinks I have much of a future playing in go-nowhere rock “n’ roll bands, she’d like to see me become a plumber or something like that, she’s not too pumped, but she lets me do my thing. But my dad, he’s a big fan, he comes to my shows and brings my uncles and buys merchandise for the rest of the family, it’s pretty ridiculous.
For more information on Barn Burner, visit: www.myspace.com/theinfamousbarnburner