Alexisonfire’s guitarist/vocalist Dallas Green did something for himself last year when he released Sometimes, the first record of his solo project, City And Colour. The Ontario native’s acoustic record has received a lot of acclaim, including a recent win at the 2006 Indie Awards. I had a chance to catch up with Green on the phone two weeks ago from his sold-out tour. Here’s what he had to say:
The Concordian: How different has this experience been compared to touring with Alexisonfire?
Green: It’s definitely not comfortable. It’s more nerve-wracking because it’s just me, so I have no one to turn to onstage. My cousin’s been coming up to play songs on piano, but mostly it’s just me up there. Usually it’s me and my friends in Alexisonfire, so it’s definitely weird.
The Concordian: Have you learned anything touring alone?
Green: I’ve learned that I will probably never do a solo tour that involves bars. I’ve done a few shows in theatres and they’ve been really cool because people have been quiet and respectful. It’s easier to give my best performance when I’m not having to listen to beer bottles clinging around.
The Concordian: What was your main goal with making this record?
Green: I had recorded a bunch of songs when I was younger, they found their way onto the internet, and a lot of people got a hold of them. I wasn’t proud of the songs or what was recorded, so with this record, my main goal was to put something out that I was proud of.
The Concordian: Your record is basically just acoustic guitar and voice, which is something gutsy to do. Were you scared at all to do that?
Green: Not really. I wasn’t really making the record hoping people would like it. I just made it for myself and finally being proud of my solo stuff.
The Concordian: Did you want to create a certain mood with this record?
Green: My goal in life as a musician is just to be as honest as possible, and this record was just me being honest: me and my guitar. It’s not polished perfectly, it’s not edited vocals or tons of layers of instruments. It’s me and my guitar and the occasional piano. That’s why I didn’t do tons of harmonies. I think there’s a lot of dishonesty in the music industry today with the popular bands and people not writing their own songs: it’s all edited and auto-tuned. So I wanted to put out a record to say, “hey, there’s people who still play and I’m not perfect and I’m not the greatest songwriter in the world at all but this is what I do. So what do you think?”
The Concordian: You also won an Indie Award recently for Favourite Solo Artist. What does that kind of recognition mean to you?
Green: That doesn’t mean too much to me. Favorite Solo Artist; that’s kind of funny to me because basically you are saying, “there’s better people than you, but you’re our favorite.” That’s cool, but awards aren’t really important. Awards are great, [but] I think they mean more to people who look at your resume than the people themselves. I’d rather just be about us writing good songs than us winning awards. We can get all the awards we want, but without the kids coming to see us and buying our records, we’re nothing.
The Concordian: What is your aspiration with this solo project?
Green: I’ll always be writing songs; sometimes they just don’t make sense to be Alexisonfire songs, so it’s cool that I now have a medium to put them out. I’m in a band, that’s what I do. And when I have time off, I put out solo records now. That’s it.
City And Colour play at La Tulipe on Friday April 14.