Vancouver, BC – Patchchord News caught up with the band Vaultry before their final show and spoke with Leith, Josh and Damian, to see how the band survived the rigors of touring the vastness of the Canadian landscape.
PCN: So first off, introduce yourselves to our readers.
Josh: I am Josh, the bassist of Vaultry.
Damian: I’m Damian I play guitar, in Vaultry.
Leith: I’m Leith, the vocalist of Vaultry.
PCN: So how was the tour? Who wants to answer?
Damian: I bet we would all have different answers.
Josh: Well it was really good. My first tour. We’re finally back, last show other than Victoria (July 22nd). Definitely had a really great experience got to see a lot of Canada I’d never seen before and played a lot of fun shows, probably the most typical answer. And we’re all back alive.
Damian: I think that we all had fun. I think there has been some ups and downs. I think there has been some emotions and some tensions, but all in all, I think we were pretty good.
Leith: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. It’s just exhausting, really exhausting to be away that long, for a month, and then you know, not feeling really super productive because you’re just trapped in a metal box for 12 hours a day.
Josh: But it`s been successful too. We have done a lot so…
PCN: Anything exciting happen along the way?
Leith: Lots of exciting things I’d say. We were in a dope lightning storm, that was pretty cool.
Josh: Yeah lots of lightning you don’t really get that out here, so that was cool.
PCN: Where was that? Midwest?
Leith: It was London, Ontario. Yeah.
Josh: Actually, and in Alberta.
Damian: Yeah and a little bit in Ottawa. Yeah.
Leith: So, I mean there was a little bit of lightning that was really cool. We were in Ottawa for Canada Day, but unfortunately because it was so rainy, nothing really happened. We just walked around in the pouring rain.
Josh: And just got soaked. But that was fun, there was lots of people there.
Leith: Went to the beach in Kelowna in the Okanagan, that was fun.
Josh: Went to Niagara Falls, Ontario.
PCN: What were some of the low points?
Leith: The drive between Regina and Sudbury, twice.
Damian: The driving as a whole, all of the driving.
Josh: Yeah. We had a couple of shows that were a few provinces apart. So there was a couple of times where we did 22 hours straight through and drove without a break.
Leith: Basically, just sleeping the whole time.
PCN: Speaking of, when I interviewed Leith before he mentioned that he might do a bit of the driving, but he was going to leave it to, was it…
Damian: Josh. Josh and Brad did like 90% of the driving.
PCN: You guys shared it?
Josh: Mostly. Brad was pretty much like the endurance guy. He was the overnights, the 8-10 hours straight, kind of thing. Anytime he needed to back the van up, that was my job.
Damian: Josh was the precision guy, Brad was the endurance guy. Leith and Tanisha drove a little bit too which was nice.
Leith: Especially on the long days. But we kind of just figured out a system of just having a navigator, even people who couldn’t drive, swapping in and out. And then after most with gigs when we did night drives, I just kind of slept. I’d go up in the top bunk that we had set up in the back of the van and then just sleep for 8 hours. Even if we stopped somewhere I just wouldn’t get out of the van, and slept.
Josh: I did that once in Alberta too, when you guys stopped at Tanisha’s moms I think, I don’t even remember I just stayed in the Van and slept. I just finished an overnight drive.
PCN: So how were the fans?
Leith: They were really good! A Lot more came out than I had thought there would be actually.
Damian: Yeah some of the shows were really big and really impressive as far as people coming out.
PCN: One of the highlights Leith talked about looking forward to was playing in Edmonton.
Damian: Edmonton was a big one. I think Edmonton might have been our biggest one still.
Josh: Our first EMO night.
Leith: We played another one in Regina where the crowd was a little bit more arms crossed just enjoying the music, but still good. I think Calgary was also really, really good. We just did Calgary a couple days ago and it was a lot of fun.
Damian: It’s weird to think a couple of days ago we were in Calgary.
PCN: Now with Toronto and Montreal, you (Leith), said that you were looking forward to playing there.
Leith: Yeah Montreal was cool, Toronto was cool. Actually, I really enjoyed Ottawa. It was a lot of fun and we played a really popular venue call the “Ask a punk”. It’s kind of like somebody’s basement that they renovated into government funded venue and they do all ages shows there so, yeah, it’s a lot of fun. And there was a lot of kids who came out, so that was cool.
PCN: Josh? Any favorite venue that you hit?
Josh: Gosh, I probably would have to say Edmonton as well, I liked the EMO night, it was really good.
Damian: Also, probably the nicest venue because I think it is a newer establishment that was designed really well.
Josh: There was a few like shockers actually, just like Kamloops the other night. We didn’t really know what to expect as it was just like a coffee shop. We cleared it out and then people just came pouring in, packed the place and had a really good show. So that was really fun.
PCN: So how did you all get along in the little tin box (Ford Econoline Van) for this tour?
Damian: Mostly well.
Josh: Mostly well, Yeah.
Leith: There’s a couple times we’d yell at each other.
Damian: Just a few, yeah.
Josh: Like in Sudbury, we got in there at like five in the morning and we stayed at this motel, it wasn’t even a motel really. It was a campus that was like…
Damian: It was a school campus, but they would rent it out as hotels during the summer.
Josh: Yeah. So, Brad slept in the van that night and then he kind of lost out on a shower the next day because we had to rush out of there and that’s just like I started this this whole days’ worth of everybody just bitter at each other because you know what I mean, it was just a tumble, like a snowball effect. And we had an entire day to waste in Sudbury.
Leith: And it was a slow show too.
Josh: It was not a great show and we were all kind of mad at each other for a while. But you know, we played a couple of good shows after that and we bounced back.
PCN: So, what did you learn about touring across Canada?
Josh: Pack less!
Damian: Pack less.
Leith: Pack less.
Damian: Less baggage, less gear.
Josh: We kind of over prepared I think for a few things and probably won’t do that again. We kind of really wanted to go camping. But, we actually lucked out and had a lot more places to stay.
Leith: So, we never really had to cook for ourselves either.
Josh: We had all these tents and stuff you use with us.
Leith: Camping chairs we never pulled out, so they were just kind of like extra fodder. To keep stuff still in the van. But other than that, I mean, I realized that like a month is a really, really long time to tour, and if you’re not mentally prepared for it you can kind of put yourself in a bad way.
Josh: So maybe a couple of weeks next time.
Damian: Next tour might be a little shorter. Maybe do a couple shorter tours instead of one really big one.
PCN: So, do you feel you can relate to these guys who go on the road for two and a half years straight?
Josh: No. I couldn’t imagine it right now.
Leith: Not in our current situation.
Damian: You know I think if we had the luxury tour busses and the capacity to fly home every once in a while, in between, it would be nice.
Leith: Yeah and if you can bring your significant others on the trip with you. I know lots of musicians when they go away that long and they bring their significant other. Actually, we got tattoos from the girlfriend of the singer of Obey the Brave and Despised Icon, which are two really big Montreal bands. She flies out a lot to go see him on tour and she goes on tours with him quite a bit which is really dope.
PCN: You got Tattooed?
Leith: Yeah, we did. We got tour tattoos. Yeah, was a lot of fun. Montreal was great!
PCN: Montreal, one of my favorite cities.
Leith: Not Josh’s unfortunately.
Josh: That’s what I keep saying I guess.
Damian: Josh was the only one who didn’t like it.
Josh: I didn’t have a great time. I was doing all the driving in Montreal. That threw me off right away because there was nowhere to park.
PCN: Did it mess you up that you couldn’t turn, right?
Josh: No, because I didn’t know that until we were basically on our way out! Cameron, the guy we were staying with, just happened to be driving around with us and he’s like “Oh no, you can’t do that!” And I was like do what? “Turn right.” I’m like, oh well I’ve been doing that all day, so…
Leith: They’re just like “damn foreigners”! (Laughter)
PCN: So how bad did the van smell?
Josh: We actually just cleaned it so now it smells all right! (Laughter)
Leith: Before it kind of just smelt musty, husky, kind of like a scuba tank full of farts!
Josh: So, we don’t know what it smelt like. We should have got an outside …
Damian: An outside opinion to come in and smell it. But it wasn’t too bad I think, we kept it relatively tidy. I think they (bandmates) were mad that I always had bottles and bottles of…
Leith: Half-drunk drinks all over…
Josh: Juice and vitamin water everywhere with two inches left in them.
Damian: Five bottles sitting in the back, and they’re like Damian, deal with your shit.
Leith: You also left your clothes in this one little cubby hole, it was annoying.
Josh: The fester hole of Damian! (laughter)
Leith: I cleaned that today. That was not fun.
PCN: So, what was the very best thing about this tour?
Leith: Getting to play shows for so many people that were really, really stoked to see us.
Damian: It was going to certain cities that we have never been to and when asking people in the crowd, “Oh, who are you here to see?”, and they’re like, “We’re here to see Vaultry!”, and we were like, whoa, that’s cool.
Leith: Where it’s really serendipitous, really surreal to see kids and the kids were pretty young still, like 18 or 19 years old and they’re like “Oh man, I love Vaultry, I can’t wait to see Vaultry!”. It’s a super cool feeling to know that your music has reached someone and touched them in a way that they feel really connected to the music. And they were stoked to see you. It’s really cool
PCN: It looks like you all survived touring Canada, I wrote in my first interview, just to give people an idea, it’s 4900 kilometers from Victoria to Montreal.
Josh: That sounds about right. (Laughter)
PCN: So, you guys did about 10000 Kilometers in a month and survived. Congrats on the tour and welcome back.