Touring across Canada might be a dream for some musicians, but for Daniel Wesley it would mean being away from his son, Finn, for an extended period. Not so desirable for the young Canadian alt-rock artist.
Wesley has just released a new album called Ocean Wide, on which he has made a few changes from his previous albums. Ocean Wide includes two songs recorded with Gavin Brown, “‘When The River Dries Up’ is my favourite,” says Wesley. “Every album is just a progression from the next one and working with Gavin was awesome.”
You may know Brown as a multi-platinum, multi-Juno Award-winning Canadian producer, famous for collaborating with, and helping produce, bands like Metric, Three Days Grace, Billy Talent and Theory of a Deadman.
As for the cover art on the album — a beautiful sunset on the ocean — Wesley thought it would fit well with the album’s title track “Ocean Wide.”
Most musicians have their pick of where to call home, and while Wesley resides in Vancouver, he says the Island and its people are a close second.
“It’s right on the ocean, close to home and feels like a different place,” says Wesley. “Island people are always super nice, pretty laid back; there is lots to do here so the crowds are always good and everyone likes to have a good time.”
Wesley’s inspiration comes from his everyday life. The track “Ocean Wide” was conceived on a rooftop in Buenos Aires, looking at the ocean.
“Things just kind of come to me, some turn out to be shit; others turn out to be on the album,” he says. “I have gotten better at telling which ones should stick and which ones should go.”
When asked why his tour locations are all over the map rather than in a straight line, Wesley responds, “Because I just had a baby!” He chooses to stay as close to home as possible because being away from his son for long periods of time would be heart-wrenching.
Wesley takes this responsibility on himself, travelling light instead of flying his whole band across country for shows.
Every musician has a favourite event, or at least one that protrudes clearly in their mind. For this performer it was “Stanley Park and Yaletown during the Olympics. Right after we played, they lit off a quarter million dollars worth of fireworks. Thankfully I didn’t have to foot the bill.”
Check out Wesley’s new album Ocean Wide, and prepare yourself for his tour hitting up Sugar Nightclub Fri., May 3, with Dougal Bain McLean and Joshua Hyslop. Doors at 8pm. Tickets are $18 at Lyle’s Place, Ditch Records and at ticketweb.ca. M
The voice in “The Bullet”
You may notice a female overlay talking back to Wesley as he sings the chorus to “The Bullet.”
“Rachel Ashmore worked at the studio and had mutual friends,” says Wesley. “I thought it would be cool if we had a woman’s voice answer back. So she came in and banged it off in five minutes.”
If the track has a familiar sound to it, you must be a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. "I had some guitar work in the end of that track; I like John Frusciante, so maybe I was thinking about him in the end,” says Wesley. “I knew it was a fun track so I just wanted to lift it up where it needed lifts, but still keep it really simple.”