When Montrose drummer Shane Deyotte signed on last summer with Victoria-based indie rockers, Acres of Lions, he knew they were an actively touring band but he had no idea just how active he would be. And with the release of their latest full-length album, “Home(s)” in the beginning of April things have only stepped up.
“These guys are road warriors,” Deyotte said in a recent phone conversation from Grande Prairie. “I started with them last July and I didn’t get home until Christmas.”
Deyotte and his band mates, Castlegar native, Jeff Kalesnikoff on lead vocals and guitar, Nelson’s Dan Ball on bass, and Kelowna’s Tyson Yerex on guitar and keyboards, were on a brief respite after an extensive spring adventure. The group was on a whirlwind tour through stops in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, Moncton, Halifax, Charlottetown, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, St. Catherine’s, and Toronto.
However, imagined stereotypes of previous era’s rock bands, travelling the country, destroying hotel rooms, and causing general mayhem don’t necessarily apply to 2013 and an Acres of Lions tour.
“I’d like to think we’re professional about it but that may be stretching it,” said Deyotte. “We have a lot of friends in Edmonton and Calgary so there was the odd late night there but it’s a rigorous tour schedule and everyone has to take turns driving the van. We’re especially low key during the week. We have lots of fans coming out for the shows and we want to give them the best experience possible.”
The band has been on quite a ride since the April 1 release their third album of “Home(s)” with being given the first song position of CBC Radio 3’s Summer CD and rotation in their playlist, airplay on numerous other radio stations, appearances at Canada Music Week in Toronto and on Edmonton morning television, Much Music, and broad exposure in print and on the web.
“We go to places we’ve never been before and people already know the music,” said Deyotte. “It’s kind of weird but we love it.”
With the band poised to resume it’s gruelling touring schedule, Deyotte is excited to carry on with the adventure.
They played Canada Day on the lawns of the B.C. Legislature in Victoria and from there went on to Toronto for an appearance at the Van’s Warped Tour, then back to BC to play at the “Rock the Shores”
Festival in Victoria where they’ll be playing with bands such as Weezer, City and Colour, Matthew Good, and the Sam Roberts Band.
“To be able to play the Warped tour in Toronto and play with these bands is a huge deal for all os us,” said Deyotte. “When I was a kid, before I could even drive, I went to the Warped Tour and saw some of these guys play. To be able to play on the same stage is just amazing.”
After Victoria the band carries on to Alberta for the “Shake the Lake” festival in Sylvan Lake, back to B.C. for “Rock of the Woods” in Duncan and onwards. Plans are already on the books for a fall tour.
Deyotte is, so far, taking it all in stride. He was in northern Alberta taking advantage of the break in their schedule to put in some time in his work as a welder.
“I’ll only be here for a couple weeks,” he said. “You don’t make all that much on the road and I’d like to be able to take in a couple of shows myself and I like to catch the odd hockey game.”
However, he doesn’t anticipate welding forever.
“I’ve gotten to see some great places and I know there are a lot more to come,” he said. “The band is my top priority, working up here is OK but if things continue to grow they way they have been, I don’t think I’ll be able to keep it up. I’m alright with that.”