Once a deer hit me on the way to a gig. I didn't hit the deer, it hit me. It waited patiently by the side of the road until it saw me coming, then bolted and smacked right into my rental car. Luckily no one was seriously injured, including the deer, but I did pull up to the park service gig with scraps of deer ass sticking out of my headlight. When I shared the story with other artists who had toured out that way, they all nodded knowingly—apparently EVERYONE gets hit by a deer out there. It made me think of all the things that artists on tour deal with and how with such a privileged and envious lifestyle comes the daily dose of total weirdness. And that made me want to do a show about it.
Artists on tour epitomize what it means to be a successful band; there's an allure and magnetism to the chaotic brevity of a group coming through town, a wild desire to be a part of their inside jokes and crazy life for just a night. But beneath the glitter and glam there's the reality of eating at gas stations some nights, of being cramped inside a tiny van for hours on end, of being personable and outgoing when you really just want to curl up in a shell and not see anybody for a few days. And of course, there are the unpredictable events—and that is the juicy stuff.
So I sat down with Le Vent du Nord in my hotel room after their last show of a western-Canada tour to ask one simple question: What's the strangest thing that's ever happened on the road?
Le Vent du Nord is one of my favorite Québécois trad groups. I try to act all chill around them, but seriously, they are a hallmark band for me. They were my soundtrack for an entire decade's worth of roadtrips up and down the I-5 corridor. Simon Beaudry, the guitarist, was the first—only?—person I ever interviewed in French. They were the first quebecois band I'd ever seen in person (9 years ago, at a rained-out Scottish Games festival in a muddy field littered with cabers and discarded haggis). I memorized most of their songs, even before I could speak French. I hope they're not reading this because I would be embarrassed to admit *how* much of a fan I really am, especially since now we're all buddy-buddy and here they are in my hotel room. Be coool, Dejah, I tell myself. Just be coooool.
I'm hoping this is the first of many series. Please excuse the poor sound, the bad lighting. If you are a touring band coming through Seattle, and YOU have an interesting road story for me, drop me a line!
A grand MERCI to Le Vent du Nord. Please check them out. They are seriously amazing.