The Wooden Sky were on their way to play a show in San Francisco when their van was hit from behind. As frontman Gavin Gardiner waited at a repair shop just off the highway, he tried to stay positive.
“I’m very thankful that this kind of stuff hasn’t really happened to us before. We tour so much,” Gardiner said.
In the wake of the successful release of their third full-length album, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun, the Toronto-based indie-rock group is embarking on their longest tour yet.
The band met in 2003 in Toronto. Although Gardiner (vocals), Edwin Huizinga (violin), Andrew Kekewich (drums), Andrew Wyatt (bass) and Simon Walker (piano) were not friends before forming The Wooden Sky, they have since become like family.
“We love playing with each other and travelling together. It takes time to find people to play music with, it has to be right, have the right chemistry,” Gardiner said.
“People come and go a little bit and then eventually you settle on something that works.”
Music has always been important to Gardiner. At a young age, he became obsessed with the movie La Bamba, a biographical film that outlines the life of rockstar Ritchie Valens.The plane crash that ended Valen’s life resonated with Gardiner, as it mirrored an experience his own father had flying.
His father was on business in Vancouver when a storm stuck, cancelling flights. He decided to take a charter home to his family and nearly died. The experience made Gardiner’s father so grateful for his family that he returned with a diamond ring for his wife and an electric guitar for Gardiner. Since then, Gardiner hasn’t stopped playing music.
“There’s no real high like playing music together. Same with writing a song,” Gardiner said. “I can’t even really describe [the feeling] to anybody, except to say that it’s this emotional high that you can’t get from anything else.”
Gardiner says that he can be closed off at times and is not always open to discussing what is going on in his life, but that song-writing allows him to think through his experiences and to be honest in his music.
“Sometimes it’s easy to hide behind emptiness. There’s a lot of ways to say nothing for writers. You have to really allow yourself to be open, to be able to [write] effectively and to do it genuinely.”
Although at times it is difficult to share so much with people, it is that honesty that connects The Wooden Sky’s fans to the music.
“The title [Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun] itself sort of tried to capture an underlying meaning, which is trying to understand other people’s lives and to respect that,” Gardiner said.
Right now, Gardiner is ready to break from touring. Although he enjoys the road, he says it can be a creative black hole at times. When they get home to Toronto, The Wooden Sky will start work on another record. They already have about 25 songs in the works.
“We’re going to go home and stay busy and creative together. That’s the plan,” Gardiner said.[box type=”info”]Lead singer Gavin Gardiner and the rest of The Wooden Sky will be in Saskatoon Nov. 24 performing at the Bassment.[/box]