Fridays with … Summers on Vacation

About two years ago, on-and-off Sydney, N.S rock group Seek Out Ships joined us here at East Coast Noise to chat about their origins, what they were up to and so on.

Fast forward and Seek Out Ships is on indefinite hiatus, and drummer Christopher Poirrier is now performing solo as Summers on Vacation.

He joined us this week to chat about Seek Out Ships, Summers on Vacation and more …

1. Chris, it’s been nearly two years since we last did this, and I understand Seek Out Ships is on hiatus and you’re focusing on solo material. How did all this go down? Will we see SOS return in the future?

The problem with Seek Out Ships is that we were never all on the same level as to what we wanted to do. I want to be recording constantly and playing shows as often as I can. The other guys either physically can’t make the time or don’t want to. It’s unfortunate because I really miss playing drums in a band and I was very excited about our new material. I just can’t justify spending time practising to play a show every three months, when I could be and should be working on my solo material. I’m unsure if we’ll ever play again at this point. Maybe we’ll have a few rehearsals and play a local bar show in the future, but, as of now, I can’t see it happening anytime soon.

2. Are you approaching the solo thing any differently than you did the band?

I definitely think I get to approach writing solo different. Mostly because I don’t have to agree with anyone else on the components of the song. Coincidentally, I usually preview all my songs to Dave Daix (from Seek Out Ships). He has always been a huge influence on me both as a songwriter and a friend. I value his opinion when it comes to songs. Just recently, we sat down with 25 or so songs that I have written for my debut record and began to omit songs that were not as strong. I need an unbiased opinion such as his when it comes to writing.

3. Your bio says you never intended to step out from behind the drum kit and you were quite nervous initially. How did you get over that, or does that nervousness still affect you from time to time?

Oh, the nervousness is still very present. It comes and goes. I mostly get nervous when playing a new environment/venue. I like familiarity. It’s such a difference being front and centre. I used to sing with my previous band, but, this is so much more uncomfortable. It usually takes me a song or two and then I breathe a sigh of relief.

4. Is your debut record, The Most Beautiful Woman In Town, still planned for spring? How is that coming together, and who is involved?

The record is still scheduled for sometime in late spring. Right now, I’m applying for some grants through the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. I really hope that works out because I cannot afford to fund a record by myself.

I’ve been playing with a full band recently. Sean Lewis is on drums. Sean has been one of my best friends since I was in Grade 4. He is the person responsible for getting me into bands such as Nirvana, Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins, etc. He also plays drums in another local band called Misty Thicket. Bobby Newman plays bass. I’ve known Bobby for a number of years now.  He was in a local band named Erosion, but, they split several years ago. Mark Scott (of Seek Out Ships) sometimes plays lead guitar and pedal steel when he’s not too busy with his cover band that I’ve been trying for three years to get him to quit.

5. Once the record is out, what’s the next step? Do you plan to tour the project?

If all goes as planned (which it almost never does in this industry), I hope to hit the road as soon as the record is finished, perhaps even when it’s in the mixing/mastering stages. I’d like to go out solo first.  Maybe sometime in June. I’ve been talking to Bethany from Beserker Lion. She may be assisting with some booking in the future, which would be a major help. After that, I’d love to go with a full band in July.  I’ll be sending the disc to campus radio and other radio stations as well, hopefully getting some plays.

6. What have you been listening to lately?

Lately, I have been listening to: City & Colour, Gregory Alan Isakov, Dan Mangan, The National, David Bazan, Joel Plaskett, Manchester Orchestra and Band of Horses.

7. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned lately?

I don’t think I could pinpoint one thing. I’m constantly learning and willing to learn. I just read a book about the Second World War called The Years of Extermination. It was pretty intense, understandably so.

8. Anything else you’d like to add?

I just want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to do this again. If anyone wants to hear some songs, they can head to http://www.reverbnation.com/summersonvacation I just put up a new song called Are You Becoming? Also, you can become a fan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/summersonvacation

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