Bry Webb’s constant contrast
Bry Webb is a yin-yang kind of guy. For 11 years, he fronted a respectable Toronto rock band called the Constantines. For half of that time, he quietly lived in Montreal, commuting via “sketchy ride share” when he had to. He moved partly to distance himself from the “intense” party scene that his Toronto peers were immersed in, and followed more personal, tranquil pursuits here.
He met the woman he’s now married to, and formed a folky band called the Harbour Coats with Snailhouse’s Mike Feuerstack and ex-Tricky Woo drummer Patrick Conan. Though short-lived, that project paved the way for his current solo work, which began to bloom when the Constantines disbanded in 2010.
“What I’m doing now is about as quiet as the Constantines were loud,” says Webb. “It’s balancing out being in a really great, loud rock ’n’ roll band. I’ll have to do this for 11 years, and then I can go back to making loud music again.”
Webb has moved back to his native Guelph, where he’s raising a son with his wife, and working as program coordinator at community radio station CFRU (which is similar to CKUT, he says). Late last year, his debut solo LP, Provider, was released by Idée Fixe Records. But his latest creation is a “crazy instrumental psychedelic saxophone cassette” called Sax Tape, sales of which will benefit Ecojustice. Held up against his solo work and simple lifestyle, it’s another bit of sharp contrast.
“When I was on tour a lot with the Constantines, we’d play rock shows at night and then listen to Jennifer Castle, Michael Hurley, Gene Clark, the Ink Spots and stuff like that — really mellow, beautiful, kinda strange, sentimental music,” Webb recalls. “So I was working hard to find that balance on tour. Of course now we just listen to Crass.” ■
Bry Webb headlines with support from Daniel Romano & the Trilliums at Théâtre Ste-Catherine (264 Ste-Catherine E.) tonight, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 9 p.m., $10