Source: The Free Press
By Phil McLachlan, The Free Press
Posted: Apr 20, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Legendary 90s Canadian Rock band, Wide Mouth Mason, performed on Saturday during Fernie Alpine Resort’s closing weekend celebrations.
The rock group that has produced 10 albums since 1996, drew a crowd of local followers who have been with them since they began.
Although the band has switched a few members throughout its lifetime, Shaun Verreault continues to perform as the group’s lead singer and guitarist.
Verreault picked up an acoustic guitar as a child, but shortly after hearing Prince knew he had to switch to electric.
The album that skyrocketed them into the speakers of people’s stereos across Canada was their 1997 self-titled album. Now, the band is celebrating 20 years of success.
In that time they have built up an impressive resume, including touring with the Rolling Stones, ACDC, ZZ Top, as well as being the first North-American rock band to tour mainland China.
Twenty years later, the group continues to put maximum enthusiasm into the craft they have mastered.
During the post-show interview, a fan approached and said “I haven’t seen you guys play in a long time, and you’re not mailing it in at all. Great show.”
To this, Verreault responded, “You get to a point in your career where you can be doing it for the sake of still doing it, and making some dough. But for me it’s about progressing as a musician and as a songwriter and playing for people who have been seeing you for a long time or playing for people who haven’t seen you before.”
After a six-year hiatus in 2005, the group produced another album in 2011. Asked if he thought this would be their last album, Verreault said he knew he would be a ‘lifer’.
Since then, Verreault had a daughter, and he didn’t want to be a facetime dad and be gone all the time.
“I really didn’t want to be on the road, watching her first step on facetime,” he said.
At home, with his daughter, he learned a new instrument and wrote a lot of music. So to Verreault, it was time well spent.
Music has given Verreault everything. Through it, he has seen the world, met most of his friends and had out-of-body creative experiences that have taught him how to do everything.
“You learn math, philosophy, structure, perseverance and design. You learn all these things by learning music. It’s given me all of that and more,” said Verreault.
In addition, Verreault believes music is so important in a child’s life, and he will be passing on his knowledge, love and passion to his daughter. In fact, she is already writing music.
“Kids are musical until someone goes, ah no, no, that’s noisy, you’re doing that wrong,” he said.
Verreault has seen many changes between the modern music industry and the ways of old. In the 90s the infrastructure was very different. Bands did not have the independence as they do now. Before, someone outside of the group had the upper hand in much of the decision making. Verreault sees the modern music industry as having excelled in independence. He’s glad bands of today have more of say in the direction they go.
As well, technology has changed tremendously to the point where anyone can record a good idea if they have it.
“If you have a good song idea, you can record it on your phone. So it comes down to how good are your ideas?”
“It was true in the 90s and it’s true now, and it will continue to be true, that no matter what the business is, no matter if you’re getting famous from your demo going out or yourYoutube video getting seen by somebody, if you have a really great song idea, it can change your life,” said Verreault.
Even after ten albums, the group is still pushing forward and is set to release their next album very soon.
“Every time, you’re trying to find a thing you’ve never done before, even if it’s been 20 years.
“You end up in a basement, looking at each other going, alright, what’s the next song going to be? That part of it never changes,” said Verreault.