From the outset, Julie and The Wrong Guys may come across as an unlikely union. Juno award-winning songwriter Julie Doiron began her musical journey as a founding member of ’90s East Coast indie-rock icons Eric’s Trip, the first Canadian band signed to Seattle’s famed Sub Pop Records. Meanwhile, The Wrong Guys are made up of Edmonton-born country/punk troubadour Eamon McGrathalongside Mike Peters and Jaye Schwarzer, the rhythm section of Toronto’s metal/hardcore heavyweights Cancer Bats.
Doiron’s celebrated career has featured a laundry list of collaborations with the likes of Chad VanGaalen,Phil Elverum (a.k.a. Mount Eerie), Gord Downie, The Wooden Stars, Shotgun and Jaybird, and The Tragically Hip,and these wide-ranging musical alliances have all prepared her for an effortless amalgamation of the Wrong Guys’ respective projects, where Doiron’s tender and lyrically evocative songwriting crashes headfirst into the pummelling volume of her bandmates.
Doiron first enlisted The Wrong Guys as her backing band in 2011 during a two-year stint living in Toronto. While working at the Bloor West coffee shop, café, and venue Saving Gigi, she asked them to join her for a series of shows. Finding an immediate comfort and chemistry, the quartet hit the studio to record a two-song 7”, then set off for high profile tours throughout Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes.
Searching together, Julie and The Wrong Guys have found a distinctly harmonized voice that weaves throughout and acknowledges the vast array of influences across their backgrounds, paying obvious homage to the music that drove these four unlikely collaborators together. As each member approaches the material with their own very literal insight of endless days across the world’s highways, they’ve come out of the woods with one of the most exciting debut records of 2017. Alongside delicate standout songs like “Call My Own Shots” and the McGrath duet “Farther From You”, Doiron also returns to her full-throttle, early ’90s grunge/punk roots on ragers like “Wanted What I Wanted” and “Calm Before the Storm.”
“I come from a noisy, energetic background playing in Eric’s Trip,” she concludes. “It’s kind of ironic that people refer to me as a solo performer or singer-songwriter because that’s not what I feel that I do. I made a couple of quiet records after Eric’s Trip broke up because I didn’t want to try to replicate it. Then I played with The Wooden Stars and made two quiet records after that. Every time I’ve ended a collaboration I’ve done that, and people still pigeonhole me as a singer-songwriter, but I love playing loud, heavy music.”
NLFB is a non-profit, charitable music presenter in Northern Ontario. The organization provides valuable exposure and career development opportunities for emerging artists, while also presenting highly acclaimed artists, and keeping the region on the map for acclaimed touring acts. The signature annual festival takes place in Sudbury, ON, on lands traditionally shared by the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and Wahnapitae First Nation.
Join our monthly newsletter and be first in line for all the latest festival news.