The Trews are on a cross-country tour in support of a new self-titled album. They play Red Deer’s Memorial Centre on Nov. 6.

The Trews are on a cross-country tour in support of a new self-titled album. They play Red Deer’s Memorial Centre on Nov. 6.

The Trews and nothing but The Trews

Canadian rockers The Trews initially had trouble explaining their name to the public (‘trews’ means tartan trousers for those who are still wondering). Now they have to explain their connection to Russell Brand. The British comedian effectively co-opted the band’s name by calling his own online “news” site The Trews. It’s Brand’s amalgam of “truth” and “news.”

Canadian rockers The Trews initially had trouble explaining their name to the public (‘trews’ means tartan trousers for those who are still wondering).

Now they have to explain their connection to Russell Brand.

The British comedian effectively co-opted the band’s name by calling his own online “news” site The Trews. It’s Brand’s amalgam of “truth” and “news.”

“He’s stolen our name for his newscast,” responded The Trews frontman Colin MacDonald. “I mean, we had a hard enough time explaining our name, and then this guy comes along. …”

When it’s suggested that The Trews, as in the Nova Scotia rock band, should at least get the chance to write the theme song for The Trews, as in Brand’s newscast, MacDonald heartily agreed.

“It would be nice if he gave us some sort of credit, or a shout-out for our name.” But he doesn’t hold out much hope this will happen.

MacDonald noted his group already tried engaging the comedian through Twitter by jokingly linking Brand to the band’s song Paranoid Freak, “but we didn’t hear back. …”

The Trews are carrying on, regardless, with a cross-country tour in support of a new self-titled album. They play Red Deer’s Memorial Centre on Nov. 6.

The CD has been called “classic Trews” by various critics and MacDonald agrees it probably is. “We tried to make a great record, to do the best we can, and try to up the ante and become a better band.”

This fifth release, which was made possible by a crowd-funding campaign, is undeniably a crowd pleaser ­— some fans were even allowed to sing background vocals on some tracks. But MacDonald said The Trews didn’t set out to please everybody, as much as to please themselves.

“We’d go to our usual jazz base and jam to come up with ideas for songs.” Some of the tunes that came out of this process are personal — such as 65 Roses, which was written for the group’s late agent, Paul Gourlie, who died at age 38 of cystic fibrosis. MacDonald said the band wanted to pay tribute to Gourlie’s brave acceptance of his condition, and his perseverance.

Other songs are more open to interpretation. For instance, Rise the Wake seems to have political undertones, but was simply viewed as a “barn-burning rock tune” when written.

MacDonald said the album opened “with the highest charting debut of our careers,” and he sees this as a success, considering his band has essentially been around for 17 years.

The group was started in high school 1997 by Colin MacDonald, his guitarist brother, John-Angus MacDonald, their cousin, drummer Sean Dalton and friend, bassist Jack Syperek. They later changed their band’s name from One I’d Trouser and relocated to Toronto.

After winning the 2002 Rocksearch contest held annually by a St. Catharines, Ont., radio station, the band landed a recording contract.

The full-length House of Ill Fame CD came in 2003. Produced by Big Sugar’s Gordie Johnson, the album contained the singles Tired of Waiting and Not Ready to Go — which hit No. 1 on Canadian rock charts and was the most played song of 2004.

What followed was a slew of hits including Hold Me in Your Arms, Hope+ Ruin, So She’s Leaving, Yearning, Can’t Stop Laughing and the latest, What’s Fair is Fair.

The group won five East Coast Music Awards, an Independent Music Award and was five times nominated for Juno Awards.

Colin MacDonald said his band always looks forward to playing in Alberta for its Western Canadian fans, as well as some transplanted East Coast fans. “We’ve always had great shows out there, and we’re hoping for more.”

Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $42 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

RCMP looking for these two suspects
Police looking for suspects who stole truck in central Alberta

A Ford F350 was stolen out of Blackfalds on June 9. Two… Continue reading

An excavator is tearing up old parking lots at the Michener Centre north site. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Demolition gets underway at Michener Centre’s north site

Some people are nostaligic, but not everyone is sad to see it go

The Red Deer Indian Industrial school stood off Burnt Lake Trail and across the Red Deer River from Fort Normandeau. The residential school is known to have lost at least 70 students through illness, poor sanitation and nutrition. (Advocate file photo)
Some Indigenous leaders say SNC-Lavalin can’t make up to First Nations people with offer of help

Quebec company is connected to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould allegations

RCMP are looking for this 30-year-old missing woman.
Red Deer RCMP looking for missing woman

The Red Deer RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance to locate… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

(Photo contributed)
Red Deer’s Ernco Braves go 4-0 in opening weekend games

Braves shot out Edmonton Padres in four straight games

Love it or hate it, tequila conjures up strong feelings in many drinkers. For some, there are bad memories. But today’s premium tequilas are changing some of those perceptions. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Rethinking tequila: Premium brands aim to change perceptions

LONDON — Love it or hate it, tequila conjures up strong feelings… Continue reading

This image provided by Glenorangie shows Glenorangie's Giraffe Tin. To enjoy the occasional beverage and also help wildlife, consider Glenorangie's Giraffe Tin. The Highland Scotch maker's stills are the tallest in Scotland, as tall as a giraffe, and the collectible tin is patterned like the animal's coat. Each purchase supports the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. (Glenorangie via AP)
Father’s Day gifts that celebrate interests old and new

After a pandemic year in which the shape of work and play… Continue reading

Pumpjacks are shown pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., on June 20, 2007.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Canada’s crude oil exports have increased 15-fold in 30 years: report

HALIFAX — The value of crude oil exports from Canada has increased… Continue reading

Everlasting Wind, aka Dawn Goodwin, joins others by raising her fist in the Mississippi River near an Enbridge pipeline construction site, on Monday, June 7, 2021, in Clearwater County, Minn., to protest the construction of Enbridge Line 3. Goodwin is a co-founder of RISE Coalition. More than 2,000 Indigenous leaders and "water protectors" gathered in Clearwater County from around the country. The day started with a prayer circle and moved on to a march to the Mississippi headwaters where the oil pipeline is proposed to be built. (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota court affirms approval of Line 3 oil pipeline

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed… Continue reading

Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, speaks during a news conference held by the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, a coalition of airports, airlines, hotels, boards of trade and chambers of commerce, to urge the federal government to implement a reopening plan for travel and tourism, at the Ottawa Airport in Ottawa, on Monday, June 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadian business leaders demand plan to reopen borders, economy now

OTTAWA — Business leaders are calling on Ottawa to immediately lay out… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021.  The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

The national spotlight on residential schools is also highlighting a difficult question… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister, not shown, and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland joins Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they participate in a virtual discussion from Ottawa on Monday, May 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals move to cut debate, force vote on bill to implement 2021 budget

OTTAWA — The Trudeau Liberals moved on Monday to force an end… Continue reading

Most Read